Monthly Archives: December 2014

‘Quackademics’ under fire as critical voices targeted

The is a republish of this article With independent journalism increasingly under threat, will academics be the next set of critical voices to be targeted? A report calling for research and evidence to have a reduced role in public policy, issued yesterday by a right-wing think-tank, suggests this process is already under way. These criticisms […] … learn more→

Symbolic gestures, magical thinking: New Year’s resolutions

“I will definitely give up smoking – that’s my New Year’s resolution,” she stated emphatically as she thumped her fist on the table to underline her determination. “All very well”, I thought, as I sat opposite her in my medical consulting room in October. What is it about New Year’s resolutions that we find so […] … learn more→

Preventing your kids\’ summer reading slide

As the warmer weather settles in we know that it isn’t long before children are free of the restraints of school for another year. The regular reading that is a part of many children’s school day suddenly comes to an end as there are far more interesting things to do on vacation than read a […] … learn more→

For-profit College degrees are worthless

I’ve often said for-profit colleges generally offer worthless degrees at an extreme price, but I hate simply expecting the reader to trust my word on such things. A recent article, mainstream news even, gave some nice examples of the over-the-top uselessness of these degrees. Students across the country are shelling out tens of thousands of […] … learn more→

Real teaching? It starts with the students

This is a republish of this article This morning, a team of my students presented on the value of comedy in society. It was a fine presentation: They even cited a number of studies concluding that laughter is good for one’s health–but included the caveat that the studies were way too small to be considered […] … learn more→

Student (sic) athlete says UNC is bogus

This is a repeat publication of this article A few essays back I mentioned the bogus courses scandal at UNC. Compared to much of the fraud going on in higher education, the claim that there are utterly bogus courses going on even in “good” schools like UNC hardly rates. But, a whistleblower insists it’s a […] … learn more→

Student (sic) athlete says UNC is bogus, part 2

This is a repeat publication of this article So I’m still looking at the fraud at UNC, and considering the case of Rashad McCants, a former star player there who says he took bogus courses there. Well, of course he did. In the fall of 2004, Rashad McCants failed half his classes at the University […] … learn more→

The erosion of Faculty rights

This is a repeat publication of this article In the rush to online education, faculty members have been signing contracts that abrogate the ownership of their classes, erode their collective interests, and threaten the quality of higher education. No standard (let alone best) practice has yet emerged, and faculty members are largely in the dark […] … learn more→

“If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”

This is a republish of this article Money, the goal of all goals, today is ruining both education and government. When money becomes, as it has, our only measure of value, structures protecting anything else melt before it. As the “business model” is most keenly attuned to profit, it has become the one model for […] … learn more→

Who’s your daddy? Myths of merit and elite education scholarships

This is a republish of this article Please answer all questions. 1. Who’s your daddy? _______ Thank you for your application. We will take a cursory glance at your folio and inform you of our decision. This is from a fake application form for admission to the Whitehouse Institute of Design circulating on Facebook. The […] … learn more→