This book tells a painful story.
For over a century, generations of Aboriginal children were separated from their parents and raised in over- crowded, underfunded, and often unhealthy residential schools across Canada. They were commonly denied the right to speak their language and told their cultural beliefs were sinful. Some students did not see their parents for years. Others—the victims of scandalously high death rates—never made it back home. Even by the standards of the day, discipline often was excessive.
Lack of supervi- sion left students prey to sexual predators. To put it sim- ply: the needs of tens of thousands of Aboriginal children were neglected routinely. Far too many children were abused far too often.
I don’t want to feel out of place (pauses, searching for the “right” words). I don’t want to have my difference hinder me. But, help me if anything. So, I want to express myself so they can understand me—so, that I can communicate.
But, in Jamaica, when I was a little kid, you always heard crazy little things when you’re a kid (laughs). And, you’re like: “Oh, they act like this, and they do this. They’re so silly: They spell color without the u.” And they didn’t necessarily seem to make it a bad thing to be that way, but it was understood that we were different.
And, I liked being different. I liked being Jamaican.
Context: The past decade has witnessed a sustained emphasis on information and communication technologies (ICT) in education, coupled with the rise of online social media and increasing pervasiveness of personal media devices.
Research Question: Our research question asked: How has this changing context affected the educational experiences of American high school students?
Setting: The exploratory, qualitative study took place at two high schools in a large metropolitan district in the southeastern United States. One high school was in a downtown area, and the other was in a suburban setting.
Research Design: The researchers used various qualitative research approaches, including interviews, on-site observations, and document analysis. Our interview participants included classroom teachers and support staff as well as students drawn from across each school’s grade levels. We also shadowed 10 of the student interview participants through their entire school days.
Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs, and Sarah Prevette, founder and CEO of Future Design School, are directors of Communitech
Ira Needles had an appointment that he wasn’t going to miss 60 years ago. Something was on his mind, something grand and disruptive. His test audience was a meeting of the Kitchener-Waterloo Rotary Club on August 27, 1956.
Needles, the president of B.F. Goodrich Canada Ltd., issued a challenge to Canadian universities and industries: if Canada was to meet its ambitions to the end of the century, it needed to find another 150,000 engineers and technicians.
He spelled out the solution – the tight integration of classroom learning with on-the-job experience – in the Waterloo Plan, which became the blueprint for co-operative education at the founding of the University of Waterloo in 1957.
Trusting people is not easy for any of us, but it may be particularly difficult for administrators.
It entails a degree of letting go that may feel uncomfortable for people used to being in charge. It also requires a fair
amount of courage, since you never really know what other people are going to do — and in this case, what they do
might very well reflect negatively on you.
A report published last year in the Journal of Applied Psychology confirms what many might say is obvious: "Incivility, … defined as insensitive behavior that displays a lack of regard for others, is rampant and on the rise." This will not be news for academics. Consider the regular calls for an end to faculty incivility — the rudeness, abusive language, bullying, and general meanness that seem to characterize many of our interactions.
We aren’t the only profession with jerks, certainly. But the academy does seem to offer a refuge for the obnoxious. Tenure, seniority, academic freedom, and a penchant for large, unruly meetings and lengthy online arguments provide fertile ground for those who blow the hardest.
A couple of weeks after the end of my first semester of teaching as the instructor of record, I received "the packet" in my campus mailbox — an interoffice envelope stuffed with course evaluations from my students. Those evaluations mattered a lot to me at the time, as I was still figuring out this whole teaching thing. Was I doing a good job? Did my students like the class?
And, more selfishly, did they like me?
Well, in this particular batch, one student certainly did not like either the course or me. In the comments section, the student flatly declared: "He was a real ashole."
The spelling in that quote is sic. In that moment — as I wrestled with both the shame of being
deemed an "ashole" and the urge to laugh at the absurdity of that being the sum total of this
student’s assessment — I had my first experience with a question that faculty members
As longtime practitioners in our disciplines, we develop implicit skills that can be the source of some of the deepest learning for our students. In his book Experience and Education, John Dewey describes habit as “the formation of attitudes, attitudes that are emotional and intellectual…our basic sensitivities and ways of responding to all the conditions we meet in living” (35). Experiencing implies the sensing body, embodied learning, and Dewey does not shy away from the emotional dimensions of learning—both of which are often where the deepest learning happens, where students’ passion for a discipline ignites, and where experts’ best ideas originate. These often-overlooked dimensions of learning are also where empathy lives, and so it is there that knowledge might blossom not only into expertise but into wisdom
The United States is at a crossroads in its policies towards the family and gender equality. Currently America provides basic support for children, fathers, and mothers in the form of unpaid parental leave, child-related tax breaks, and limited public childcare. Alternatively, the United States’ OECD peers empower families through paid parental leave and comprehensive investments in infants and children.
One of the core principles of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is that all willing and qualified students should be able to attend post-secondary regardless of their ability to pay. However, students in Ontario face the highest tuition fees in the country and the cost and perceived costs of post-secondary education are consistently identified as barriers to post-secondary education. These barriers are contributing factors to the persistently high attainment gaps for various vulnerable groups in pursuing an undergraduate degree.
If there’s a perfect grading system, it has yet to be discovered. This post is about point systems—not because they’re the best or the worst but because they’re widely used. It is precisely because they are so prevalent that we need to think about how they affect learning.
In fall 2016, overall postsecondary enrollments decreased 1.4 percent from the previous fall. Figure 1 shows the 12-month
percentage change (fall-to-fall and spring-to-spring) for each term over the last three years. Enrollments decreased among four-year for-profit institutions (-14.5 percent), two-year public institutions (-2.6 percent), and four-year private nonprofit institutions
(-0.6 percent). Enrollments increased slightly among four-year public institutions (+0.2 percent). Taken as a whole, public
sector enrollment (2-year and 4-year combined) declined by 1.0 percent this fall.
Current Term Enrollment Estimates, published every December and May by the National Student Clearinghouse Research
Center, include national enrollment estimates by institutional sector, state, enrollment intensity, age group, and gender.
Enrollment estimates are adjusted for Clearinghouse data coverage rates by institutional sector, state, and year. As of fall
2016, postsecondary institutions actively submitting enrollment data to the Clearinghouse account for over 96 percent of
enrollments at U.S. Title IV, degree-granting institutions. Most institutions submit enrollment data to the Clearinghouse several
times per term, resulting in highly current data. Moreover, since the Clearinghouse collects data at the student level, it is
possible to report an unduplicated headcount, which avoids double-counting students who are simultaneously enrolled at
Have your students ever told you that your tests are too hard? Tricky? Unfair? Many of us have heard these or similar comments. The conundrum is that, in some circumstances, those students may be right.
Assessing student learning is a big responsibility. The reason we report scores and assign grades is to communicate information about the extent of student learning. We use these indicators to judge whether students are prepared for more difficult work or ready to matriculate into majors or sit for certification exams. Ideally, scores and grades reflect a student’s learning of a particular body of content, content we intended them to learn. Assessments (e.g., tests, quizzes, projects, and presentations) that are haphazardly constructed, even if unintentionally, can result in scores and grades that misrepresent the true extent of students’ knowledge and leave students confused about what they should have been learning. Fortunately, in three easy steps, test
blueprinting can better ensure that we are testing what we’re teaching.
I have the mixed fortune of living in a city that, as of this writing, had the highest total snowfall in the United States this year (woohoo Worcester, Massachusetts!). As a skier, I welcome snow; as a homeowner, I have been both lamenting the massive drifts blocking the streets and driveways of our city and cringing at the thought of the water that will inundate our basements in the coming thaw.
Awareness contexts are useful concepts in symbolic interactionist research, which focusses on how everyday realities are constructed. To provide a fresh perspective on governance in Canada’s colleges, I sorted vignettes in interview data collected from administrators and faculty into four types of contexts originally derived from observation of interaction between physicians and patients around bad news. These theoretical categories were introduced by Glaser and Strauss in their 1965 book Awareness of Dying. Applying this lens revealed a “closed awareness” context around college fund-raising and a “mutual suspicion” context in administrator-faculty interaction around student success policy. Examples of “mutual pretense” included feigned administrator-faculty cooperation around changing college missions and faculty workload formulas. “Open awareness” or dialogue, however, occurred where professional bodies or unions intervened. Sorting by awareness contexts reveals similarities between doctor-patient and administrator-faculty interactions. For example, just as doctors feared that delivering bad news to patients might precipitate “mayhem” in the hospital, college administrators may fear that openness around divisive topics might precipitate “mayhem” in college management.
Too many students are dropping out of doctoral programs or taking too long to finish, prompting some universities to question what they can do to help them along.
After completing five years of study towards his PhD in English at Queen’s University, Ian Johnston dropped out. To those who have similarly slogged through a doctoral program without success, his reasons will sound all too familiar: his funding had run out; he hadn’t yet begun to write his dissertation; the isolation had become oppressive; and the prospects for landing a tenure-track faculty job in English studies – were he to forge ahead and finish – were dim.
This study aimed to better understand campus mental health culture and student mental health coping strategies, and to identify the mental health needs of students as well as gaps in mental health services within postsecondary education. A videovoice method was used to identify and document health-related issues and advocate for change. Forty-one interviews were conducted with campus stakeholders at five universities. Five themes involving mental health emerged from the campus interviews: the stigma of mental illness; campus culture related to mental health; mental health services available and barriers to mental health services on campus; accommodations for students’ mental health needs; and student mental health coping strategies. A documentary was developed to advocate for better mental health. We conclude that although Canadian campuses are raising awareness about mental health issues, there is not enough mental health infrastructure support on campuses; in particular, accessibility to campus mental health resources needs improvement.
Cette étude vise à mieux comprendre la culture de la santé mentale au sein de différents campus ainsi que les stratégies d’adaptation adoptées par les étudiants, puis à relever les besoins des étudiants et les lacunes quant à l’offre de services en santé mentale des institutions postsecondaires. Nous avons eu recours à la méthode « videovoice » dans le but d’identifier et de documenter les problèmes de santé mentale, puis de plaider en faveur d’un changement. Quarante-etune entrevues ont été réalisées auprès d’intervenants sur les campus de cinq
différentes universités. De ces entrevues, cinq thèmes liés à la santé mentale ont émergé, soit la stigmatisation liée à la santé mentale, la culture des campus, la disponibilité des services en santé mentale et les obstacles de l’offre de tels services, les accommodements offerts par les campus, et les stratégies d’adaptation des étudiants. Nous avons élaboré un documentaire qui plaide en faveur de la santé mentale. Nous concluons que, bien que les campus canadiens sensibilisent leurs étudiants à ce sujet, il y a absence de soutien en termes d’infrastructure pour la
santé mentale sur les campus. En effet, l’accès des ressources en santé mentale doit particulièrement être amélioré sur les campus.
Presidential terminations and resignations are nothing new, even in the staid world of academia. Yet, rarely have they played out in so public a manner as the abrupt departure of president Arvind Gupta at the University of British Columbia in the summer of 2015 or the messy dismissal of Ilene Busch-Vishniac as president of the University of Saskatchewan a year earlier. Quebec had its own drama in May 2015, with the resignation of Nadia Ghazzali, rector at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, following a critical report by Quebec’s auditor general. All three leaders left before completing their first mandates.
Amidst the turmoil, Peter Stoicheff was named the 11th president of U of S, a position he took up in late October 2015. A former English professor and a classical guitar composer with two recordings to his name, Dr. Stoicheff had served as dean of the college of arts and science at U of S for four years and knew the internal workings of the institution and its culture well. But there was a lot he didn’t know, he readily admits, and that weighed on him.
Transnational education is now commonplace. But what is a transnational curriculum and what are its outcomes? Is
it an agenda for a universal consensus above and beyond national politics and the dissonances of race, gender and
ethnicity? Or is it something more uneasy, complex, unruly and creative?
Last month provided an opportunity to test answers to some of these questions. Each January, the Centre for Higher
Education Development at the University of Cape Town hosts an intense 10-day residential as part of the Mellon
Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, or MMUF.
This pilot study examines alternative entrance pathways into York University undergraduate degree programs for students who apply from outside the formal education system. These alternative pathways are designed to facilitate university access for students from under-represented populations (for example, low-income, first-generation, Aboriginal, racialized minorities, differently abled, newcomers to Canada, sole-support caregivers, students with incomplete high school education, or some combination of the preceding).