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Don't forget the Humanities!

I recently came across this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, urging college professors to fight grade inflation in the Humanities. As a college-level Instructional Assistant, I see this all the time. Students feel that their grade in their Anthropology course should reflect only effort and completion, not the content and understanding. This a trend that is not seen in the STEM fields as readily. As a result, professors are pressured to do just that; grade distribution in nearly all humanities classrooms do not follow a standardized bell curve as they might in a science or math classroom.    This sort of behavior not only devalues the importance of the humanities in our society, but also puts our students at a disadvantage. The humanities (Reading, Writing, and the Social Sciences) not only teaches us valuable lessons about communication, and how to connect with other human beings, but allows as a venue to contextualize the STEM fields... read more

Generation X and the Technology Leap

When I was in the 11th grade, I had to do a term paper for my American history class.  It was my first true research paper.  I spent hours in the school and town libraries, developing a thesis question, looking up books in card catalogs, using the microfiche machine to find relevant articles, index cards and books scattered over the table.  Then, utilizing the typing skills I learned in the 10th grade, I typed out my paper on an electric typewriter with correction tape that never quite covered up the typo you had made. I graduated from high school in 1989.  Through my undergraduate years in college, I saw word processor programs take over the typewriters and electronic catalogs replacing the card catalogs.  As I entered graduate school in the fall of 1995, the internet had replaced the long nights in the library with long nights in the apartment.  This past fall, I took a history class for the first time in many years... read more

Request for comments and suggestions regarding "Parental Alienation" in divorce or post-divorce cases

Please let me know your experience, or any helpful information you may have regarding Parental Alienation in divorce (or post-divorce) cases. I am deeply concerned for the well-being of some children who may be victims of Parental Alienation. I have been told that this is a form of child abuse, since it can seriously impact a child's self-esteem. Research shows that children in divorce cases are under stress, and when one parent "vilifies" the other parent, it can cause emotional damage to the child, or children. If you can take a minute to comment or email me directly, I would greatly appreciate your assistance. Thanks in advance--I hope to hear from you soon.

Improving Study Habits with Psychology

In the early 1900’s, psychologists B. F. Skinner and John B. Watson developed a new branch of psychology they called behaviorism. Both scientists believed that human behavior was shaped by their environment and their reactions to it. They called this behavioral shaping “conditioning”. This article briefly describes the two types of behavioral conditioning and how parents, tutors, and teachers can use them to improve a student’s study habits. Two Types of Conditioning Skinner and Watson identified two types of conditioning in human behavioral studies: operant and classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is probably the most familiar to readers due to psychologist Ivan Pavlov’s famous experiments with his dogs (he actually used about 60 different dogs in his experiments). The differences between the two types of behavioral conditioning (or “training”) are in the kinds of behaviors each one targets. In classical conditioning, the trainer targets involuntary, or... read more

Research Papers: Narrowing Your Topic for Your Final Draft

Nearly all high school and college students have a research paper requirement. Many college students are likely facing imminent research paper deadlines as the semester ends. Writing research papers can cause a lot of anxiety. This article will teach you how to narrow your research topic, clarify your thesis statement, and sort and organize your research to help you simplify your final editing process. Editing for Both Quality and Quantity. One common issue is having a research paper that is either too long or too short. Narrowing and clarifying your topic will help you write a better thesis statement and help you use only your most important or interesting facts and information. A properly focused topic will help save time by helping you use more specific keywords and phrases for your Internet search. You’ll be able to collect the facts you need in no time. Narrowing Your Topic. Many teachers or professors give students a broad research paper topic. For example, your... read more

Memory and Learning

I taught my middle school students about memory at the beginning of each school year. I quizzed them about their memories over the next three to four weeks, then reduced the reviews to once every other week. My students commented, “Why do you keep quizzing us about memory? We already know this stuff.” My response was, “Exactly! That’s why I keep quizzing you.” Students of all ages use different learning techniques that teachers and parents have taught them. Each technique is based on memory related research. This article will help parents, teachers, tutors, and all students understand the four stages of memory and how to use this knowledge to improve the quality and quantity of learning. Four Stages of Memory Human memory is a four - stage process: input, encoding, rehearsal, and retrieval. A problem at any stage affects memory and learning. When I teach these stages to my students, I use a filing cabinet analogy. Here’s how the analogy goes: Think of your brain... read more

How do Profs think? Let this long-time college prof help you get through Soc and Psych courses and interpret your all important syllabus and texts...

Often, students are not taught HOW to study and what to study. As a long-time college professor I can share teacher techniques and how we choose what we choose related to tests and discussions. There are also basic principles of testing that must be learned. Take some time now during your break to learn how to study and what to study and even how to take tests, so in the Fall you will be ready to go with a fresh outlook and new knowledge toward academic success. These principles work for all students (even if you are in high school--especially if you are taking college courses in your last year)--I can also help you with your college course syllabus--a big deal document (guide) that your profs spend a lot of time producing...which many students ignore! I can help you "read between the lines" of any syllabus and get to know what your professors are really thinking, saying and wanting from you through their syllabus.

Syracuse University Degreed Sociology Psychology Professor Will Help You Raise Your GPA!

You are brilliant when it comes to some of your courses, but in other areas...you just don't get it. It may not be just you! Humans learn in different ways and professors tend to teach to the masses. As an experienced professor, I teach students in more of a visual, applicable fashion. When you and I finish with our tutoring sessions you will understand the material because you will make it your own through example and solid application to your life and experiences. Basic Psych courses (and Soc) are typically the most failed courses taken by students. Often because students get lost in the minutia--and there's a lot of it. The idea is to pay more attention to concepts and "be like a bird flying over the course"--picking up concepts, rather than a zillion details. Let's get going...send me an email now and let's discuss what is possible so you can begin getting better grades! You can do it! I am happy to help.

Using current events to explain statistical ideas

It is often examples that make ideas understandable to students and current events can be a good source of examples. Case in point. Today in Wisconsin, the issue of the day is the outcome of the recall elections and problems with the exit polling. As a tutor, the outcome isn’t interesting, but exit polling like all surveys is key to the usefulness of statistics! In fact, it gives a great opportunity to illustrate some of the basic (and non-mathematical) ideas and concepts of statistics — usually the ideas presented at the beginning of most introduction-to-statistics courses. Statistical inferences are grounded in some basic definitions and assumptions (in bold). A population is a defined collection of individuals that we want to know some data about and a sample is a group taken from the population that we are going to actually collect data from (Sullivan, 2010, p. 5; Triola, 2010, p. 4). If we wanted to know the actual data about a population, which is called a parameter,... read more

The Beautiful 21st Century Mind

I spent more than 25 years in school trying to learn, to develop my mind. I had an extraordinary professor, Jerry, in graduate school. Good thing Jerry had tenure. He had a tendency to infuriate his students, irritate his colleagues, and often eschewed consulting work (frowned upon in most business schools). He was a real character. But I learned more from him about learning than anybody else in my 25 years of being in school. Jerry believed in not teaching, just learning. Read his infamous article, Learning to Not Teach. It will get you thinking. People who study how people learn, cognition researchers, are worried. Our educational system is not developing and preparing today’s young adults for the work and leadership challenges of the 21st century. That’s why Howard Gardner’s new book, Five Minds for the Future, is a good start for developing a beautiful 21st century mind. How should we train ourselves to think, to correctly learn about the world? According to Gardner,... read more

Conociendo otras Culturas a través de un Idioma.

Why acquiring a new language is so important? Why this same language is spoken in different way through out different Hispanic countries. This is one of the reasons why I choose Spanish to teach as a second language. This dialect is very complex and the pass culture and history of each Hispanic country has a marvelous influence in its way of speak. When an individual decide to learn it, not only he/she will be adding another skill to their knowledge, but also they will be approaching to the Latino culture as well. Although the 26 Hispanic countries that exist share the Spanish dialect, that do not means that they use it in a same way. Many people ask themselves what this phenomenon happens. The language in each country is spoken different. The region, the historical factors, the social changes through the years, the economy and even the political of the government are factors that help to understand why this dialect is spoken in many different ways in Hispanic countries in... read more

America the Giving

America the Giving by Cindy M. “Giving, giving, giving—Americans are always giving,” says Maria, an English-as-a-Second-Language student, as we talk about an upcoming charitable event. American generosity is both a wonder and a puzzlement to her, but she is sincere when she smiles and adds, “I am glad I am here. There was nothing for us in Bosnia. We are American now.” Maria’s words stay with me as I ponder what actually makes an American American. What characteristics do Americans possess that identify us as American as opposed to displaced Bosnians, Italians, Mexicans, Africans, Asians or Cherokees? Could it be as simple as Maria says? Could it be this knack we have of giving freely of ourselves above and beyond the call of duty? Can the character of a people be defined by their simple acts of kindness and charity alone? Is compassionate a sufficient adjective to describe us as a people? But folks like Maria perceive Americans differently. While we see... read more

Higher Ed Says Bye Bye Dewey

New to most parents and students is the adaptation of the Library of Congress classification system in most U.S. college and university libraries. While most elementary school teachers, public and school librarians teach the Dewey Decimal system, a great deal of young people are surprised, when beginning their college level research, to find the books are placed differently due to the use of the Library of Congress (LOC) system. Learning the Library of Congress classification system is as easy as A,B,C – literally! Each major subject area is classified by a letter A through Z. For example, the Social Sciences are letter H – and then are sub-classified by the specific specialty, like Economics, is HB. For a guide to the “new” system - a great resource is the Library of Congress website at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/. Happy researching!

Let me help you learn!

Hi! I love learning and teaching others to learn. Education is very important in leading a fulfilling life. I have experience in tutoring elementary school children as well as college students. While in college at Oklahoma State University I developed very efficient and effective study habits. I wasn't a great test taker but with effective studying and applying myself in class I graduated with a 3.094. I have strengths in reading, writing, grammar, sociology, psychology, american history, computer programs and track & field. Please consider in letting me help you overcome any educational obstacles.

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