EDPS 360 (A2) Fall 2013

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

First Nations Education: Will Rejection of the Latest Initiative Signal the End for Top-Down Devolution?

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2014 at 8:40 am


The mysterious hand of the Canadian Indian Act is still present in First Nations communities, and is particularly evident in the realm of education. Until the late 1960s, schooling for First Nations children and youth was essentially “assimilationist.” “The primary purpose of formal education,” as stated in the report of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, “was to indoctrinate Aboriginal peoples into a Christian, European world view, thereby ‘civilizing’ them” (Canada 1996, vol. 3, chap. 5, 2). Since the publication of “Indian Control of Indian Education” by the National Indian Brotherhood in 1972, over 40 years ago, policy changes in the form of federal-local education agreements, authorized under SGAs, for the most part have only reinforced the status quo of top-down, albeit partially delegated, federal control over education (Fallon and Paquette 2012, 3).

AtleoandHarperConformity with mainstream society, competition, and preparation for the workforce were…

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Even superprofessors deserve academic freedom.

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2014 at 7:30 am

Ah, the superprofessor. We do have a few if those now, don’t we?


Over on my personal blog, I write a lot about MOOCs. You might say I’m more than a little MOOC-obsessed, but I really am trying to develop other interests. That effort ran aground this week when a Massive Open Online Course at the University of Zurich basically imploded. It’s a confusing story (the Chronicle report on it is here  and the IHE report is here if you want to try to figure it out for yourself), but the best I can tell is that the professor leading that MOOC on “massive learning,” Paul-Olivier Dehaye, deleted its contents while in progress in order to protest the data collection policies of the MOOC provider that sponsored it, Coursera.

Since Dehaye has made no direct statement about his actions, the early reporting (and the Twitter speculation before anything got reported) included a number of other theories. Nevertheless, the definitive explanation for Dehaye’s actions…

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Reclaiming the civic university | Academic Matters

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2014 at 6:14 am

The Turning Spiral

Since the 1950s, universities have also been seen as places of research that can contribute in the long run to society, especially to our economy, culture, public policy, and health. Over the past 15 or so years, support for university research has expanded enormously just as the system was expanding at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Federal research funding grew fourfold; provincial funding tripled.It is hard to imagine how we might give universities a higher priority and standing. Their central place in a knowledge-based society is acknowledged and secure.Are our universities today civic universities? Certainly a civic university must be publicly supported, and our universities have received major increases in public support.But many people would answer that they are not. There is concern, tending toward deep disquiet, and some would argue a crisis. Our universities and the way we think about them have been changing.Universities are thought of more and…

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Girls, School Dress-Codes and Slut-Shaming

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2014 at 7:35 am

Another good one from Laura. Having attended the Pride Parade in Edmonton yesterday, I’m thinking about parallels between one loud and proud movement and another. I think the success of pride movements speaks for itself, although one ought not to be so excessively smug as to assume that regressive counter-movements are impossible in both cases, and that some less happy medium might not yet come into being. Progress is often an obscuring force — it has the power to fool us into believing that it’s opposite is impossible, and, especially, to hide from view the progression of other forms of oppression more enduring and more difficult to tackle.

If you can work what I’m only hinting at, the veil of social progress hasn’t yet covered your eyes. Food for thought.

My So-Called Career

In America, we see Islamic women all covered up and think, “That poor woman, made to be ashamed of her body!” But is it any less oppressive to convince a woman that her uncovered body is never beautiful enough? Is covering enslavement… or freedom? I want to find out.

Tagline from Lauren Jayne’s blog “The Modesty Experiment

I was just a kid the first time someone wolf-whistled at me. And I’m not gonna lie: it was great. The thing is, I’d been picked on in school my whole childhood, and enough kids had called me “ugly” over time that by junior high, I had come to believe it to be true. So at the tender age of thirteen, already with more to fill out a bra than anything like self-esteem, I discovered in the instance of one catcall that I had sexual power. By 15, I was one…

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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

Piketty & Others on Capital in the Twenty-First Century

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2014 at 8:07 am

This video is a useful introduction to  Capital in The Twenty-First Century, a book that has become a global sensation in recent months. If you don’t have time to read the whole book, this is not a bad place to get the gist. Piketty himself provides a summary, others (Stiglitz, Krugman, Durlauf) provide commentary.

As to what this video has to do with education, the topic is not addressed specifically in the video, but there is, I think, an implicit appeal to and/or critique of the notion that education itself combats inequality. This is a extraordinarily complex question, one that is very much worth exploring. Whatever the facts of this matter, the question of how education can be made to combat inequality ought to compel us toward lively debate.

Near the beginning, a couple of data sources are mentioned, the World Top Incomes Database and the Luxembourg Income Study Database.

Capital in the Twenty-First Century – YouTube.

Want Excellent Teachers? Let Them Work Together More

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

This Laura Servage character knows that of which she speaks. I’m envious.

My So-Called Career

A couple of things tweaked me to write this follow-up post on the report from Alberta Education’s Task Force on Teacher Excellence. First was this response to my last blog. The reader commented,

Just a quick question: You say that there a few ( very few) teachers who should be put out to pasture. I agree. But how do we know who that is? What measure should we use? How can the system be changed so those bad apples are weeded out?

Second was yesterday’s episode of The Current on CBC. Alberta blogger and teacher Joe Bower mentioned teacher collaboration as an alternative to “top down” practice assessment, and host Anna Maria Tremonti had no idea what he meant. So I figured she’s probably not the only one who isn’t aware that this possibility for improved teaching exists.

So. Here goes:

Collaborative Professional Development to Promote Teaching Excellence

I was…

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Kenneth Rogoff says that Thomas Piketty is right about rich countries, but wrong about the world. – Project Syndicate

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2014 at 10:16 am

Kenneth Rogoff says that Thomas Piketty is right about rich countries, but wrong about the world. – Project Syndicate.

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