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Why It’s Imperative to Teach Students How to Question as the Ultimate Survival Skill

Why It’s Imperative to Teach Students How to Question as the Ultimate Survival Skill | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Are our schools doing a good job of preparing students for a world where questioning is a survival skill?

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A number of factors may contribute to a decline in questioning-asking. As kids mature and begin to “know” more, it’s understandable they might feel less need to ask. But Harvard University education professor Paul Harris points out that young children also seem to feel less safe asking questions as they move from being at home with parents to being in a classroom with a teacher and other kids.

It doesn’t help that in many classrooms, there’s little encouragement—and almost no teaching—of questioning. Tony Wagner, an expert in residence at Harvard’s Innovation Lab (and a former schoolteacher himself), reports that in his observation of classrooms, the message from teachers is, “‘We don’t have time for student questions—because that will take time away from the number of answers I have to cover.’” This is not to suggest teachers are happy with this situation; as one California high school teacher lamented to The New York Times, “I have so many state standards I have to teach concept-wise, it takes away time from what I find most valuable—which is to have [students] inquire about the world.”

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Academic misconduct ‘likely’ on the rise in Canada | University Affairs

Academic misconduct ‘likely’ on the rise in Canada | University Affairs | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Universities with up-to-date policies and education campaigns are on the right track to reduce cheating, but they can do more, researcher says.

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wednesday March 25, 2015

Researchers say academic misconduct is becoming more sophisticated, more frequent
Researchers working on a follow-up to a landmark survey on academic misconductsay that they believe that cheating has likely increased over the last 10 years. Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph, said, "because of the Internet, there are growing opportunitiesfor students to access papers written by other students and access case studies that have already been analyzed—even the teaching notes." One website, StudyMode.com, encourages students to upload their essays in order to get access to other assignments. It includes a disclaimer asking students not to plagiarize, but Christensen Hughes is skeptical that the site serves any other purpose than to enable cheating. "It's becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for faculty to be assured that work done outside a supervised setting is work done by the students alone." Large class sizes make it difficult for faculty to identify students by name, much less recognize their writing styles. She says that universities could do more to prevent misconduct, primarily by increasing awareness, educating faculty, and implementing policies and processes that faculty will follow. University Affairs
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York strike shows lack of critical thinking on campuses: Cohn | Toronto Star

York strike shows lack of critical thinking on campuses: Cohn | Toronto Star | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Labour strife has exposed fault lines in university faculties — byzantine hierarchies where part-time teachers toil in classroom sweatshops.

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Monday March 16, 2015

Columnist blames contract faculty strike on tenure model
Striking part-time faculty members at York University were "canaries in an ivory tower no different from a coal mine," writes Toronto Star political columnist Martin Regg Cohn. Cohn says that while YorkU's contract faculty members quickly reached a deal, the strike served as a reminder of "the byzantine hierarchies that persist on campus, where part-time teachers toil in classroom sweatshops for low pay while full professors are protected on their rarefied perch." Cohn points to what he describes as an "outdated tenure model" as a key part of the problem. He argues that if tenured faculty members whose research productivity has declined were asked to increase their teaching loads, ON's universities could increase their overall teaching capacity by 10%. "Restoring greater balance, efficiency, and fairness to university teaching roles won't be easy after decades of drift and centuries of tradition," he writes. "We should demand greater accountability and clarity from universities."Toronto Star
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Families of two men killed in firefighter training exercises demand inquests | Toronto Star

Families of two men killed in firefighter training exercises demand inquests | Toronto Star | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
They are also pushing for the province to regulate private companies that provide potentially dangerous safety courses to first responders.

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Monday March 16, 2015

Calls for government regulation of private safety training industry after firefighter deaths
The family members of 2 firefighters who died during training exercises are calling on Ontario to provide more oversight of private sector companies that provide safety courses. Firefighting student Adam Brunt died during an ice training exercise last month; Gary Kendall, a volunteer firefighter, died under similar circumstances 5 years ago. Now Adam's father, Al, is pushing for government regulation of the safety training industry, which offers highly technical—and often highly dangerous—courses to firefighters and other first responders. The courses are not mandatory, but many firefighting students take them in hopes of gaining an advantage on the job market. Companies offering the courses are not required to follow best practices. ON's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has said that it will look into regulating the industry; it also plans to review the Private Career Colleges Act with an eye toward making recommendations this fall. Toronto Star
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Pearson admits to monitoring students' social media use during its online tests

Pearson admits to monitoring students' social media use during its online tests | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Textbook company claimed to hire third party to detect alleged cheating, which a New Jersey superintendent found ‘disturbing’ upon discovery

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Fri March 20, 2015

Pearson monitored students' social media activity during tests

The Guardian (UK) reports that textbook and learning technology company Pearson has admitted to monitoring the social media activities of students taking its tests. Elizabeth Jewett, a New Jersey high school superintendent, was informed by the state Department of Education that Pearson was “monitoring all social media” during a testing period and had demanded that a student who tweeted about an exam be disciplined. Jewett also cited 2 other incidents in which Pearson had contacted district officials about cheating detected through social media monitoring. In a statement, Pearson said that it was “contractually required by states to monitor public conversations on social media to ensure that no assessment information (text, photos, etc) that is secure and not public is improperly disclosed.” The monitoring was performed by a third-party company called Caveon. Caveon founder Steve Addicott said, “our position is when someone posts information on Twitter, or some other publicly available website, by definition they want that information to be public." The Guardian (UK)

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Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants? | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Surely any person going to work outside their country is an expatriate? But no, the word exclusively applies to white people
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Creativity or Copyright infringement? Legally and Musically, the “Blurred Lines” Decision Is a Disaster

Creativity or Copyright infringement? Legally and Musically, the “Blurred Lines” Decision Is a Disaster | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
“Blurred Lines” was the most talked-about single of 2013. Partly because it was an insidiously catchy pop confection that sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks. And partly because of the controversy over whether the song, and especially the accompanying video (which racked up almost 400 million views),...
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Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practioner's Handbook pdf

Summary from Academica Top Ten - 12 March 2015

HEQCO releases handbook for designing and assessing learning outcomes

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released a new guide to designing and assessing learning outcomes for individuals and institutions.Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook examines “the theory, principles, reasons for, and methods behind developing program-level learning outcomes; emerging developments in assessment; and tips and techniques to build institutional culture, increase faculty involvement, and examine curriculum-embedded assessment.” The guide provides definitions, examples, and recommendations that can be tailored to a specific institution or program. HEQCO Summary | Handbook

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The Difference Between Praise That Promotes Narcissism vs. Healthy Self-Esteem

The Difference Between Praise That Promotes Narcissism vs. Healthy Self-Esteem | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Telling your kids that they're superfabulous encourages narcissistic thinking, researchers say. And that doesn't bode well for their future happiness. Better to recognize effort and express warmth.

 

"When a kid does something amazing, you want to tell her so. You might tell her that she’s very smart. You might tell her that she’s a very special kid. Or you might say that she must have worked really hard.

On the surface, they all sound like the same compliments. But according to Brad Bushman, a communications and psychology professor at Ohio State University, the first two increase the child’s chances of becoming a narcissist. Only the last one raises the child’s self-esteem and keeps her ego in check."

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 11, 10:54 PM

It is important to provide process oriented feedback/praise. It needs to be directive and move the person forward.Are we sure narcissists have high self-esteem?

 

@ivon_ehd1

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The Ethical Case for Fur

The Ethical Case for Fur | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
For animal-rights advocates, wearing the material has long been verboten, but with demand for it on the rise, there are options that help combat invasive species and reduce waste.
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Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking | Waterloo News

Reliance on smartphones linked to lazy thinking | Waterloo News | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Tues March 10, 2015

uWaterloo researchers link smartphone use to lazy thinking

A new study from researchers at the University of Waterloo suggests that an over-reliance on smartphones can lead to "lazy thinking." The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that persons who are intuitive thinkers—that is, those who typically rely on instinct when making a decision—are likely to rely on their phone rather than think through problems themselves. "They may look up information that they actually know or could easily learn, but are unwilling to make the effort to actually think about it," said Gordon Pennycook, co-lead author of the study. Study participants who had stronger cognitive skills and who were likely to engage in analytical thought were less likely to rely on their phones than intuitive thinkers. Researchers say that their findings suggest an association between heavy smartphone use and lowered intelligence; they also suggest that a reliance on smartphones may have consequences for an aging population. uWaterloo News Release

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UBC neuroscientist has 'academic freedom' to look for links between vaccines and autism, university says

UBC neuroscientist has 'academic freedom' to look for links between vaccines and autism, university says | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The professor has produced research that implies there may be a link between autism and the aluminum found in some vaccines. His work has been criticized by the WHO

 

Summary by Academica Top Ten - Thursday March 5, 2015

UBC, uToronto react to reports that profs research, teach anti-vaccination material

A neuroscientist at UBC has academic freedom to continue researching possible links between vaccines and autism, the university told CBC recently. Christopher Shaw, a professor in UBC’s department of ophthalmology and visual science, has written papers exploring the connection between autism and the aluminum found in some vaccines; his work, however, has been criticized by the World Health Organization. UBC issued a statement last month when Shaw was interviewed by CBC Radio, stating that “UBC is a research institution with a faculty committed to asking questions—all types of questions, sometimes even unorthodox questions—and attempting to answer those questions in a rigorous, responsible manner. It's also a place that accommodates a wide range of ideas and beliefs. Those are the bases of the academic freedom that we hold dear. It is incumbent on us to probe controversial areas through sound research.” Meanwhile, the University of Toronto has launched an investigation into homeopath Beth Landau-Halpern, who teaches alternative medicine at uToronto Scarborough, after it was reported that she promotes alternative vaccinations and planned to show her class a video interview with a disgraced anti-vaccine researcher. Landau-Halpern told the Toronto Star that the course material “was meant to allow students to think critically by exposing them to controversy and does not reflect her own views.” National Post | CBC Radio |Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

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Ignore the Gurus, Baby Boomers. Your Retirement Is Inevitable.

Ignore the Gurus, Baby Boomers. Your Retirement Is Inevitable. | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The baby boomers are going to revolutionize retirement—or so many would have us think. They won’t be heading off to a life of leisure on the golf course, like their parents did. Instead, they’ll remain employed, collecting paychecks for work that is important and meaningful. “[T]o this generation, ‘retirement’ usually...
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Three to five cups of coffee a day may prevent heart attacks, says study

Three to five cups of coffee a day may prevent heart attacks, says study | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Research highlights potential link between coffee consumption and lower risk of developing clogged arteries
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Report Slams Scrapped Post-Secondary Watchdog | The Tyee

Report Slams Scrapped Post-Secondary Watchdog | The Tyee | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Board stacked with private college members, did not reflect all students.

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Monday March 23, 2015

BC ombudsperson calls for more oversight of private career training institutions
The results of a year-long study into provincial oversight of private career training institutions (PCTIs) in British Columbia have been released. The 180-page report, written by BC ombudsperson Kim Carter, says that "PCTI compliance monitoring has been inconsistent and students are not provided with adequate information—including their rights. When problems do emerge, students are limited in the kinds of complaints they can make to the provincial oversight body." Carter said that students attending PCTIs are frequently not offered the same avenues of recourse nor the same protections as students at public institutions. She has recommended that the province provide students with a voice on any oversight bodies; offer students clear, accessible information about their rights and policies; ensure adequate monitoring of schools; implement a progressive system of enforcement; and expand the complaint process. BC Minister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson described Carter's report as "timely and comprehensive," and said that BC's new Private Training Act would address many of her recommendations. Carter, however, said that the Act does not go far enough to address her concerns. "The lack of an expanded process for students to complain to the oversight body is particularly concerning," she said.Vancouver Sun | The Tyee
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Past is prologue when it comes to contract faculty | University Affairs

Past is prologue when it comes to contract faculty | University Affairs | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
To understand the current issues, we need to look back at the roots of the problem and how they have developed over time.

 

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Monday, March 16, 2015

Historical context for contract faculty issues in CanadaAn article from University Affairs contributor Melonie Fullick provides some historical context to Canadian PSE institutions' increasing dependence on contract faculty. Fullick looks back at the uneasy transition from the rapid expansion of Canadian universities in the 1960s to a decline in government funding in the 1970s. By 1978, she says, some were already speculating that institutions would turn to graduate students and part-time faculty to fill vacant teaching positions rather than hire more tenure-stream professors. Subsequently, "flexible" labour was used to help maintain the status of tenure-stream faculty members. Fullick notes that there is currently a significant lack of data around part-time teaching, due in part to different classification methods used to describe contract faculty at various institutions. The work of contract faculty, she says, "isn't visible or recognized" in the university system; moreover, contract faculty lack the security to speak out about the issues they face without fear of reprisal. She also notes that contract teaching work is a gendered issue, with women being over-represented among part-time and non-permanent academic staff. Academica Group recently began working on a projectfunded by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to help address the data gap around part-time and contract faculty. Quest University President David Helfand president critiqued institutions' dependence on part-time faculty in a post forRethinking Higher Ed. University Affairs
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#RaceTogether: 3 Reasons Behind Starbucks' Failure

#RaceTogether: 3 Reasons Behind Starbucks' Failure | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
This past week, Starbucks' baristas across 12,000 U.S. stores began writing "Race Together" on all of its coffee cups. Why? Starbucks wanted to initiate conversations of race and diversity with their customers.The results? A huge backlash on social media resulting in the temporary closing of Starbucks Sr. VP of Global Communications Corey duBrowa's Twitter account. The intention behind #RaceTogether was noble, but the execution left a lot to be desired. From a marketing perspective, #R
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Teaching While Black – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Teaching While Black – The Conversation - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"My thoughts have also been, in large part, on the minority professors at the University of Oklahoma, at the University of Alabama, and all over this nation. Since the day that minority professors, particularly African-American professors, began teaching at universities across the country, we have had to deal with blatant and covert racism not only from some of our colleagues but also from some of our students. Watching those Oklahoma students happily spew such hatred made me feel for the professors who may have had to teach them, as well as the other students who may have had to sit next to or around them in class.

Though a majority of my students (of various races and backgrounds) have been wonderful, there has been a difficult minority of students who clearly have preconceived notions about African-Americans and have probably not had much experience with a minority authority figure. And they have not been shy about letting me (or others) know that in subtle and not-so-subtle ways."

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How to Execute People in the 21st Century

How to Execute People in the 21st Century | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
As drugs for lethal injections grow scarce, states are reverting to earlier methods of execution—and to their flaws.
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Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook

Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"New handbook helps practitioners assess program-level learning outcomes

Ontario’s colleges and universities have made strides in developing learning outcomes, yet effective assessment remains a challenge. Learning Outcomes Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook is a step-by-step resource to help faculty, staff, academic leaders and educational developers design, review and assess program-level learning outcomes.

The handbook explores the theory, principles, reasons for and methods behind developing program-level learning outcomes; emerging developments in assessment; and tips and techniques to build institutional culture, increase faculty involvement and examine curriculum-embedded assessment. It also includes definitions, examples, case studies and recommendations that can be tailored to specific institutional cultures."

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The Difference Between Praise and Feedback

The Difference Between Praise and Feedback | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Parenting these days is patrolled by the language police. Sometimes it seems like the worst thing you could ever say to a kid is “Good job!” or the dreaded, “Good girl!” Widely popularized psychological research warns about the “inverse power of praise” and the importance of “unconditional parenting.” What are these researchers really getting at? Are the particular words we use to talk to our kids so important? And how do we convey positive feelings without negative consequences?
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What I learned as a kid in jail - Ismael Nazario's TEDx Talk - New York - Nov 2014

What I learned as a kid in jail - Ismael Nazario's TEDx Talk - New York - Nov 2014 | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
As a teenager, Ismael Nazario was sent to New York’s Rikers Island jail, where he spent 300 days in solitary confinement -- all before he was ever convicted of a crime. Now as a prison reform advocate he works to change the culture of American jails and prisons, where young people are frequently subjected to violence beyond imagination. Nazario tells his chilling story and suggests ways to help, rather than harm, teens in jail.
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Heavy smartphone use linked to lazy thinking, study finds

Heavy smartphone use linked to lazy thinking, study finds | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Love them or hate them, smartphones have undoubtely changed the way we consume and recall information — but they may also be hindering the average human's ability to solve problems without one.
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Study finds instructors with Asian last names receive lower scores on Rate My Professors @insidehighered

Study finds instructors with Asian last names receive lower scores on Rate My Professors @insidehighered | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wed March 4, 1015

Instructors with Asian names receive lower RateMyProfessors scores

A new study has found that faculty members in the US with Asian-sounding last names receive significantly lower scores on the popular website RateMyProfessors.com. PhD student Nicholas Close Subtirelu examined the ratings given to over 1,000 mathematics professors with Chinese- or Korean-sounding names, comparing their scores with a larger sample of instructors whose names did not suggest an Asian background. The professors in the latter sample received scores for clarity that were 0.6 to 0.8 points higher on a 5-point scale than those with Asian names; they also received higher scores on the site's helpfulness rating. Subtirelu also studied the comments posted on faculty members' profiles, and found that students often focused on Asian professors' language skills and accents, even when their comments were positive. He said that he is concerned that having an accent is being viewed by many students as a negative trait, leading to avoidance of courses or tutorials taught by Asian faculty members and teaching assistants. Another recent study looked at the use of gendered language on RateMyProfessors. Inside Higher Ed

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Perspectives on the Brain and Consciousness - An Imagined Conversation Between Two Natural Philosophers

Perspectives on the Brain and Consciousness - An Imagined Conversation Between Two Natural Philosophers | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
An imagined conversation explores perspectives on the brain and consciousness
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