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How widespread is racism at uni?

How widespread is racism at uni? | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Students raised awareness about racial discrimination at their universities this week, but how much of a problem is it?
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critical reasoning
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A bit of help for homebuyers, a bit more for tenants — and a bit for Liberals at the polls (they hope)

A bit of help for homebuyers, a bit more for tenants — and a bit for Liberals at the polls (they hope) | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
There is much good in the Liberal plan to cool the GTA housing market, and much politics at work, too.
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Ontario’s school boards are a mess we made

Ontario’s school boards are a mess we made | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Ontario school boards are doing work they were never intended to do, and with fewer tools than ever before.
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The Nerve Gas Attack Described in White House Report Did Not Occur, Expert Says of Syria Incident

The Nerve Gas Attack Described in White House Report Did Not Occur, Expert Says of Syria Incident | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Some kind of poisoning event may have produced mass casualties on April 4, but the White House Intelligence Report did not accurately describe that event, a weapons specialist from MIT writes.
- 2017/04/19
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7 Questions for Would-Be Academic Chairs

7 Questions for Would-Be Academic Chairs | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wednesday, April 19, 2017


"Some questions to ponder for those thinking about becoming department chairs 


“One characteristic that distinguishes academics from professionals in the corporate world is the former don’t necessarily aspire to climb the management ladder,” writes Rob Jenkins for the Chronicle of Higher Education. 


Jenkins notes, however, that there are many professors who want to become a department head or dean. For these individuals, Jenkins poses seven basic questions to help determine whether an administrative role might be a good fit. 


These questions are: Why would I do this? Will I miss the classroom? Will I mind being chained to a desk? How much do I hate meetings? How much do I value my work friendships? Where do I see myself going from here? Are the money and the perks worth it? 


Jenkins concludes that if a professor can answer these questions and if they think they have something to offer, “then by all means, apply for the job—or accept the position that’s been offered.”"



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The Price of Resistance: Chris Hedges

The Price of Resistance: Chris Hedges | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
To resist radical evil is to endure a life that by the standards of the wider society is a failure. It is to defy injustice at the cost of your career, your reputation, your financial solvency and at times your life. It is to be a lifelong heretic. And, perhaps this is the most important point, it is to accept that the dominant culture, even the liberal elites, will push you to the margins and attempt to discredit not only what you do, but your character. When I returned to the newsroom at The New York Times after being booed off a commencement stage in 2003 for denouncing the invasion of Iraq and being publicly reprimanded by the paper for my stance against the war, reporters and editors I had known and worked with for 15 years lowered their heads or turned away when I was nearby. They did not want to be contaminated by the same career-killing contagion.
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Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's curator insight, April 19, 2:11 PM
The resistance at any level is high. Consider how hard it is to bring about real change (transforming change) in organizations such as schools? It is even more challenging in larger organizations and institutions. Paulo Freire's work has been diluted into Inquiry Based Learning, rather than being a means to lift oppression.
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A Critique of ‘False and Misleading’ White House Claims About Syria’s Use of Lethal Gas

A Critique of ‘False and Misleading’ White House Claims About Syria’s Use of Lethal Gas | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The Trump administration’s official narrative—produced by the National Security Council under the oversight of national security adviser H.R. McMaster—was produced without input from the professional intelligence community, a weapons expert from MIT writes.
- 2017/04/14
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Why Won’t Students Ask Us for Help?

Why Won’t Students Ask Us for Help? | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
A group of college students was surveyed on what determines whether they will ask their professor for help. Here's what they said.
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'Shouldn't even be a question': Laurentian University students upset over mental health referendum

'Shouldn't even be a question': Laurentian University students upset over mental health referendum | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Laurentian University students recently rejected the opportunity to pay more for increased counselling services on campus. Now some are questioning why something as fundamental as mental health care became a referendum topic.


Summary from Academica Top Ten - Tuesday, April 11, 2017:


"Laurentian students voice dismay after referendum rejects mental health services expansion 


Laurentian University students are expressing disappointment after a recent referendum rejected a plan to increase student mental health services at the university. 


The change would have required students to pay a $90 fee instead of $20, and would have supported the hiring of four new counsellors. 


Some students have asked why a service as essential as mental health care would be subject to a referendum, yet Laurentian Student Life Director Erik Labrosse says that the referendum was necessary due to the nature of the school's partnership with student organizations. 

Labrosse adds that in spite of the referendum’s result, the school will continue to look for ways to bring in more counsellors. "

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Why do teachers quit? Read their resignation letters - Futurity

Why do teachers quit? Read their resignation letters - Futurity | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The trend of teachers posting their resignation letters online offers new insight into their frustrations. Pay and retirement aren't the focus.
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diane gusa's curator insight, April 8, 4:29 AM
teachers are leaving largely because oppressive policies and practices are affecting their working conditions and beliefs about themselves and education.”
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Just one black teacher can boost success of black boys - Futurity

Just one black teacher can boost success of black boys - Futurity | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Low-income black boys who have a black teacher are more likely to graduate high school. "It not only moves the dial, it moves the dial in a powerful way."
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What is academic freedom?

What is academic freedom? | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Academic freedom is not absolute, nor is it the simple equivalent of “freedom of speech.”


"Still, there is too little understanding of what academic freedom means. It is not absolute and it is not the simple equivalent of “freedom of speech.” All citizens have, or should have, the latter, but only individuals who have specified educational and professional qualifications are entitled to academic freedom within universities. In the words of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), they are granted the “freedom to teach and discuss; freedom to carry out research and disseminate and publish the results thereof; freedom to produce and perform creative works; freedom to engage in service to the institution and the community; freedom to express one’s opinion about the institution, its administration, and the system in which one works.”"

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Stephen Gordon: Academics screw up sometimes, but still shouldn't retreat into their ivory towers

Stephen Gordon: Academics screw up sometimes, but still shouldn't retreat into their ivory towers | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
You don’t pass peer review by pretending that you’re writing ex cathedra, and it’s silly to try and pull rank in a seminar room filled with PhDs. Intellectuals don’t win debates by claiming deeper expertise, or by denying standing to their "non-expert" opponents. Arguments stand or fall on their own merit, not on the credentials of those advancing them.
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Campus Crisis - The number of students accessing mental health services at post-secondary institutions across North America has sky-rocketed

Campus Crisis - The number of students accessing mental health services at post-secondary institutions across North America has sky-rocketed | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Air Date: Mar 30, 2017
Length: 15:50

About this Video
The number of students accessing mental health services at post-secondary institutions across North America has sky-rocketed. Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today's editor-at-large and the author of "A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting," believes part of that is due to "hothouse parenting," where children are growing up too protected and without skills to deal with real-world challenges. She argues this is transforming university campuses into mental health wings. The Agenda discusses the merits of this idea. TVO

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Getting Our Students Wrong

Getting Our Students Wrong | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"Why is it always so surprising when our initial impression of a student turns out to be mistaken?"


"The consequences of pigeonholing students 


“Why is it always so surprising when students prove our initial impressions of them wrong?” asks David Gooblar for Chronicle Vitae, recounting many cases in which making wrong assumptions about a student’s ability or work ethic led to negative consequences. 


The trouble, as Gooblar sees it, is that teachers often create narratives around certain students and have difficulty thinking about those students outside those narratives. “As we try to learn who our students are, we latch onto almost anything that will help us differentiate them,” adds the author. 


“Sometimes we work so hard to figure out each student—this one is a good writer, that one has good ideas but needs help explaining her thinking—that it can take the better part of a whole semester to realize that our first impression was wrong.” 


Gooblar goes on to cite research demonstrating the negative effects on both teaching and student performance that can come from teachers relying on such narratives."

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Why is Kathleen Wynne so unpopular? It may not just be about policy

Why is Kathleen Wynne so unpopular? It may not just be about policy | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Despite all the progress Ontario has made, political observers tell Steve Paikin many voters still aren't comfortable with a premier who is a woman and gay.
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Massive U.S. bomb was an ‘atrocity’: former Afghan president

Massive U.S. bomb was an ‘atrocity’: former Afghan president | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
“My message to President Trump today is that he has committed an immense atrocity against the Afghan people, against fellow human beings,” he said. “If the American government sees us as human beings, then they have committed a crime against fellow human beings, but if they treat us as less than human beings, well, of course they can do whatever they want.”

Karzai added that one of the fundamental reasons that he refused to sign the bilateral security agreement with the United States when he was the president was specifically to prevent such actions.

“I told the people of Afghanistan in the Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) we must not sign the BSA with the U.S., that we must not give them bases till the day they bring peace to Afghanistan,” he said. “Why would the Afghan people want to give the U.S. bases? For what? To continue the war in Afghanistan, to become more insecure, to lose peace forever, to suffer, to receive more bombs, to receive a weapon of mass destruction? Or for security, for peace and for a better life?”
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Failure: The Most Fulfilling Part of Being a Professor | Just Visiting

Failure: The Most Fulfilling Part of Being a Professor | Just Visiting | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"But what if you're not a "professor?""


Summary from Academica Top Ten - Wednesday, April 19, 2017


"Failure is the most fulfilling part of being a professor: IHE contributor 


“This may sound perverse, but for me, one of the most fulfilling parts of being a (sort of) professor has been not the successes, but what others might call ‘failures,’” writes John Warner for Inside Higher Ed. 


While other professors might delight in seeing their students go on to find tenure-track jobs or achieve other academic successes, Warner notes that his favourite part of teaching has been the freedom to experiment, fail, and improve his methods through an iterative approach that Warner compares to that of writing. 


“These are pursuits that feel worthy to me, failing and trying again,” Warner adds. “In fact, if I was granted a single wish, it would be to make failure more central to school and learning.” "

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Protest photos: the power of one woman against the world

Protest photos: the power of one woman against the world | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The shot of Saffiyah Khan calmly staring down an EDL demonstrator in Birmingham became instantly famous. Why are images like these so transfixing?
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Citizen science and genetic testing yield positive results

Citizen science and genetic testing yield positive results | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
More than 40 years later, in 2003, an international group of scientists sequenced the entire human genetic code. Researchers can now find a gene suspected to cause a disease in a matter of days, a process that took years before the Human Genome Project. As of 2013, more than 2,000 genetic tests were available for human conditions. Forty years ago, I never dreamed scientists would have the knowledge and manipulative capabilities that have become standard practice today.
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Down with the Experts! "The Death of Expertise" on TVO

Down with the Experts! "The Death of Expertise" on TVO | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

Air Date: Apr 11, 2017
Length: 25:37

About this Video


The information age has not ushered in an era of a more educated public, according to Tom Nichols. It has "created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement and distrust experts." He joins The Agenda to discuss his book, "The Death of Expertise." - TVO

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The automated university: bots and drones amid the dreaming spires

The automated university: bots and drones amid the dreaming spires | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
After centuries of chalk and talk, universities are finding themselves at the centre of a technological revolution
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Marine protected areas are one piece of a complex puzzle

Marine protected areas are one piece of a complex puzzle | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
The federal government recently created two marine protected areas in the Pacific region and has committed to increase ocean protection from one per cent to 10 by 2020. But will this be enough?
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The Hidden Costs of Active Learning -- Campus Technology

The Hidden Costs of Active Learning -- Campus Technology | critical reasoning | Scoop.it

"Flipped and active learning truly are a better way for students to learn, but they also may be a fast track to instructor burnout."


Summary from Academica Top Ten - Thursday, April 6, 2017:


"Active learning can have hidden costs, writes professor 


“I am an active learning college instructor and I'm tired. I don't mean end-of-the-semester and need-some-sleep tired. I mean really, weary, bone-deep tired,” writes Thomas Mennella for Campus Technology. 


The author begins by arguing for the merits of active learning and the concept of the flipped classroom in particular, adding that “to teach in any other way, to me, seems almost unethical—especially given how much money today's college student spends on his/her education.” 


The author adds, however, that teaching under this new structure can lead to grading as many as four assignments per student, per week, a workload that he believes is not accounted for in traditional teaching workload assignments. 


“I still say I will never teach another way again,” the author concludes. “I'm just not sure for how much longer that can be.”"

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Using laptops in class harms academic performance, another study warns

Using laptops in class harms academic performance, another study warns | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Researchers say undergraduates who use computers in class score half a grade lower than those who write notes
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Resisting Faculty ‘Diversity Statements’ - Are They Threats to Academic Freedom? 

Resisting Faculty ‘Diversity Statements’ - Are They Threats to Academic Freedom?  | critical reasoning | Scoop.it
Summary from Academica Top Ten - Monday, April 3, 2017

Faculty diversity statements called threats to academic freedom by US organization

The “diversity statements” that many US colleges now require of applicants for faculty positions have been deemed “ideological litmus tests” by the Oregon affiliate of the National Association of Scholars. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the required statements are included in faculty hiring and promotion practices, and that they ask candidates for “statements discussing their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.” 

In a recent report, the National Association of Scholars chapter has called the statements “a direct threat to academic freedom and research excellence,” as well as “an ideological cudgel against scholars with alternative views.” 

University of Oregon Spokesperson Tobin Klinger, who was named in the report, has issued a statement that reads: “we understand that free speech and diversity essentially go hand in hand, as we strive to create an environment where all voices are respected and empowered to carry out their academic pursuits.”
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