Epistemic Trespassing: From Ruby Payne to the “Science of Reading”

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump has continued his disturbing trademark of self-assurance and bravado in the absence of expertise:

The president – who repeatedly downplayed the threat early in the global outbreak – has this week been hyping an anti-malarial drug, chloroquine, as a possible therapeutic treatment.

“It may work, it may not work,” he said on Friday. “I feel good about it. It’s just a feeling. I’m a smart guy … We have nothing to lose. You know the expression, ‘What the hell do you have to lose?’”

As has become a common pattern now, these rash and dangerous claims were tempered by an actual expert in medicine:

Yet Trump’s “feeling”, on which he so often relies, was confronted by science when Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned that evidence of chloroquine’s benefits against coronavirus…

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Ignoring Poverty in the U.S. Redux: A Reader

dr. p.l. (paul) thomas

We were in Rye, passing the First Church, and the breeze from the ocean was already strong. A man with a great stack of roofing shingles in a wheelbarrow was having difficulty keeping the shingles from blowing away; the ladder, leaning against the vestry roof, was also in danger of being blown over. The man seemed in need of a co-worker—or, at least, of another pair of hands.

“WE SHOULD STOP AND HELP THAT MAN,” Owen observed, but my mother was pursuing a theme and, therefore, she’d noticed nothing unusual out the window….

“WE MISSED DOING A GOOD DEED,” Owen said morosely, “THAT MAN SHINGLING THE CHURCH—HE NEEDED HELP.”

A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

I wrote Ignoring Poverty in the U.S. to reject the decades-long focus on education reform targeted in-school only accountability driven by ever-new standards and high-stakes testing.

But that work also reveals the incredible…

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The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom

The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom, Aisha Sultan

Howard said that exposure to trauma has a profound impact on cognitive development and academic outcomes, and schools and teachers are woefully unprepared to contend with these realities. Children dealing with traumatic situations should not been seen as pathological, he argued. Instead, educators need to recognize the resilience they are showing already. The instruments and surveys that have been used to measure social-emotional skills such as persistence and grit have not taken into account these factors, Howard said.

He questioned the tools used to collect data that suggest poor students and students of color do not have as high a degree of grit as middle-class and white peers.