Photo credit here.
Photo credit here.
At the core of most professors' ideas about teaching is a focus on what the teacher does rather than on what the students are supposed to learn. In that standard conception, teaching is something that instructors do to students, usually by delivering truths about the discipline. It is what some writers call a 'transmission model.' ...
In contrast, the best educators thought of teaching as anything they might do to help and encourage students to learn. Teaching is engaging students, engineering an environment in which they learn.Here is what the appendix says about how the teachers were chosen for inclusion in the study:
All candidates entered the study on probation until we had sufficient evidence that their approaches fostered remarkable learning. Ultimately, the judgment to include someone in the study was based on careful consideration of his or her learning objectives, success in helping students achieve those objectives, and ability to stimulate students to have highly positive attitudes toward their studies.It seems that perhaps teachers were included as being "excellent teachers" if they focused on student learning and on motivating students. The researchers then "found" that excellent teachers focus on student learning and on motivating students.
Where individuals copy phoneme distinctions made by the most proficient speakers (with some loss), small population size will reduce phoneme diversity. De Boer models the evolution of vowel inventories using a different approach, in which individuals copy any members of their group with some error, and finds the same population size effect.I see the logic, but then phonemes aren't genes. When ten people leave home to start a new village, they can only take ten sets of genes with them, and even some of that diversity may be lost because of vagaries of reproduction. Those alleles, once gone, are not easily reconstructed.
Hilton Als ("Brainstorm", Mar 28) writes about the recent revival of "Arcadia" that Stoppard's "aim is not to show us people but to talk about ideas." Elsewhere, Als calls the show unmoving and writes that Stoppard does better with tragicomedies.
"Arcadia" is not a show about ideas. It is about the relationship people have with ideas, particularly their discovery. Anyone who has spent any amount of time around academics would instantly recognize the characters as people, lovingly and realistically depicted. (Als singles out Billy Crudup's "amped-up characterization of the British historian Bernard Nightengale" as particularly mysterious. As Ben Brantley wrote in the New York Times review, "If you've spent any time on a college campus of late, you've met this [man].")
As an academic, the production was for me a mirror on my own life and the people around me. Not everyone will have that experience. The beauty of theater (and literature) is that it gives us peek into the inner lives of folk very different from ourselves. It is a shame Als was unable to take advantage of this opportunity.
Where the play focuses most closely on ideas is the theme of an idea (Thomasina's) stillborn before its time. If one feels no pathos for an idea that came too soon, translate "idea" into "art" and "scientist" into "artist" and consider the tragedies of artists unappreciated in their time and quickly forgotten. Even a theater critic can find the tragedy in that.