Category Archives: society

Judging perfection (Part 2)

By | September 28, 2016

(Continued from Part 1) Let’s return to the grading standards used in the Olympics and their application to educational assessment. As I suggested, the upstanding students – those who will become the elite of the students in the program – quickly become subject to a different set of grading criteria from those who don’t stand out. Assignments from… Read More »

Judging Perfection (Part 1)

By | September 25, 2016

Women’s gymnastics is one of the most popular Olympic events, and with good reason. It’s truly amazing the kinds of things that people can do with their bodies, twisting, rolling, hanging in the air. But the essence of the Olympics these days isn’t really in watching the sport; it’s watching the scores. Although you’re watching the top fifty… Read More »

“Sociotechtonics” as multiply invented?

By | August 29, 2016

I recently came across an interesting website operated by Dr. Win Wenger , called “Project Renaissance” ( He’s clearly a man of many parts, with fingers in lots of intellectual pies. Among other things, he includes a page called “About SocioTectonics”, detailing his concept of the term that I’ve been sure was entirely my own. Apparently he formulated… Read More »

Safe spaces

By | August 24, 2016

There’s a lot of continuing interest in the concept of “safe spaces” and the role of so-called “trigger warnings” in establishing them. Like a lot of us, I have such a space to which I can retreat when things get too complicated – it’s called “my room”. I go there when I’ve read enough about Trump to feel… Read More »

Political brainwashing by media?

By | March 21, 2016

I found myself contemplating this on the freeway the other morning. For the last 30 years or so I’ve been listening to conservative-to-reactionary talk radio (largely in my car). I find it fascinating how differently people can think about seemingly simple political and social issues, and how fervently we argue in favor of our views. There’s a new… Read More »

The end of the road for a career?

By | February 28, 2016

A few days ago, Trish Tatman published a piece in Medium entitled “Be kind; say no”. Her argument was that it’s a lot better to be rejected outright than to be strung along. I found this quite relevant to the issue of career choices and persisting in pursuing obviously failing strategies – specifically, the question of how long… Read More »

Students as consumers

By | December 5, 2015 There’s another column of mine included in The Synapse collection on Medium, called “Students as consumers”. It discusses how students came to be described as consumers and education as a commodity. Quite relevant to other things I’ve published here, and maybe by appearing there gaining a slightly larger audience.

Form and function in teaching

By | December 5, 2015 I’ve recently published in The Synapse collection on Medium this brief column on a controversy recently emerging on another blog about the “right way to teach” and its relationships to power. You might find it interesting.

Education as a Heap of Trouble

By | October 18, 2015

I haven’t had much to say recently; hopefully, this will change. Here’s something that recently engaged my attention, at least long enough to fulminate some. There’s a recent LinkedIn discussion about “Higher Education is in a Heap of Trouble.. What’s to Be Done About It?”. Numerous perspectives are reflected there. My own tends to be on the more… Read More »

Remembering Virginia

By | August 8, 2015

My mother, Virginia Dudley Eveland, would have turned 116 earlier this year had she stuck around. As it was, she lived to 93 – time enough to see the world totally transformed. In a way, she and many of her generation pioneered the experience of today’s millennials. She was a brilliant but quiet child, growing up in a… Read More »