Author Archives: Thomas Mayo

About Thomas Mayo


Just a great story about a teacher and a student

I guess this is the time of year when I am looking for a little inspiration. Writing exams is fun; grading them is not. This is when, as a former colleague once said, you want to call the Provost and … Continue reading

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Think, Pair & Share

We read a case in my first-year Torts class in which a labor union’s health insurance fund paid a member’s medical bills ($22,700). When the member settled his case against the driver who hit him (for $250,000 — lots of … Continue reading

Posted in Active Learning, Large Classes | 2 Comments

47 Down. Effectiveness of crosswords as review vehicles (2 wds.)

For many years, I wrote a crossword puzzle for my students to use as a vehicle for reviewing what we had just covered (either at the end of each week or, less ambitiously, at the end of each chapter). I … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching Methods, Technology | 1 Comment

Beyond Mnemonics for Name-Learning Challenged Teachers

I have always thought that learning the names of my students creates a better classroom environment. The alternative — pointing a finger at a student I want to call on, or calling out the “the young man in the green … Continue reading

Posted in Large Classes, Students | 1 Comment

Does sex matter?

From the Journal of Higher Education (Nov./Dec. 2013), here’s the abstract: We conducted an observational study to examine the effect of student and professor gender on college classroom participation and faculty-student interactions. A main effect for professor gender emerged, with … Continue reading

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Reading Fiction

There is a piece in the Dec. 9 Chronicle (“Why Fiction Does It Better”) that argues that fiction develops readers’ capacity for “sociocognitive complexity”: Cognitive scientists and literary theorists have plenty to say on this subject. Cognitive science connects the … Continue reading

Posted in Learning Communities, Pedagogical Theory, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Something honorable to do with the rest of the day . . . “

From a blogpost over at The New York Review of Books: Seamus Heaney used to say that the poetry-writing hours of a poet’s day were the easy part; it was what to do with the rest of the day that … Continue reading

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Teaching Teachers Teaching Excellence

This week’s Science has a fascinating article about a White House education-policy advisor, Steve Robinson, who is leaving the heady world of the West Wing and returning to the classroom to teach high-school biology. (If my link doesn’t work, you can access … Continue reading

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Teaching critical thinking: how, when, where.

Interesting post from the Scientific American‘s blog. Here’s an excerpt: A democracy relies on an electorate of critical thinkers. Yet formal education, which is driven by test taking, is increasingly failing to require students to ask the kind of questions that … Continue reading

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Should pre-med requirements be reformed?

This is the title of Aaron Carroll’s April 11 blog post over at The Washington Monthly, which coincidentally appears at the same time as a Perspective piece by David Muller in the April 10 issue of The New England Journal of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment