Blog Archives

What can academics do about the refugee crisis?

What can academics do about the refugee crisis?

About 60 million people are currently displaced around the world as a result of conflicts and human rights violations. This displacement is being referred to as the largest refugee crisis since World War II. In the first four months of 2016, over 180,000 people have arrived in Europe. We are facing one of those ‘wicked […] … learn more→

Simply punishing students for bullying will not address the problem

Simply punishing students for bullying will not address the problem

The spring legislative season is well underway, and, as has been the case for the last several years, a number of states are again considering and passing amendments to their anti-bullying laws. This year, Florida and Kentucky, for example, saw amendments to their anti-bullying laws introduced in their general assemblies. Florida’s bill, which has been […] … learn more→

The science of hugs and why they (mostly) feel so good

The science of hugs and why they (mostly) feel so good

“Hugging it out” is often touted as a good way to solve a problem. Now a group of Europeans have decided that that’s all Britons need to convince them to stay in the EU. Their #hugabrit campaign, in which people send in pictures of themselves hugging a Briton, aims to launch “a lovebomb” across the […] … learn more→

Have humans always gone to war?

Have humans always gone to war?

The question of whether warfare is encoded in our genes, or appeared as a result of civilisation, has long fascinated anyone trying to get to grips with human society. Might a willingness to fight neighbouring groups have provided our ancestors with an evolutionary advantage? With conflicts raging across the globe, these questions have implications for […] … learn more→

Tanzania can’t stop child labour without fixing its school system

Tanzania can’t stop child labour without fixing its school system

Children are particularly vulnerable to being forced into labour, trafficked from rural areas to cities and then trafficked again within cities. They can’t communicate assertively and are physically powerless next to most adults. In Tanzania, just more than a quarter of children aged between five and 14 – approximately three million children – are working […] … learn more→

Raising the bar: Empowering students to change the world

Raising the bar: Empowering students to change the world

Yesterday, Ferentz Lafargue wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, arguing that student objection to bringing speakers with offensive views to campus is a sign of strength. In the piece, Lafargue makes several points with which I concur: “Students whose families are facing financial distress often feel guilty about engaging in any pursuit that is […] … learn more→

How do children learn empathy?

How do children learn empathy?

Empathy, the ability to understand others and feel compassion for them, is arguably the most defining human quality – setting us apart from smart machines and even other animals. Without it, we couldn’t function in social areas such as the schools, court rooms and office workplaces that are the cornerstones of our society. But babies […] … learn more→

How schooling can save African girls from becoming child brides

How schooling can save African girls from becoming child brides

Millions of African girls are becoming wives every year. In Niger, about 75% of girls will become child brides before they turn 18. In Chad and the Central African Republic the figure is 68%. Some countries, like Ethiopia, are recording some important victories in the fight to protect girls from becoming child brides. But the […] … learn more→

How do children decide what’s fair?

How do children decide what’s fair?

Should a teacher reward a whole class for the good deeds of one student? What about the other side of the discipline picture: should a whole class be punished for the misdeeds of just a few students? As adults, we care a lot about whether people receive their fair share of benefits, and whether those […] … learn more→

The real story of Saint Patrick

The real story of Saint Patrick

Everyone knows about Saint Patrick – the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, defeated fierce druids in contests of magic, and used the shamrock to explain the Christian Trinity to the pagan Irish. It’s a great story, but none of it is true. The shamrock legend came along centuries after Patrick’s death, as […] … learn more→