EDPS 360 (A2) Fall 2013

Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Catholic trustees vote to close three schools

In Current Events on May 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

This article raises a number of questions, among them matters of austerity, planning, parental involvement/power, etc. Few of these, unfortunately, are explicitly raised in the article. Note that while there is a bit of jockeying for position around where, which, and how, no voice questions whether or not closures and consolidation are necessary. That hasn’t always been the case in the Edmonton recently, as the debate over what neighbourhoods would be either blessed or destroyed by the closure and replacement of schools has caused more than a bit of a stir.

Catholic trustees vote to close three schools.


“Rural” China School Courtyard

In Commentary on May 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

From A Vocation of the Heart, my blog that focuses on Chinese education and society.

“Rural” China School Courtyard.

via “Rural” China School Courtyard.

Margaret Archer interviewed in Times Higher Education

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2014 at 12:14 pm

philosophy bites: Norman Daniels on the Philosophy of Healthcare

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

A good podcast and a good demonstration of how intellectuals can engage with everyday political issues.

philosophy bites: Norman Daniels on the Philosophy of Healthcare.

Teach for whom, TFA?

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2014 at 7:00 am

Lean and Mean: How obsessive cost-cutting destroyed job security | Discover Society

In Commentary on May 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

Lean and Mean: How obsessive cost-cutting destroyed job security | Discover Society.

The object of power is power: a report from today’s Kansas Board of Regents meeting

In Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Choice, Current Events on May 20, 2014 at 7:00 am

What do Saskatchewan and Kansas have in common? Plenty, I’m sure, but one of the more unexpected is that each place has become a flashpoint in the battle over academic freedom. If you missed it, a University of Saskatchewan professor was recently fired and his tenure revoked (or was it?) for speaking out against administrative decisions to which he was party. The professor is now back but the university’s decision has done nothing to staunch the PR bleeding. Indeed, if you read through the linked post below you’ll find that the U of S has received precisely the kind of brand attention it desires least.

Have a read.

 The object of power is power: a report from today’s Kansas Board of Regents meeting.

Jay Cowsill: There’s a New Sheriff in Town: Cracking the Whip at the University of Saskatchewan

In Commentary on May 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Jay Cowsill: There’s a New Sheriff in Town: Cracking the Whip at the University of Saskatchewan.

“We Are All Crap Artists Now”

In Choice, Commentary on May 18, 2014 at 7:16 am

I’m not sure what brought on this post, but I like it; clearly Aaron reached a point of frustration and/or clarity this week. Whatever the cause, in terms of the links between education and society, his musings demonstrate the power of educational processes better described as diffuse* relative to those of formal education (or schooling). In a less pessimistic moment, Aaron might illustrate more positive outcomes of social learning than those that focus this post.

Folk wisdom and common sense are often good things indeed, although the mistake is made when these are elevated to the level of supreme principle of all knowledge. Mistake becomes crime, however, when those who know better deploy populist tactics in which folk prejudice and common nonsense are allowed free reign, at present very much evident in the Canadian debate over the temporary foreign worker program (TFW). If you have a moment, have a close look at a recently created Facebook page, Canadians Against the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, a strange amalgam of diverse political orientations as ever there was. Garden variety xenophobia rests uncomfortably (for me, at least) alongside genuine expressions of support for those abused by employers. Such events lead the reflective Isidore’s of Aaron’s post scratching their heads or blogging in frustration at the ignorance, malice, and/or social conditions that conspire to lead us to such manifestly unjust territory.

* in Bourdieu and Passeron’s Reproduction.


The last line of Philip K. Dick’s underappreciated novel Confessions of a Crap Artist is probably one the best warnings to all of us who think we know something:

And on the basis of past choices, it seems pretty evident that my judgment is not of the best.

The reports, this past week, that the melt of Antarctica’s ice sheet is irreversible and that it will lead to significant rise in sea levels make it clear—once more—that, collectively, our judgment is not of the best. Individually, I don’t think we are much different.

Individually, in face of all evidence to the contrary, we each flatter ourselves that we, personally, are not crap artists. I know I do—and I am sure you do, as well. But we are.

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Jaime Beck -Why More Frequent Does Not Mean More Meaningful When It Comes to Teacher Evaluation

In Commentary on May 16, 2014 at 7:00 am

Some thoughts from the thoughtful and excellent Jamie Beck (Department of Elementary Education, University of Alberta) on the recently released and controversial report from Alberta’s Task Force for Teaching Excellence. The report has been both praised and condemned by the Alberta Teacher’s Association, and has drawn all kinds of commentary, such as that of my co-Educational Policy Studier Laura Servage (reposted recently here and here). Jaimie’s perspective is interesting as it offers a defence of both constructivism and direct instruction, the former for its pedagogical soundness, the latter through a connection to teacher autonomy and, perhaps, the importance of internal variegation to the health of  any system. I might be reading this last point into Jaime’s post. If she sees me in the cafeteria, I hope she will confirm or correct me.


Why More Frequent Does Not Mean More Meaningful When It Comes to Teacher Evaluations – somanyjaimes.

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