Who are you when you teach? When asked this question, most of us immediately respond by describing our teaching approaches. We might say “I’m more of a facilitator now.” Or we might respond with something like “I am a learner-centered teacher” or “I’m more of a lab teacher than lecturer.” But consider this question in another way: What “teaching presence” or persona underlies what you do as a teacher?
The comparative performance of education systems is attracting more attention than ever before. In Canada, questions have been raised about whether we are keeping pace with the world’s leading education systems, and whether our performance has been eroding over time. There are also concerns about whether too many students from less advantaged backgrounds are being left behind. This report reviews the latest international evidence regarding achievement and equity in education. It shows that, in terms of achievement, Canada consistently places among an elite group of high performing countries and economies.
Moreover, Canada continues to be a leader in terms of equity: public schools in Canada are among the best in the world at helping to level the playing field between rich and poor children, and Canada is one of only a very few high-immigration countries that show no significant achievement gap between immigrants and non-immigrants. In fact, Canada distinguishes itself by its ability to combine high levels of achievement and high degrees of equity in education.
At the same time, Canada is not without its challenges. There has been a modest decline in Canada’s performance over time, and Canada’s relative advantage is diminishing as a number of other rapidly modernizing countries are catching up. And while the education attainment of Aboriginal peoples in Canada is increasing, the achievement gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples at the higher end of the education attainment spectrum is still getting wider. No matter how well Canada may have performed to date in any given international study, there is will always be a need to strive for improvement.
Questions are a common way for teachers to check for understanding, right? The answer we’re looking for is "yes." Who hasn't questioned a group of students to determine whether or not they understood the content? Unfortunately, not all questions are created equally. We propose four over-arching questions that can be used to scaffold students' thinking about complex texts. You can tailor these questions to any book that your students are reading:
What does the text say?
How does the text work?
What does the text mean?
What does the text inspire you to do?
I remember the first time I tackled the controversial subject of students as customers. It was in an in-house newsletter, well before the advent of the Internet and e-mail. Even so, I had numerous phone calls, memos, encounters on campus, and discussions about it in every activity the teaching center sponsored for the next year. I hadn’t even taken a side; I had simply listed arguments for both sides. But, as far as the faculty were concerned then and pretty much since, there aren’t two sides. Students are not customers. Tuition dollars do not buy grades. Education does not come with a money-back guarantee. And students don’t get to choose what they learn—well, they do, but if they don’t choose to learn what we require, the consequences are costly.
Many colleges speak of the importance of increasing student retention. Indeed, quite a few invest substantial resources in programs designed to achieve that end. Some institutions even hire consultants who promise a proven formula for successful retention. But for all that effort, most institutions do not take student retention seriously. They treat student retention, like so many other issues, as one more item to add to the list of issues to be addressed by the institution. They adopt what Parker calls the "add a course" strategy in addressing the issues that face them. Need to address the issue of diversity? Add a course in diversity studies. Need to address the issue of student retention, in particular that of new students?Add a freshman seminar or perhaps a freshmen mentoring program. The result is that student experiences are increasingly segmented into smaller and smaller pieces; their relationships with faculty, staff, and each other becoming more narrow and specialized; their learning further partitioned into smaller disconnected segments.
There is currently no shortage of debate about post-secondary education policy in Canada. This reflects widespread agreement regarding the importance of skills, knowledge and innovation in a modern economy and society. As the
respective heads of two of the country’s leading academic and business organizations have put it: “Ensuring our country’s long-term economic growth and continued prosperity—and realizing this country’s promise—will depend heavily on the education and skill levels of Canadians and their success in creating and applying ideas and knowledge” (Beatty and Morris,2008)
Over the past decade or so, we have witnessed the rise of transnational higher education and a call to internationalise higher education in Asia. In an increasingly borderless world, some Asian countries have begun the quest to become regional educational hubs by establishing university cities and inviting overseas universities to implement offshore programmes or set up offshore campuses.
There is untapped human potential in Canada; this talent is vital for the Government’s innovation ambitions. The next federal budget must seek new and innovative ways to maximize the growth potential of workers and employers.
Polytechnics Canada presents a suite of ten measures that respond to the Finance Committee’s call for ideas to improve outcomes for individual Canadians, businesses and communities. Six of our recommendations focus on people and talent, so necessary for real innovation gain. Four of our recommendations focus on accelerating business innovation through improved collaboration with polytechnics and colleges. A polytechnic education builds a resilient and resourceful workforce. Canada needs more of this kind of applied education. Budget 2017 can help scale-up support to make optimal use of polytechnics and colleges for Canada’s talent and innovation needs.
Ceasing need-blind admissions is a politically tenuous move for colleges and universities -- need-blind policies,
associated with meritocracy and equal opportunity, cut to the heart of institutional values that many students, staff and faculty hold dear.
But sometimes those values have run up against cold, hard finances. Admitting students without considering their need for financial aid can make it difficult to control budgets from year to year. That’s particularly true when the policy is paired with promises to meet the full demonstrated financial need of applicants. And it is that combination of policies that truly makes it possible to tell a student without money that he or she is on equal footing with a trust-fund teen during admissions decisions.
At most colleges and universities, summer offers a blessed break from the regular meetings of the academic year. It’s a relief to have a few months’ free from having to jockey for air time, listen to long-winded people opine on matters they know little about, navigate petty factional skirmishes, or shore up colleagues whose ideas are routinely shot down.
Now that it’s September, the prospect of returning to meeting-heavy days may seem enervating. But what if we made 2019-20 the year in which we change the traditional dynamics of our meetings? Could we find ways to make them more productive, less
contentious, and more open to voices that usually get muffled or silenced?
Whenever I teach “Introduction to University Life” to freshmen, I ask them at the end of the term to think about what advice they would give their rookie selves, now that they have weathered their first semester in college. It’s a revealing exercise and I share the results with the next class to demonstrate that everyone struggles with this transition. The same goes for a very different transition — from faculty member to administrator.
With a new academic year fast approaching, I’d like to provide a similar reflection based on my experiences both as a department chair and a dean (though I’m a few years past my first year in administration!). This advice is both for those finishing their first year in an administrative position and for those preparing to make the transition.
An Leadership PowerPoint Presentation
I have been doing some reading and thinking about hard courses. Courses need to be challenging, but when they become too hard, students stop trying and little learning results. So how do we find that sweet spot between hard and not too hard? More importantly, how do we create that sweet spot in our own courses through the decisions we make about content, assignments, and exams?
I have written this Guidebook to assist users interested in creating a campus that will be more global in its mission, programs, and people. My approach is to focus on the views and contributions of the people who are engaged in higher education. Thus it has a “person” emphasis rather than a structural or policy point of view. I do this since I think that the goals, aspirations, and achievements of those working and studying on campus is the critical factor in creating a campus with a global perspective. (Campus is to be broadly defined to include both “in-place” multiple sites and virtual.)
n 2014, StudentsNS welcomed its first non-university member: the Student Association of the Nova Scotia Community College Kingstec Campus in Kentville. This report explores fees, funding and accountability structures at the College, as well as student financial assistance to college students. We seek to identify opportunities to improve or expand access, affordability, student voice and quality of education, with an emphasis on the first three values in particular. We find that the Nova Scotia Community College has prioritized access and affordability and delivered important outcomes, attracting more students from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education, and notably mature learners. The College also has relatively low cost programs because of their shorter length and lower fees. However, College students’ debt levels remain higher than the national average, are leading to elevated default rates and have been neglected by the Province as compared with university students’ debt. In terms of student voice and accountability, the College and the Province need to work harder to ensure transparency to the public and meaningful student participation in decision-making. We identify a number of modest policy changes that the College and the Province could pursue to address these challenges and help the College better serve Nova Scotians and deliver on its mandate.
Putting Students In Charge of Their Learning
Through inquiry, Wildwood works to ignite passion, inspire relevance, and develop ownership in their students. Using student inquiries and questions as guidance, teachers develop lessons that engage and excite, teaching their students to be active thinkers rather than passive learners.
From pro-rape chants at St. Mary's University in Halifax to misogynistic Facebook posts by some dentistry students at Dalhousie University, sexual assault has become a contentious topic on Canadian campuses.
Over the course of six months, CBC News contacted 87 university and major colleges across Canada to request the number of sexual assaults reported on each campus to the institution between 2009 and 2013.
Here's that data, searchable by school.
The Shrinking Ph.D. Job Market
As number of new Ph.D.s rises, the percentage of people earning a doctorate without a job waiting for them is up.
While all disciplines face the problem, some have particularly high debt levels.
Dark economic times have come to the province. The Premier, under pressure from business groups, appoints a prominent citizen to review the government‟s finances. His report proposes dramatic cuts to most social programs and the public sector, including education. There is no broad -based public consultation involving public servants, teachers, doctors or university faculty.
Graduate studies at OISE occur within Division II of the University’s School of Graduate Studies (SGS). Thus, graduate degrees are granted by the University of Toronto and their requirements derive from University of Toronto policy. As indicated in the OISE Bulletin:
A major requirement for the M.A., M.Ed. (Option III), Ph.D., or Ed.D. degree is the development and presentation of a thesis embodying the results of original investigation, conducted by the student, on an approved topic in her/his major subject. The thesis will constitute a contribution to the knowledge of the field and should be appropriate in scope and significance to the degree which the student is seeking.