Tag Archives | Education

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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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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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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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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Why meditation should be taught in schools

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0

Lea Waters, University of Melbourne

New research in the fields of psychology, education and neuroscience shows teaching meditation in schools is having positive effects on students’ well-being, social skills and academic skills.

A recent meta-review of the impact of meditation in schools combined the results from 15 studies and almost 1800 students from Australia, Canada, India, the UK, the US and Taiwan. The research showed meditation is beneficial in most cases and led to three broad outcomes for students: higher well-being, better social skills and greater academic skills.

Students who were taught meditation at school reported higher optimism, more positive emotions, stronger self-identity, greater self-acceptance and took better care of their health as well as experiencing reduced anxiety, stress and depression. This was compared to before the meditation programs and compared to peers who were not taught meditation.

The review also showed that meditation helps the social life of students by leading to increases in pro-social behaviour (like helping others) and decreases in anti-social behaviour (like anger and disobedience).… Read the rest

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Chiara Marletto: The Code of the Cosmos

In this article Oxford Physicist Chiara Marletto explores whether we should consider information, rather than matter as the fundamental building block of the universe.

593 The Universe Code.cxjIII

Information has come to play an increasingly fundamental role in our lives during the last few decades: billions of computers are now interconnected over the world, and our technology – and hence our survival and well-being – crucially rely on them.

It is much harder to argue that information plays a role in fundamental physics.

Traditionally, fundamental physics expresses predictions about where, say, a particle will go, given its initial state and its laws of motion. This paradigm has been the prevailing one since Galileo and Newton and has been extremely successful – allowing us to formulate deeper and deeper explanations of the physical world, of which quantum theory and general relativity are the current best examples. Yet, there are things in the physical world that this mode of explanation cannot adequately capture for us.

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Better Living Through Technology


Evolver has recently announced their newest learning lab course, Better Living Through Technology. Join Disinformation author, R.U. Sirius, as he explores the limits of human potential.

Discover the new drugs, machines and techniques that are extending the horizon of human potential.

Humanity is on the cusp of an extraordinary leap. New and emerging technologies promise an unprecedented wave of human self-enhancement. Advances in the areas of longevity, creativity, and biology will enable you to have a quality of experience that previous generations barely conceived possible.

Course details:

Guests: Steve Kotler, Dr. Terry Grossman, Dr. Andrew Hill, James Kent, Tim Cannon, Jay Cornell
5 Sessions • Starts June 24
Free Introductory Session: June 17
$149 + $30 discount if you signup by June 17 with code TRANSHUMANISM

If you’re hesitant about forking over $149 for this course, we urge you to at least checkout the Free Introductory Session this Wednesday.… Read the rest

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Masked Serbian schoolchildren, armed with plastic pistol, steal grade book

Ski Mask Kid (CC BY 2.0)

NOT one of the Serbian students. Ski Mask Kid (CC BY 2.0)

Two Serbian 7th graders stormed a classroom armed with a plastic pistol and knife to steal a grade book.

via Reuters:

Police in Serbia have arrested two schoolboys they accuse of having stormed a Belgrade classroom masked and armed with a plastic pistol and making off with their teacher’s grade book.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday they had apprehended two unidentified Grade 7 pupils and seized a replica handgun, a knife, a balaclava cap and pair of sunglasses after the incident on Tuesday during school hours in the Belgrade suburb of Kotez.

School crime and violence have soared in Serbia since the war years of the 1990s when societies across old socialist Yugoslavia frayed under the pressure of gangsterism, corruption and nationalism.

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Teacher Fired For Reading Allen Ginsberg Poem to Class

In yet another overreaction by education administrators, Connecticut teacher, David Olio, was fired for reading Allen Ginsberg’s “Please Master” to his AP English class. A student brought the poem into class and Olio “[hoped] to discuss in the waning moments of the period how the poet uses language in his work.”

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Student Resistance: Targeting Individual Educators and Administrators

student resistance“When I say I hate school it doesn’t mean I hate education and knowledge. It means that I hate the selfish and ignorant people there. It means that I hate stress and high expectations. It means that I hate being treated like shit. It fucking means that I hate feeling like a failure all the time.”



Public Information

Each state has a Department of Education that oversees the schools and handles licensing for educators and administrators. The websites contain information on teachers and administrators who have been disciplined and investigated for unprofessional behavior. A shockingly large number have been written up for inappropriate behavior such as theft, sexual contact with students, and public drunkenness.

Some other information that can be obtained includes the school district budget, which includes teachers’ and administrators’ salaries. Acquiring this information will make the environment that much more unpleasant for those who control you.

Information uncovered about faculty who work at your school should be made public via the aforementioned means of distribution.… Read the rest

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