Monthly Archives: July 2015

College social promotion = failure

So, last year, Florida decided to fix the remediation scam in a childishly simple way: students that didn’t want to take remedial courses no longer had to do so. Students are customers, now, so shouldn’t have to do things they don’t want to do, or so those who rule higher education believe. Now, it’s been […] … learn more→

Bernie Sanders’ weird plan to control College costs

In the midst of rolling out his own plan to improve the affordability of higher education, Democrat presidential candidate Martin O’Malley trashed Bernie Sanders’ free college plan. “If you simply cut a check for tuition, you’re going to see tuitions go up and up and up, and eventually we all foot that bill,” Time Magazine […] … learn more→

How African doctorates and doctoral candidates are changing

People’s attitudes towards and expectations of doctoral candidates have changed several times in Africa. During the 1960s and 1970s, as many colonial powers left the continent, doctoral graduates were valued as sophisticated scholars. They were hailed as indigenous shapers of their countries\’ democratic break from colonial practices. Their education was seen as being about equity, […] … learn more→

The kids are all right! Part III

Last September I posted a piece entitled “The Kids Are All Right!” in which I praised high school students in Jefferson County, Colorado, who staged mass walkouts to protest a plan by their right-wing school board to establish a curriculum-review committee to not only respond to an allegedly “leftist” AP framework but to promote patriotism, […] … learn more→

How to survive your PhD – a free course

A year and a half ago, ANU gave me a chance to make a MOOC. For those of you in the know, a MOOC stands for ‘massive open online course’. ANU has partnered with EdX, a MOOC delivery platform, so that thousands of people have the chance to participate in ANU courses from around the […] … learn more→

Fit for a new century

What’s your fitness age? That’s a 21st-century question you can ask, thanks to the invention of the phrase fitness age. But what does this new term mean? Here’s an answer provided by the lexicographer David Barnhart, editor of The Barnhart Dictionary Companion, a quarterly devoted to new words. He defines fitness age as “a measure in years of […] … learn more→

Bankruptcy rates around the world

Just three years ago, the United States had the leading number of bankruptcies among countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — and that was many years after the tightening of bankruptcy regulations. According to this bankruptcy report, the states with the most bankruptcy filings were Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, […] … learn more→

Educated and homeless: From Ivy League to life on the streets

Homelessness is defined as a condition in which a person or family lacks a permanent nighttime residence and must instead rely on temporary housing arrangements, or places not regularly intended for human accommodations, like a car, park, or train station. When homelessness is coupled with disability and becomes long-term, it is known as chronic homelessness. […] … learn more→

Want more innovation? Try connecting the dots between engineering and humanities

Today’s college students may benefit from an exciting array of subjects to study. But they seem to miss the most important education of all: how to relate their specialization to others in an increasingly interconnected world. The National Academy of Engineering has categorically stated that today’s engineers need to be more than individuals who simply […] … learn more→

This ‘extra credit’ question does no credit to fairness

A recent exam question by a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, who presented his students with the opportunity to raise their grades if the class acted altruistically, has gone viral, revealing — although no one seemed to see it — the delicate balance between incorporating life lessons into exams and the legitimate […] … learn more→