Monthly Archives: August 2015

A diversity of viewpoints is at the heart of learning

I must confess that I’m coming late to the microaggression debate. It was only after a colleague recently asked if I had heard about the dustup in the University of California system last winter when President Janet Napolitano requested that deans and department chairs attend seminars about what faculty and students should not be saying […] … learn more→

Another school plundered

It’s been obvious for a long time that for-profit schools, many of them, exist simply to loot money from the student loan scam. These schools spring up practically overnight, and make no secret about what they’re about. Thus, they don’t have huge endowment funds to loot, and don’t have to engage in real estate shenanigans […] … learn more→

Far from bust: five ways MOOCs are helping people get on in life

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – free, short courses made available to everybody online – were expected to herald the end of higher education as we knew it when they began. But the hype soon died away and critics bemoaned the fact that learners quickly lost enthusiasm and dropped out in large numbers. After promising […] … learn more→

Democrats and vouchers: A love story

Imagine a world in which the federal government operated a free-market mecca for education, pumping $168 billion a year to schools and families every year through a combination of vouchers and tax credits that gives students and families maximum ability to choose the best place for them to go to school, free from top down […] … learn more→

Blogging your way to a PhD?

Academics don’t often talk about how they write. By how, I mean the nitty-gritty how. Sure, you may set up your laptop in a coffee shop and open up a Word document, but how do you go from blank page to finished thesis? One strategy is to write blog posts. Many academics are wary of […] … learn more→

For Asian-American students, stereotypes help boost achievement

Conventional wisdom is that all stereotypes are negative and damaging. African Americans are stereotyped as violent and threatening. Employers stereotype mothers as less competent and less committed. And undocumented immigrants are stereotyped as incompetent and untrustworthy. Each of these stereotypes has negative consequences for members of these groups. But is there such a thing as […] … learn more→

Don\’t be snobs, Medievalists

We medievalists have had a pretty good run in academe. We were admitted in the final third of the 19th century after we proved that our subject was complex (read: science-like) enough to warrant professionalized study. European nations’ desire for origins, to use the title phrase in Allen J. Frantzen’s influential book, helped expand the […] … learn more→

Climbing walls are higher education?

Climbing walls are higher education?

While most of the big building boom of higher education goes to administrative palaces, another conspicuous construction site is student recreation (classrooms are way down the list, with parking at the bottom; as long as cars have trunks, faculty offices won’t even make the list). Now, I’ve spent my share of time in student recreational […] … learn more→

Five things to think about when choosing a university course

How do you choose the right university, or the right degree? The whole process can seem daunting. What should you focus on? How do you weigh up the different elements involved? So much seems to be at stake. Students and their families often focus overwhelmingly on only some of the crucial aspects of choosing the […] … learn more→

Are non-graduate jobs ‘upgrading’ to give the graduates who do them more autonomy?

In an ideal world, everyone investing in their skills through education and training would enter the labour market and find a job which took full advantage of those skills. Concerns that this has not been the case for successive cohorts of university graduates are long-standing, particularly in the UK following the rapid expansion of the […] … learn more→