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Sunday, 29 March 2009

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Jen Pierce

Are you a New York native, then?

The Modesto Kid

A fun letter to the editor of the NY Times today, in the course of criticizing multiple-choice reading comprehension tests for elementary school students, relates this amusing story: "To make this point 40 years ago, my colleague in teacher education at Queens College would distribute the London sports page to our prospective teachers and assess their comprehension of the articles about cricket. They all failed, although they were bright, successful college seniors." -- not exactly parallel to your professor's exercise maybe.

SEK

Verily.

Indeed! (Now we sound like Instapundit. Thanks a lot.)

Are you a New York native, then?

The northern part of New Jersey that considers itself part of New York until I was 10, Louisiana until I was 21. Needless to say, my accent would've been hilarious if it hadn't been Brokaw'd by years of speech therapy.

not exactly parallel to your professor's exercise maybe.

You know, I had a sentence in there explaining what the point of the exercise was, but took out after realizing I'm not even sure that was the point. My student-thunk conjecture was that he wanted to boost our confidence, because we were reading works in which 25 percent of the words were archaic but understood the gist of anyway. Then I realized that that would've been a pointless enterprise, so now I have no idea why he had us do that. Other students got bits of Chaucer or Beowulf, and really, the odds of an undergraduate getting the gist of Anglo-Saxon without some preparation are slim to absolutely, positively none.

Ahistoricality

Other students got bits of Chaucer or Beowulf, and really, the odds of an undergraduate getting the gist of Anglo-Saxon without some preparation are slim to absolutely, positively none.

There is a theory that if an instructor gives students an assignment early in the semester that is too hard for them to do well, it actually has a positive effect on student learning: I think it's supposed to shock them out of their complacency, of something like that.....

Hans

Sorry, but I read it and it says:

"There are a bunch of cheap Scots in London. They are so annoyingly cheap that we should shun them."

What am I missing?

JPool

What am I missing?

You're missing that it's a single sentence, which was the most important thing. To wit:
"Man, I hate me some cheap-ass Scottish bankers, cause they suck."

SEK

Hans, what JPool said, with a helping of "Even though SEK had studied Latin for two years and read Rabelais, Foster Wallace and Mason & Dixon when he encountered that sentence, he still couldn't parse it in the short time provided." I could now, maybe, er, I mean, of course, but then? Not a chance.

There is a theory that if an instructor gives students an assignment early in the semester that is too hard for them to do well, it actually has a positive effect on student learning: I think it's supposed to shock them out of their complacency, of something like that...

Is there? I know the theory of culling the herd by assigning massive amounts of reading early on, but I suppose there'd be a benefit to giving them what seems like an impossible task early, then repeating the exercise later to demonstrate all they've learned . . . in fact, that sounds like a fantastic idea. Codifies the course, demonstrates the usefulness of what may've seemed like busy-work. I like it! Now, to see how it to implement it . . .

Ahistoricality

Is there?

Yeah, but I can't find the reference quickly. Ironically, doing the exact opposite -- giving an easy test at the beginning of the semester -- is a good way to raise your student ratings.

The before-and-after thing is cute, too: good luck with it!

Karl Steel

Man, I hate me some cheap-ass Scottish bankers, cause they suck."
"Man, I hate me some cheap-ass Scottish bankers, cause they suck, and, as a Scot, it embarrasses me; we're not all skinflints; look how generous I am, with words!"

john

A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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