Monthly Archives: March 2018

Culture of trust is key for school safety

Culture of trust is key for school safety

When we first visited the school that is the focus of our forthcoming book, “Navigating Conflict: How Youth Handle Trouble in a High-Poverty School,” back in 1995, students were free to move about campus during lunch and other free periods and a culture of trust prevailed. All that changed during the 1999-2000 school year. That’s […] … learn more→

Sins against the comma

Sins against the comma

While fiction writers have a special dispensation to scatter sentence fragments and comma splices throughout their ripping yarns, writers of academic prose are held to higher standards. Examiners of theses and reviewers of journal articles expect to see punctuation in the ‘right’ places; that is, correctly deployed according to the current conventions of formal writing. […] … learn more→

New federal program tackles spiraling costs of college textbooks

New federal program tackles spiraling costs of college textbooks

College students will keep more money in their pockets thanks to a new US$5 million pilot program approved as part of the $1.3 trillion appropriations bill that President Donald J. Trump signed on March 23. The new grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, will support the creation or improved use of open textbooks for use at […] … learn more→

We’re still playing catch up with academia’s longstanding #MeToo sexual harassment problem

We’re still playing catch up with academia’s longstanding #MeToo sexual harassment problem

The #MeToo campaign has focused attention on workplace bullying, sexual harassment and assault. Are such revelations a surprise to an astronomer, like myself, who studies distant galaxies? No. I, along with the science and academic communities, have been directly confronted by these issues in recent years. Bullying, sexual harassment and assault is prevalent at universities and […] … learn more→

Your MC for this paper is…

Your MC for this paper is…

Academic writing often needs an MC. Yes MC, a Mistress/Master of Ceremonies. The MC, or emcee, is an official host. A compere. At a public event, say a festival, their job is to introduce the acts – speakers or singers or DJs or bands. The emcee has to know enough about the performers to say […] … learn more→

Jury ‘is still out’ on online marking

Jury ‘is still out’ on online marking

Peak marking season used to mean piles of essays stacked high on my desk. It was sometimes an intimidating sight, acting as an ever-present reminder of how much work I had yet to do. This year, there will be no such problem. Last September, my employer, Bangor University, decided that all undergraduate dissertations and essays […] … learn more→

“Radical gun” incident highlights education’s failure

“Radical gun” incident highlights education’s failure

I try to focus on higher education, but the interconnectedness of the modern world (more accurately, government involvement in everything) means that I often have to look beyond the ivory tower to gain a better understanding of what’s going on inside the tower. Our public education system is pretty bonkers about guns now. It’s weird […] … learn more→

Achieving then failing in primary school is a sign of future teenage depression

Achieving then failing in primary school is a sign of future teenage depression

Millions of people all over the world are experiencing mental health problems. And though the causes vary, we know that half of all these illnesses will have started in childhood or the teenage years. In the UK, referrals for and reports of teenagers with depression and anxiety and other mental issues have risen significantly in recent decades […] … learn more→

New Mexico to force High School grads to College

New Mexico to force High School grads to College

Practically since birth, our children have been indoctrinated into believing they must go to college after high school. Hey, there really was a time when going to college was both a privilege and a valid path into a better life. But it’s not a privilege any more. Every state has multiple “open admissions” schools eager […] … learn more→