Category «Motivations»

A New Model for Academic Faculty V: One Problem Solved

TL;DR Some have raised the issue of accreditation for faculty teaching in private practice. The solution is deceptively simple. Faculty working in private practice would simply invent a brand new accreditation standard for ourselves. Problem solved. This is not without precedent. Furthermore, there is existing proof that accreditation is a red herring. Home schooling is …

A New Model for Academic Faculty IV: One Can’t Fix What Isn’t Really Broken

TL;DR I conclude that the equity movement is well intentioned but is a waste of time until we reassert classroom autonomy that has literally been taken from us by administrators and outside parties (e.g. the testing industry), and autonomy that we have ceded without resistance. Once again this is mostly a brain dump of thoughts …

A New Model for Academic Faculty III: Grading for Equity

TL;DR After attending a recent conference on Grading For Growth hosted by The Grading Conference I have read Grading for Equity by Joe Feldman. I am totally on board with this movement, and over the past few years have independently stumbled onto most of the basic findings described in the book. However, I think the …

The World’s Most Annoying Negative Sign

TL;DR If you want a quick way to gauge whether or not students understand the concept of potential energy, you can ask them to explain the origin of The World’s Most Annoying Negative Sign. It is merely a consequence of the very definition of potential energy, which is almost never explained coherently. In all of …

A New Model for Academic Faculty I: Initial Thoughts

TL;DR It is time for academics, particularly those in a community college environment, to define a brand new model for teaching and learning that has the same status as private practice for medicine, law, art, healthcare, consulting, and numerous other occupations. The community college environment has become so disorganized and complicated due to mission creep …

Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Physics XXXVI: Geometry and Work

This question is particularly revealing in that it assesses whether or not students understand the coordinate-free nature of work as a dot product. Be prepared to hear such nonsense locutions as “negative force” or “negative displacement” but don’t be shocked when you hear them. I think it’s a product of the relatively poor treatment vectors …

Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Physics XXXV: Free-body Diagrams

Free-body diagrams are ubiquitous in introductory physics courses. They should be straightforward, but I’ve noticed that student frequently struggle with them at first because they want to include velocity or momentum in addition to forces. For this question, choose an arbitrary (the more arbitrary, the better) physical situation. It could be something from your or …

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