Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Show - Marijuana Seed Bomb

Download the Show Here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/bedasso/TSBS_May_30_2010.mp3

You supply the band, we'll supply the band name. Marijuana Seed Bomb, opening for Vomit Attack! It was a lovely family party, until someone threw the lighter in the fire. A busking review. Geek Night strikes again. The next party of three make it to heaven. Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper and...Art Linkletter? Dave may have revealed a little too much information here, Dude.

Music:

Johnny Lang - Bump In The Road
DJ Spooky and Chuck D - By The Time I Get To Arizona
Jim Kerr AKA Lostboy - She Fell In Love With Silence
Willie Nelson - Pistol Packin Mama
Peter Wolf - I Don't Wanna Know

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ask Stuart A Question

Now you can ask Stuart a Question!  Just enter your question in the box at the top of the middle column of the page and check back to his Formspring Page in a while.  Or just head over there to see what else he's been asked.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Show - Plastic Surgery

Download the Show Here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/bedasso/TSBS_May_23_2010.mp3

Melyssa and Dave talk about plastic surgery. Who's had it, for better or worse. We also talk about a friend in the "biz" who is thinking about getting some. We get our monthly Anna Update. She's doing fine, folks. We finally help Haiti out by playing Sonia Bettencourt's new tune. Get it and help Haiti. Will Dave get sucked back into the political scene? Tune in and find out.

Music:

Sonia Bettencourt - Make A Stand
Galactic - Boe Money
The Bastard Fairies - Dirty Sexy Kill Kill
The Moog - Make Me Happy
Neil Nathan - When The Rain Falls
Son Of Bazerk - I Swear On A Stack Of Old Hits

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Show - Real Sex, Real Scott Baio

Download The Show Here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/bedasso/TSBS_May_16_2010.mp3

We think Jenna's stalking Melyssa. As of right now, it's just a theory. We play nothing but music from celebrities who aren't known for making music - some for good reason. We discuss the sad writing on the SNL with Betty White. Ooh, an old lady making penis and vagina jokes for 90 minutes. Nice job. And speaking of douchebags, here is right-wing tool, Scott Baio. Hey Chachi, no one cares about your reactionary take on things. Lose the twitter and go home. We discuss the difference between Porn Sex and Real Sex. Which do you prefer?

Music:

Mr. T (sort of) - Mr. T, Mr. T (He was made for love)
Scott Baio - Half The World Is Making Love Tonight
Laurance Hilton Jacobs - Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter - Blues In The Night

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Book Review: Why Don't Students Like School


Why Don't Students Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

Once again, I get a mis-titled book.  This doesn’t address the concept of why students do not like school.  As you will see, I’m not putting down the contents of the book, generally, but whoever is in charge of naming books needs to find another line of work.

Daniel Willingham is a cognitive scientist.  The book is well written, as it’s not muddled down with a lot of technical jargon and uses real, concrete examples to prove his points.  Oh, and the first 4/5ths of the book drove me crazy!

As a radical teacher who has fought (and mostly lost) for more differentiated, real-world education, a lot of Willingham’s explanations of how the brain works had me screaming at the book.  At one point, I think I actually wagged my finger at the book and for some reason it didn’t change.  I’m not necessarily disputing his data or conclusions, but how it relates to its intended audience.  For a while, Willingham seemed to be advocating for traditional, teacher-centered education and it was driving me nuts.

Rather than give you a summary of the book chapter by chapter, here are some of the notes I took as I was reading:

“Must have background facts to be able to comprehend.  (Poor kids, no books, etc = smaller vocabulary)”
“Acknowledges that facts are needed to get skills, but decries those who see schools as all rote memorization and no thinking.”
“Even with facts – depth over breadth.”
“I’m getting the impression author’s calling for linguistic learning.  Don’t make learning relevant to their interests.”
“Also, knowledge is teacher-centric.”
“Special Ed kids?”
“Ch 5 – still advocating for practice/repetitive learning.  ‘Why Don’t Children Like School?’”
“Advocating for study of others’ knowledge because kids can’t create their own.”
“Cognitive theory refutes multiple intelligence theory.”
“Doesn’t interest and motivation affect learning?”
“So if we teach traditionally, we will need to change culture about how we value learning.”
“Change brings attention.”
“Background knowledge is key to success in school.”
“Intelligence is malleable.”
“Intelligence is genetic and environmental, but more environmental.”
“1st step – convince students that intelligence can be improved.”
“Ch 8 – Viable suggestions about praise and failure.”
“Failure and grades.”

I read the book while trying to be accepting that cognitive theory was in conflict with my philosophy of education.  But later in the book, Willingham says that just teaching to cognitive theory is NOT what he is calling for.  I agree.  Activities for motivation and interest are important as well and not just for content.  By the end of the book, even a “cool” teacher like me was able to take away ideas and concepts that would improve my teaching.

I don’t think this book would help the novice teacher who is in over his head or the burned out teacher who just wants to hand out the worksheets and count down until retirement (though, more of the former than latter).  And with most educational discussion that doesn’t focus on teaching to invalid standardized tests, there’s only so much the reflective teacher can do with the pressures from above on test scores.  But the book makes an educator question his own beliefs and practices and that is always good. 

A great sequel to this book would be for Willingham to teach in a public high school for a year or two then reflect on how the job relates to WDSLS.  That would be fascinating.  But until that comes out, teachers, grab WDSLS.  You’ll knock off all 165 pages while your students are doing their worksheets.

Listen to Dave reviewing the book on the podcast here.

Addendum: A Facebook friend told us, "I've been craving this book for quite some time now! This review pretty much seals the deal."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Show - Let's Go To The Cat Show

Download The Show Here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/bedasso/TSBS_May_9_2010.mp3

Dave goes to the cat show. Was it under duress? You make the call. We also review the book Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel Willingham. If you're an educator it's a good read. Dig it. The thrilling conclusion to Melyssa's weight challenge at work. Once again, the cops are out harassing the working man. Boooooo!

Music:

David Byrne and Fatboy Slim - Men Will Do Anything
Jeff Beck - Lilac Wine
Ethan Lipton and his Orchestra - I'm Sorry

Friday, May 7, 2010

We're An Affiliate of Quest Bars

We're now an affiliate of Quest Bars, cuz Dave likes him some protein.  Dig it.


Try Quest Protein Bars!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Show - Lunch Lady Show

Download The Show Here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/bedasso/TSBS_May_2_2010.mp3

Jenna joins us again. This time we're on the front porch sipping "lemonade" and talking junk. Jenna has some amazing gigs coming up so make sure you go check her out. Melyssa reviews the book Free For All: Fixing School Food in America. Thumbs up, folks and the written review will be at stuartbedasso.com soon. We also celebrate Beltane again and take the occasional penis break. The music on this show is awesome so don't skip it!

Music:

Chuck D - Tear Down That Wall
Brown Chicken Brown Cow - Shine A Light
Ethan Lipton - You Were Right + It's OK
Robyn Hitchcock - Halo Mary