Russell Berman on Assigning Grades & Counting Units

In a 2008 talk called “Rethinking ‘Liberal Arts’”, Russell Berman, a professor at Stanford University, had this to say about grades & units: “The grading system is just the dead weight of the past that has zero meaning anymore except to make lives difficult and bitter. I’m not sure if it’s as broken as the…

Mary Catherine Bateson on Meeting Change

“Men and women confronting change are never fully prepared for the demands of the moment, but they are strengthened to meet uncertainty if they can claim a history of improvisation and a habit of reflection.” (Mary Catherine Bateson, Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way, 1994, p. 6)

At School in the Year 2000

This image is from an exhibit of cards titled France in the Year 2000, at The Public Domain Review website. The artwork in this exhibit represents visions of what life would be like in 2000 from the vantage of the turn of the 20th Century (specifically 1899-1910). Is the machine grinding the books an early…

Qualities of a Successful Educator? Here’s One Good Answer

Interview with Robert Stacey, new Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington (my alma mater). Last question, he’s asked what are the essential traits of a successful dean. His answer, I think, describes not only deans but all successful educators—especially teachers: believe passionately in the importance of your institution…