Do you know brain facts from fiction?
New research has found some teachers mark boys’ primary (elementary) school maths tests more favourably than girls, impacting girls’ uptake of advanced mathematics and science subjects in high school. Entrance rates into maths and science degrees at university level can also be traced back to the impacts of teachers’ gender bias in primary school.
Higher levels of mathematics and science education have been linked to greater employment opportunities and higher earnings, meaning a primary teacher’s attitude towards maths can have a serious impact on a child’s future success.
Teachers assume boys are better at maths
The researchers followed nearly 3000 students from 6th grade to the end of high school. As a measure of teacher bias, they compared school 6th grade test marks given by teachers who knew the students’ sex, with external test marks for the same students, but with no identifying characteristics provided.… Read the rest
Lauren McCauley writes at Common Dreams:
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Taking a stand against the for-profit schools which they say have saddled them with mountains of debt, a number of recent graduates, dubbed the Corinithian 15, on Mondaylaunched a student debt strike.
The former students, with help from the anti-debt collective Rolling Jubilee, are refusing to pay the federal loans that Corinthian College Inc., the for-profit college chain, reportedly duped the students to sign up for, in exchange for a degree which they say is worthless.
“I was excited to attend Everest College online because they promised to help me find a well-paying career,” said student loan striker Latonya Suggs, from Cincinnati, Ohio. Suggs said she “took out thousands in loans so that I could make a better life for my son,” but upon graduating found that the criminal justice degree she obtained from Everest is not even recognized by most employers.
Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:
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Public schools are outperforming charter schools in Minnesota, in some cases “dramatically,” according to a new analysis by the state’s Star-Tribune newspaper.
In addition, many charter schools fail to adequately support minority students, close examination of the data revealed.
Journalist Kim McGuire looked at 128 of the state’s 157 charter schools and found “that the gulf between the academic success of its white and minority students widened at nearly two-thirds of those schools last year. Slightly more than half of charter schools students were proficient in reading, dramatically worse than traditional public schools, where 72 percent were proficient.”
Between 2011 and 2014, McGuire reported, 20 charter schools failed to meet the state’s expectations for academic growth each year, “signaling that some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable students had stagnated academically.”
Charlene Briner, the Minnesota Department of Education’s chief of staff, told the newspaper that she was troubled by the information, “which runs counter to ‘the public narrative’ that charter schools are generally superior to public schools.”
“Minnesota is the birthplace of the charter school movement and a handful of schools have received national acclaim for their accomplishments, particularly when it comes to making strong academic gains with low-income students of color,” the Star-Tribune claims.
In this episode, the Free Radical team talks with Adam, Carl, and James of the Warren Arts Center, an art collective based in Warren, OH, USA. We discussed their plans to build and nurture a vibrant artistic community, including fighting gentrification and navigating local economies and politics. We also talked Dada, photography, the meaning of Art itself and the ways in which a strong group of artists can help their community and society at large.
“The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind; and anything less is a dithering while Rome burns. Because of the artists, who are self-selected, for being able to journey into the Other, if the artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.” – Terence McKenna
About a month ago Marcie asked me to design a Disinfo.com magick poll and I came up with a quick one in like 5 minutes. I wish I would have put more thought into it and included people like John Dee, Peter Carroll, and Lon Milo Duquette but, you know, I admittedly half assed it and fired off an e-mail all quick like. It’s not like this is something I had been contemplating or planning on writing about at the time.
Here’s where I confess that the topic chosen was ultimately designed to help me gauge whether the modern Occultists I look up to and respect have exceeded the popularity of the self-proclaimed “great beast” Aleister Crowley. It was my suspicion that they hadn’t, but even I was sort of disappointed that Crowley got more votes than both Alan Moore and Grant Morrison combined (Moore edged out Morrison by 2 votes and they came in at #2 and #3 respectively).… Read the rest
E=mc2. Einstein’s great equation represents a pinnacle of mathematical purity. But as the evidence piles up which general relativity struggles to account for, is the very elegance of Einstein’s theories preventing scientists from updating them? Is there always beauty in truth, or are aesthetics a distraction from the fundamental mission of science?
Excellent interview on this with Jon Butterworth, a physics professor at University College London and author of Smashing Physics: The Inside Story of the Hunt for the Higgs.
You have said in the past that beauty is found in simplicity, but isn’t it actually the complex nature of the world that inspires awe?
Obviously it’s a subjective point of view but, for me, what inspires awe is the fact that such complexity can arise for some very simple underlying principles. It’s the combination of complexity and simplicity. If the universe was all manifestly simple, that wouldn’t be so impressive.… Read the rest
In this installment of the Free Radical Media podcast, hosts Eric Scott Pickard and Patrick Ryan are joined by their friend and former guest, Dan DeLion. DeLion, herbalist, forager, naturalist and teacher is the founder of the organization Return to Nature. This time around, Dan discusses his new, far-ranging documentary project, “Hunting the Medicine: Stalking the Wild Spirit,” which has taken him to such places as Columbia and India. He also details his recent personal experience with Ayahuasca in a Shamanic setting, and shares his views and insight into the world of herbalism and the philosophy of living in harmony with the natural world. Dan’s website can be found here.
By Tekla Perry at IEEE Spectrum:
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IBMers: Please share your experience with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @teklaperry, or in the comments below. Keep yourself anonymous if you’d like, identify your job function and location if you’re willing, but tell us your story, we want to hear it.
Project Chrome, a massive layoff that IBM is pretending is not a massive layoff, is underway. First reported by Robert X. Cringely (a pen name) in Forbes, about 26 percent of the company’s global workforce is being shown the door. At more than 100,000 people, that makes it the largest mass layoffat any U.S. corporation in at least 20 years. Cringely wrote that notices have started going out, and most of the hundred-thousand-plus will likely be gone by the end of February.
IBM immediately denied Cringely’s report, indicating that a planned $600 million “workforce rebalancing” was going to involve layoffs (or what the company calls “Resource Actions”) of just thousands of people.
Joseph Castro Via Live Science:
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Often considered the smartest invertebrates (animals without backbones) on the planet, octopuses can use tools, unscrew jar lids and tightly control their body color to match their surroundings. They use this sharp intelligence especially in situations of survival — including when they are trying to avoid getting eaten by their hungry mates.
Octopuses come in all shapes and sizes and inhabit diverse regions of the ocean. There are about 100 different species of octopuses in the genus Octopus, and at least another 150 species in other genera, said Jennifer Mather, a cephalopod expert at the University of Lethbridge in Canada. Scientists have witnessed the mating behavior of only about a dozen species, she added.
The marine animals have very short lives, generally lasting only a few years long and sometimes as short as 6 months. They spend their youth alone, eating and growing before reaching sexual maturity.