Monthly Archives: September 2019

Bob Shepherd: The Decline of Education Publishing

[Here is something important from Bob Shepherd, via Diane Ravitch’s blog, that I think is fundamental reading for educators.]

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bob Shepherd, polymath, wrote this:

When I started to work in educational publishing, many years ago, there were some two hundred or so companies dividing up the textbook market in the United States and about twenty with significant market share. Now there are four.

Four.

Over the decades, there has been considerable consolidation of the industry. There were many, many mergers and acquisitions. And while this was happening, something else, more insidious, was occurring.

Most of those small publishing companies had been run by people who had started out in education, had entered educational publishing, and had risen through the ranks as editors. Some were started by editors or teachers turned entrepreneurs. But as the companies grew, often via acquisition by outside entities with no background or expertise in education, the old editorial managers were replaced by financial types.

Let me give you an example. Years ago, two publishing guys…

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Write it Right: Badly for Bad

“Badly for Bad. ‘I feel badly.’ ‘He looks badly.’ The former sentence implies defective nerves of sensation, the latter, defective nerves of sensation. Use the adjective.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

Titanic

This reading on the Titanic and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet have tended to be relatively high interest material in my classrooms over the years.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Term of Art: Code Switching

“code switching: Switching in speech between different languages, dialects, etc. E.g. two business associates meet and chat in one language; the meeting becomes formal and they switch to another. Often analyzed into subtypes, e.g. as occurring within sentences or at sentence boundaries. Sometimes distinguished from code mixing, or from borrowing; sometimes not.

The term ‘code’ is loosely used of any language or distinct variety of a language, whether or not it is actually thought of as a code (like the Morse code or a legal code) in any illuminating sense.”

Excerpted from: Marshall, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Cultural Literacy; Cryptography

OK, moving right along on this chilly Monday morning, here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on cryptography. This has turned out, at times, to be of very high interest to students I’ve taught over the years.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

John Dewey on Interest, Motivation, and Engagement

“Much assistance in the selection of appropriate material may be derived by considering the eagerness and closeness of observation that attend the following of a story or drama. Alertness of observation is at its height whenever there is plot interest. Why? The balanced combination of the old and the new, of the familiar and the unexpected…alternatives are suggested, but are left ambiguous, so that our whole being questions: What happened next? Which way did things turn out? When an individual is engaged in doing or making something, there is an analogous situation. Something is going to come of what is present, but just what is doubtful. The plot is unfolding toward success or failure, but just when or how is uncertain. Hence the keen and tense observation that attends construction. [Even] when the subject matter is of a more impersonal sort, the same principle of movement toward a denouement may apply. Mere change [in the experiences and situations] is not enough. The changes must (like the incidents of a well-arranged story or plot) take place in a certain cumulative order.”

John Dewey

How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process

Excerpted from: Wiggins, Grant, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 1998.

Arduous (adj)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective arduous if you need it.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.