Archive | Education

My disabilities do not define me. I am Jim

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

I am an educator of educators. I teach others how to be the best teachers. But, I’m also different.

I have learning challenges.

I found my way and my life’s calling thanks to dedicated educators.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I am reminded of my personal journey.

My disabilities could have defined me. But they did not. I do not consider myself dyslexic or learning-disabled.

I am Jim. And here’s the story of how I overcame my challenges and the educators who helped me along the way.

My disability

Born in 1970, I suffered a head injury as a young boy while roughhousing with friends. Perhaps that led to my learning problems. Perhaps it didn’t. Doctors aren’t really sure.

What I do know for sure is that in kindergarten, I could not spell my name – James.… Read the rest

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A teacher uses Star Trek for difficult conversations on race and gender

Can Captain Kirk’s struggle for belonging and identity become a tool for teaching? James Vaughan, CC BY-NC-SA

Can Captain Kirk’s struggle for belonging and identity become a tool for teaching? James Vaughan, CC BY-NC-SA

The television series Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969) debuted one year after my immediate family and I relocated from the Harlem district of New York City to an area of South Central Los Angeles in 1965.

This was also the year in which that latter metropolis erupted into riots that became known collectively as the Watts Rebellion. The television series became a form of escape from the surroundings of a depressing urban reality and envisioning a more tolerant future.

As it turned out, however, TV was not to be the key to that future. Rather, that entrée would be provided by many subsequent years of formal education that would spark in me an intellectual curiosity about the inner workings of the trek of life – engaging the tangibles of this world as well as the intangibles I imagined to exist beyond the stars.… Read the rest

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After the End of Truth



A generation raised on Foucault and Derrida has learned to distrust claims to objective truth. Yet the mantra that 'there is no truth' is a paradox. Do we need a new conception of fantasy and reality to free us from the tyranny of truthmakers and the paradoxes of postmodernists alike?

The Panel: American philosopher John Searle, post-postmodernist Hilary Lawson and Historian of Ideas at NCH Hannah Dawson untangle the truth.
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Another Unethical For-Profit College Brought to Light

Students, parents, and all-around consumers and taxpayers are growing increasingly skeptical of the dubious for-profit college model that promises valuable degrees (and ultimately, jobs) but instead leave students with crippling debt and few career options upon graduation. Rising public scrutiny in the wake of lawsuits concerning predatory loans, lack of job placement assistance, misleading recruitment claims, and deceptive financial aid activities have begun to have an effect on this industry’s worst offenders. EDMC (parent company of the Art Institutes) was sued until their stock dropped so far they eventually delisted from the NASDAQ last November, while Corinthian Colleges is selling off or shutting down campuses as it faces lawsuits and investigations from multiple state and federal agencies.

At the Huffington Post, Kyle McCarthy writes about another culprit: Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business (MSB), part of the Globe Education Network responsible for more than 30 for-profit colleges with sky-high tuition, outrageous debt, low graduation rates, high default rates, and more than their share of dirty laundry.… Read the rest

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Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

Johann Hari is the author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

Transcript:

One of my earliest memories is of trying to wake up one of my relatives and not being able to. And I was just a little kid, so I didn’t really understand why, but as I got older, I realized we had drug addiction in my family, including later cocaine addiction.

I’d been thinking about it a lot lately, partly because it’s now exactly 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States and Britain, and we then imposed that on the rest of the world. It’s a century since we made this really fateful decision to take addicts and punish them and make them suffer, because we believed that would deter them; it would give them an incentive to stop.

And a few years ago, I was looking at some of the addicts in my life who I love, and trying to figure out if there was some way to help them.Read the rest

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No “Mini Ice Age” after all?

Screen shot 2015-07-15 at 9.58.21 AM

Montage of images of solar activity between August 1991 and September 2001. (Yohkoh/ISAS/Lockheed-Martin/NAOJ/U. Tokyo/NASA)

Sarah Kaplan via The Washington Post:

“Scientists warn the sun will ‘go to sleep’ in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet,” blared one headline from this weekend.

“Earth heading for ‘mini ice age’ within 15 years,” warned another.

By Sunday evening, news that the Earth could be headed for a period of bitter cold was trending on Facebook and whizzing across Twitter. The story — which has been reported everywhere from conservative blogs to the Britishpress to the Weather Channel to the Huffington Post — was based on a recent presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society’s national meeting. Researchers studying sunspots found that solar activity is due to decline dramatically in the next few decades, reaching levels not seen since the 17th century, during a period known as the Maunder minimum. Back then, the decline coincided with what’s called the “Little Ice Age,” when Europe’s winters turned brutally cold, crops failed and rivers froze over.

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A lack of education could be just as dangerous as smoking

Stay in school kids – it’s dangerous to your health to miss out on education, according to a study reported at the Washington Post:

Don’t use drugs, stay in school — kids hear this kind of advice all the time. What they don’t hear is that not having a good education could be just as dangerous to their health as smoking.

Mar Elias High School class_1117

Photo: James Emery (CC)

That’s the takeaway of a new study, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. The authors of the study calculated the health risks of low educational attainment in the U.S. and found that more than 145,000 deaths could have been prevented in 2010 if adults who did not finish high school had earned a GED or high school diploma — comparable to the mortality rates of smoking.

In addition, another 110,000 deaths in 2010 could have been saved if people who had some college went on to complete their degree.

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Vice Interview About Porn Documentary

A few years ago, Rashida Jones, known for her roles in “The Office” (US) and “Parks and Recreation,” found herself embroiled in a debate concerning the pornification of culture, due to Twitter remarks she had made about pop musicians. The controversy and criticism opened the opportunity for her to create a documentary about the Miami porn industry.

“Over the past few years, she’s also ventured into writing and producing films, currently tackling projects like writing Toy Story 4. We had a chance to hang out with Rashida and talk about her shift behind the camera, and the documentary she recently produced on Miami’s amateur porn industry, ‘Hot Girls Wanted.'”

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The Value of Public Universities

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

Sean MacEntee (CC BY 2.0)

Mike LaBossiere explores the importance of public universities, sky-rocketing education costs, and the cutting of public funds.

via Talking Philosophy:

One stock narrative in the media is that the cost of attending college has skyrocketed. This is true. There is also a stock narrative that this increase, at least for public universities, has been due to the cutting of public education funds. This certainly is part of the truth. Another important part is the cost of sustaining the every-growing and well paid administrative class that has ensconced (and perhaps enthroned) itself at colleges and universities. I will, however, focus primarily on the cutting of public funds.

The stock media narrative makes it clear why there was a cut to public education spending: the economy was brought down in flames by the too clever machinations of the world’s financial class. This narrative is, for the most part, true.

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