Curricular issues

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Curricular issues

In comments on my earlier post about what happens to a college course in progress when the professor teaching it dies, a lot of folks raised interesting questions about what would be the fair policy to adopt with respect to student grades. I think actually implementing whatever we might agree was a fair grading policy…

I don’t usually go looking for a fight, but there are some cases where I’ll make an exception. You know, of course that I’m a big fan of DonorsChoose. And you’ll recall that PETA’s tactics make them a problematic organization as far as I’m concerned regardless of what your views on animal welfare or animal…

Dr. Free-Ride’s better half went to the Free-Ride offspring’s school for Back to School Night earlier this week. (I stayed at home with the sprogs to oversee dinner and baths.) Dr. Free-Ride’s better half reported back that the younger Free-Ride offspring’s third grade teacher “doesn’t believe in too much homework”. (“She doesn’t believe it’s possible…

In my philosophy of science class yesterday, we talked about Semmelweis and his efforts to figure out how to cut the rates of childbed fever in Vienna General Hospital in the 1840s. Before we dug into the details, I mentioned that Semmelweis is a historical figure who easily makes the Top Ten list of Great…

This just came up in a plenary session I’m attending, looking at how best to convey the nature of science in K-12 science education (roughly ages 5-18). It’s not really a question about the content of the instruction, which people here seem pretty comfortable saying should include stuff about scientific methodology and critical testing, analysis…

Over at Effect Measure, Revere takes issue with a science educator’s hand-wringing over what science students (and scientists) don’t know. In a piece at The Scientist, James Williams (the science educator in question) writes: Graduates, from a range of science disciplines and from a variety of universities in Britain and around the world, have a…

There’s an article in Access (the glossy magazine put out by our School of Journalism and Mass Communication) about why so few of our students manage to get their degrees in four years. Part of it has to do with the fact that most of our students work — many the equivalent of full time…

In the latest issue of The Scientist, there’s an article (free registration required) by C. Neal Stewart, Jr., and J. Lannett Edwards, two biologists at the University of Tennessee, about how they came to teach a graduate course on research ethics and what they learned from the experience: Both of us, independently, have been “victims”…

I’m pretty sure the National Collegiate Athletic Association doesn’t want college athletes — or the athletics programs supporting them — to cheat their way through college. However, this article at Inside Higher Ed raises the question of whether some kind of cheating isn’t the best strategy to give the NCAA what it’s asking for. From…

Freedom in the classroom.

Perhaps you’ve already seen the new(ish) AAUP report Freedom in the Classroom, or Michael Bérubé’s commentary on it at Inside Higher Ed yesterday. The report is such a clear statement of what a professor’s freedom in the classroom amounts to and, more importantly, why that freedom is essential if we are to accomplish the task…