Education

Chelsea Manning: What Was Harvard Thinking?

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Manning isn’t the Kennedy School’s only questionable appointment The Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School announced on Wednesday that it was inviting Chelsea E. Manning–who disseminated almost 750,000 secret American government cables and documents about Iraq to Wikileaks and spent seven years in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Obama–to become a visiting… Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Then, on Friday, it rescinded the invitation. The school’s dean, Douglas W. Elmendorf, issued a broadly worded statement. ... Read More »

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

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Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring – Business Insider Paul Ralph The Conversation  Business Insider  An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring. I agree entirely. However, most universities will ignore this ... Read More »

Universities are broke. So let’s cut the pointless admin and get back to teaching

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The meaningless tasks and faux-business strategies prioritised by British universities have skewed their real role André Spicer The Guardian As students have been celebrating their exam results, pundits from across the political spectrum have been commiserating the state of British universities. Andrew Adonis, an education minister during the Blair years, has excoriated universities for offering costly courses while jacking up the pay of their senior leaders. Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s ex-advisor, thinks UK universities are an unsustainable “Ponzi scheme”. The ... Read More »

The big lesson from the world’s best school system? Trust your teachers

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Finnish education policies are highly praised, but the real success is the level of responsibility and autonomy given to teachers to do their jobs John Hart The Guardian Finnish education is rarely out of the news, whether it’s outstanding Pisa results, those same results slipping, the dropping of traditional subjects, not dropping subjects, or what makes Finnish teachers special. I worked in England for two years as a teacher before moving to Finland eight years ago. My colleagues in the UK were supportive and the headteacher gave ... Read More »

Downplaying sexual assault to attack the Human Rights Commission is a new low

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In denouncing a survey into university sexual assaults, rightwing ideologues aren’t just tormenting survivors – they’re ignoring the nationwide response. Allison Henry Allison Henry is the campaign director for The Hunting Ground Australia Project The Guardian When we started The Hunting Ground Australia Project two years ago we knew the day would come when the rightwing ideologues would come after us. There had been some savage responses to the documentary in the US and we expected that our campaign to ... Read More »

A different jihad: How a convicted man is working to redeem terrorists’ children

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Medan: In the dusty yard of an Islamic boarding school in North Sumatra, a group of excitable boys are telling us why they want to join the police force and the army when they grow up. Jewel Topsfield Amilia Rosa The Sydney Morning Herald “I want to be an army commander because I want to prevent narcotics, stop crime and catch terrorists,” says Andika, a 13-year-old in a long mustard tunic and Muslim skullcap. Under normal circumstances there would be ... Read More »

Why the US doesn’t understand Chinese thought – and must

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The need for the U.S. to understand China is obvious. The Chinese economy is on track to become the largest in the world by 2030, Chinese leadership may be the key to resolving the nuclear crisis with North Korea and China has military and economic ambitions in the South China Sea and… Bryan W. Van Norden The Conversation Meanwhile, the Trump administration has shown (repeatedly) that it’s not even clear on the difference between the People’s Republic of China (the ... Read More »

Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts

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These institutions join around 60 others that hope to put increasing pressure on the publishing giant in ongoing negotiations for a new nationwide licensing… Diana Kwon The Scientist In Germany, the fight for open access and favorable pricing for journals is getting heated. At the end of last month (June 30), four major academic institutions in Berlin announced that they would not renew their subscriptions with the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier once they end this… Then on July 7, nine ... Read More »

Orthodox Jewish girls school faces closure for refusing to teach children about homosexuality

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A private Orthodox Jewish elementary school called the Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney, north London, is facing closure by the British government because it does not include curriculum that teaches children about homosexuality and gender reassignment… Brandon Morse TheBlaze According to Heat Street, a report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted) says that the Vishnitz Girls School does not teach its 212 attending children — aged three through eight — “a full understanding of fundamental British… The ... Read More »

Bosnian Students Unite Against Ethnically Divided Schools

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One down, 57 to go. That’s the scorecard students in the town of Jajce in Bosnia-Herzegovina held after their protests pushed the government to drop plans to force them into an ethnically divided school after a year-long… Alan Crosby RFE/RL Flush with that success, the students have vowed to continue their struggle against segregation in 57 other schools, claiming the system fosters ethnic tensions from an early… “We want quality… Bosnian Students Unite… Read More »

Turkish schools to stop teaching evolution, official says

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Board of education chairman says subject is debatable, controversial and too complicated for students Kareem Shaheen and Gözde Hatunoğlu in Istanbul The Guardian Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish schools, a senior education official has said, in a move likely to raise the ire of the country’s secular opposition. Alpaslan Durmuş, who chairs the board of education, said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for… Turkish schools to… Read More »

Get autistic students out of mainstream classrooms: Pauline Hanson

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Pauline Hanson has called for disabled students to be removed from mainstream classrooms and attacked teachers as “do-gooders” in a bizarre speech lamenting the state of Australia’s education… Luke Henriques Gomes  The New Daily It comes as the Turnbull government appears to have won enough Senate support to pass its controversial Gonski 2.0 schools funding… In offering her support to the government, Senator Hanson expressed concern that teachers were struggling to deal with disabled students in mainstream… Get autistic students… Read More »

UN agency ranks Australia 39 out of 41 countries for quality education

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Australia has been ranked 39 out of 41 high- and middle-income countries in achieving quality education, in the latest international report to find that the country is falling behind in basic measures of… Pallavi Singhal The Age Only Romania and Turkey were ranked below Australia in education in the latest United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report… The report looks at the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, maths and… UN agency ranks… Read More »

These two charts will change how you think about the world’s best universities

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What are the essential ingredients needed to make a world-class university? As the editor of Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for the past seven years, this is a question that I’m asked very often. Phil Baty World Economic Forum The answer always involves a discussion of the importance of institutional autonomy and academic freedom, and a recognition of the crucial fact that without great people, there can be no great university. But one element is undeniably more important than ... Read More »

Universities the biggest winners from China’s top 100 philanthropists

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Beijing: China’s billionaires have been so busy making money that they haven’t had time to spend it – and universities are winning from a resulting boom in… Kirsty Needham Brisbane Times China’s 2017 top 100 philanthropist list shows the trend for the country’s wealthiest property developers, finance and technology tycoons to make big charitable donations is… Almost half (44 per cent) of donations in 2017 were made to universities, up from a third (27 per cent) three years ago, according… Universities the biggest… Read More »

Commencement speaker warns graduates: ‘You are entering a low social esteem, often thankless, profession’

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Commencement speeches are, by and large, moments when a speaker tries to “uplift” graduating students with hopeful expectation for the… Valerie Strauss The Washington Post By his own admission, speaker Elias Vlanton did something a bit different Friday, when he delivered the address to graduates of the Master of Arts in Teaching program at St. Mary’s College of… [The greatest commencement speech ever] Vlanton, who taught social studies in… Commencement speaker warns… Read More »