Carnival of Education (178th Edition)

Posted in Carnival of Education by educatorblog on July 2nd, 2008

Welcome to the 178th Carnival of Education – Teacher Ed Edition

ThWhether you are reminiscing about your days as a student teacher, attending a few professional development courses, or enjoying the many perks of grad student life (including but not limited to Top Ramen Wednesdays), you will find great minds blogging about fascinating topics.

At the social justice center, listen to a passionate lecture entitled:  A Broader, Bolder Approach To Education by Larry Ferlazzo (Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day for Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL). Bill Ferriter posts The Kids I’ve Failed. . . via The Tempered Radical, saying, “In this post, the Tempered Radical wrestles with the realization that failure in education means leaving children behind—and wonders whether or not he can continue in a profession with such significant consequences for poor performance”.

Brush up on your statistics skills and debate the issue of evaluation in education. Use Teach Thyself posted at Kim’s Play Place as inspiration. Diana of The Core Knowledge Blog evaluates jigsaw activities in  On Teaching: Where Jigsaw Misses the Picture. Sarah Weisz presents Academic Capital posted at Teaching Excellence Network, saying, “Entry refers to a study of Illinois schools, but the concept is nationally relevant.”

Listen to Scott Walker of The English Teacher present dissenting views about The Tyranny of Technology during his technology and instruction course. Wisconsin Union Blend asks his professor: Blogs and discussion boards – What’s the difference? Neelakantha of Teaching Tips presents 50 Must-Read Up and Coming Blogs by Teachers.

In the auditorium, listen to a free concert and The First Ever Music Education Blog Carnival conducted by Joel at So You Want to Teach?. Mark Monaghan of eLearning presents hosts a talk about Elona Hartjes of Teachers at Risk talks about her support of music in the classroom in her 2006 September 23 : Teachers At Risk post.

In the library, Darren of Right on the Left Coast discusses the plight of a Teacher Suspended For Year and a Half because of a book they chose to read in the classroom. Joanne of Joanne Jacobs puts books on hold. Read her post about books that school libraries have Deselected.

Sara Von Donge of CSTP Teacher Bloggers hosts a seminar about Language Instruction at the international student center. Kristie presents The Top 10 Free Resources For Learning Languages Online posted at Norway – An American in Oslo.

At the admissions office, Amanda Dixon of The Daily Planet confidently answers the “are you going to college?” question with To Go To College Or Not!

The school of education hosts a panel discussion involving many educators. Susan Gaissert of The Expanding Life brings together the intelligent comments of many educators in An Educational Conversation. At Build a School, Jeff presents his ideas about teachable moments in There Is Nothing New Under The Sun. Mrs. Bluebird practical advice about shoe-buying in A Teacher’s Best Investment posted at Bluebird’s Classroom.

After a pick-up game of basketball at the fitness center, Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains presents Physical Exercise and Brain Health.

At the coffee shop, Denise of Let’s Play Math! presents a guide to Math History on the Internet. Heather Johnson presents What’s Your Idea of an Ideal Teacher? posted at Information Age Education. Pat asks Are My Students Fender Benders? at Successful Teaching.

Stop by the financial aid office to turn in any missing paperwork. Money Answer Guy presents Should You Pay for Your Children’s College? posted at The Money Answer Guy. Matthew Paulson of American Consumer News shows us many Inexpensive and Ideal Learning Experience for the Whole Family. Sally Thompson presents 101 Scholarships Just for Teachers posted at Teaching Tips.

In the media lab, Mister Teacher of Learn Me Good presents My very own infomercial!. Diana Costello posts the video A special prom for special kids on The Hall Monitor.

In the campus newspaper, Caleb Knox writes an opinion piece about experimental schools entitled Give me Liberty or give me learning? (posted at Onward and Upward). John Holland of Circle Time covers a new study about preschool education and believes that it doesn’t matter how rich your kid is. In the editorial section, Lorem Ipsum presents Let’s Get Rid of All the Teachers. Marjorie of Life Without School reflects about the education and pop culture experiences of her husband in History Sucks.

On your way to your student teaching placement, you hear Carol Richtsmeier talk about Audit Reports, Teacher In-Service & How Bozo Ended Up in Dante’s Circle of Hell (posted at Bellringers) and NYC Educator relate stories about coworkers in a post entitled People Will Talk (posted at NYC Educator).

During a curriculum and instruction course, Melissa B. talks about a few ideas for Summertime Lessons (The Scholastic Scribe). Woodlassnyc argues against abstinence-only education in When ignorance trumps logic in Under Assault: Teaching in NYC. Heather Wolpert-Gawron gives educators professional development tips in Top 10: How to Take Control of Your Teaching posted at

In Child Development 101, OKP discusses end-of-year drama in a post entitled Long Story Long via Line 46, saying, “Just a little end-of-the year grade drama, prompting me to wonder if this kind of drama is going to increase year after year!”

I hope you enjoyed your day on-campus. There were many entries – if yours was not included on the midway, please try the next edition. The 179th edition will be hosted at Scheiss Weekly. Submit your blog post using this carnival submission form. Check out The Education Wonks for information about future carnivals.

Call for Entries: 178th Carnival of Education

Posted in Carnival of Education by educatorblog on June 26th, 2008

I’m hosting the 178th Carnival of Education. The midway opens on July 2nd. Submissions are due Tuesday, July 1st by 5 pm (PST). You can use this nifty submission form or email me your submission (educatorblog at gmail dot com).

I can’t wait to see you on the midway!

Sleep 2.0

Posted in My Teaching, Uncategorized by educatorblog on June 26th, 2008

I’m exhausted. I had no idea that my cert program would be this rigorous. Nietzsche says “When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago”. In semi-consciousness and sleep my mind is riddled with questions about education policy and my career as a teacher. I miss the dreams of my former self (even the cinematic-style nightmares involving 70s cartoon characters and bears).

I will publish these posts on Saturday:

– Microeconomic Life Lessons: Externalities

– A piece about blogging and informal markets for professionalism and digital justice

– Something for the race and diversity series (+ comic)

– Something for the TFA series

Next week, stay tuned for the Carnival of Education.

An Educator’s Guide to Opportunity Cost and Rational Choice Theory, or “How I Learned to Continue Worrying but Advocate for TFA Reform (Instead of Total Dissolution)”

This post is inspired by every blog post, newspaper article, peer reviewed journal, nonprofit organization, website, message board post, speech, coalition, informal conversation, formal debate, radio show, expose, and TV news hour that advocates or opposes an education policy. The issues of opportunity cost and mutual exclusivity are either ignored or misunderstood.

I attempt to answer these questions:

  • How should our understanding opportunity cost influence our decision-making about education policies?
  • How do we define mutual exclusivity in education?
  • How do these issues apply to our debates about TFA?

Opportunity Cost and Cost-Benefit Analysis

The concept of opportunity cost is important to all decision-making processes The opportunity cost of a course of action is the forgone benefit from an alternative action. In order for a benefit to be forgone, the chosen and alternative actions have to be mutually exclusive. This means that one cannot do both actions act the same time. Our lives are made up of choices about mutually exclusive actions, from deciding to go to college instead of working full-time for four years, to choosing between coffee and tea during a quick break. Opportunity cost can be computed in terms of anything – including money, ice cream cones, love, life experience, friendship, and “achievement”. The concept of opportunity cost reflects the scarcity of our resources – especially time and money. When we integrate opportunity cost into our decision-making, we ensure the most efficient use of our scarce resources.

In order to figure out the true value of any decision, a decision-maker does a cost-benefit analysis (often subconsciously). We must account for the “up front benefits” of an action and factor in forgone benefit. The forgone benefit is subtracted from the “up front benefit”. I define “up front benefit” as the difference between the value of an action and its price: the tangible value that a decision-maker receives from their choice. Although this is most often computed in monetary terms, it can be computed in terms of anything: from nutrition to abstract feelings of happiness. To find the true value of any action, subtract forgone benefits from “up front benefits”:

Computing the True Value of an Action

Here is a more complex example:

Maggie can choose between working at a job that pays a $30,000 salary or raising her initial income potential 60% (to $50,000) by attending a 4 year institution. In her case, maximum earnings potential without a college degree is $35,000, and $75,000 with a degree.  The institution costs $10,000 per year to attend (after scholarships and aid).

From these examples, we see:

  • We can maximize the true value of an action by minimizing costs (both “up front” and forgone).
  • Cost-benefit analysis are influenced by time. Time can add value (example: appreciation of the value of antiques, interest from the bank, job promotions) or decrease the value (example: depreciation of a car).
  • It is not easy to calculate cost and value. Maggie might have had non-monetary value or costs. For example, the university might be far from home and prevent her from seeing family. Most of the time, forgone costs is are not monetary. There are also issues of commensurability: how do we weigh the monetary versus the social costs of an action? (My former debate coach asks “Which is larger? A horse head or a furlong?” to help debaters understand this issue.)

There is a lot more interesting material here: