Education

Out of the ivory tower to the public square: an interview with Shauna Sylvester

Every year, university campuses across the country fill with the hum and excitement of students looking for personally and intellectually transformative experiences. These students represent an unrivalled wealth of social and intellectual capital. Many of them dream of changing the world when they are older, but some universities are encouraging their students to tap into this energy as part of their education.

Key among these institutions is Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. The Federation had the privilege to speak to a leader in community engagement at SFU, Shauna Sylvester, Professor of Professional Practice, Director of the SFU...

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SSH News: Measuring SSH impact, Guy Laforest at Big Thinking, SSHRC funds data analysis, and PhD completion

 

It has been an exciting week for the humanities and social sciences!

The Federation has launched a new working paper proposing impact metrics for humanities and social science research. Executive Director Jean-Marc Mangin led the French-language launch of the impacts project on October 6 at the “Mobilizing Knowledge for Social Innovation” colloquium at Concordia University.

Political science professor at Université Laval, Guy Laforest, spoke at the Federation’s Big Thinking lecture on Parliament Hill today, where he proposed that Quebec re-engage with Canadian politics after its long internal exile. Professor Laforest also wrote an...

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Our President-Elect asks universities to evolve, not transform radically

Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

“I love you, please change.”

These words succinctly capture Stephen Toope’s message to Canadian universities in his rich, nuanced and compelling October 2014 report for Taking Action for Canada: Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century. An initiative of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Taking Action for Canada seeks to bring together educators, governments and businesses to develop solutions and best practices for keeping the next generation of Canadian workers engaged. 

Toope, a scholar of international law, is President-Elect of the Federation. He has also served as President of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, President of the...

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New Working Paper: Finding New Ways to Maximize HSS Research Impact

 

Matthew McKean, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences has been hard at work on an ambitious research impact project. Our new working paper, entitled “The Impacts of Humanities and Social Science Research,” launches today at Concordia University in Montreal at the “Mobilizing Knowledge for Social Innovation” colloquium, organized by the Fonds de recherche du Québec, as part of the prestigious Entretiens Jacques Cartier.

Why, you ask, should we worry about defining research impact and why should we attempt to measure it?  Because in this era of austerity budgets and...

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SSH News: Congress 2015 planning, reflecting on Jim Miller’s lecture, US-Canada academic exchange and the value of university education

Planning for Congress 2015 has begun

The planning cycle for Congress 2015 has officially begun! The Congress 2015 Planning Meeting took place September 24-25, jointly hosted by the Federation and the University of Ottawa. Program Chairs (PCs) and Local Arrangement Coordinators (LACs) from each member association attending Congress were present for a two-day meeting at uOttawa, to get planning underway and to learn how to get the most out of Congress for their associations.

Ruby Heap, Academic Convenor for Congress 2015 at uOttawa, and Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director of the Federation, both gave words of...

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Reflections on the Changing BA

Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Canadian BA is surely but subtly transforming before our very eyes, as Antonia Maioni points out in a thoughtful op-ed in The Globe and Mail this week. The program from which I graduated at the University of Toronto more than 25 years ago is a case in point—it has maintained the same name but its curriculum has evolved in fascinating new directions and is making great strides toward preparing students for the unexpected. Leslie Chan, Program Supervisor for the International Development Studies program at the University of Toronto Scarborough has...

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SSH News: Canada tops higher education statistics, but tuition expected to increase

 

Canada leads in higher education spending, according to the latest study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Times Higher Education writes: “Canada overtook the US as the biggest spender on tertiary education, increasing its GDP spent from 2.6 per cent in 2009 to 2.8 per cent in 2010.”

Examinant le même rapport, Le Devoir constate que Le Canada possède un des taux les plus élevés de jeunes diplômés d’université entre 25 et 34 ans (57%). Le...

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SSH News: hitchBOT completes its journey, World University rankings, Vanier and Banting recipients announced

 

hitchBOT completes its journey

hitchBOT the hitchhiking robot, created by communication professors David Smith (McMaster) and Frauke Zeller (Ryerson), has completed its journey from Halifax to Victoria. We took the opportunity to speak to the professors about the influence of the humanities and social sciences in the hitchBOT project. Blog post and full interview can be found here.

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SSH News: PSE funding in Ontario and Quebec, the value of SSH in science education, and SSH research in media

 

This week in SSH News, Ontario and Québec are both looking towards a more specialized, targeted funding model for institutions of public secondary education. In Ontario, the government unveiled a plan detailing a new funding strategy for universities and colleges, which will force each institution to pick areas of focus and accept that it cannot have it all. The Globe and Mail writes that “[t]he deals are a crucial step in the province’s plan to tailor the postsecondary system more closely to the economy, and save public money by avoiding duplication.”

In Québec, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sport, Yves Bolduc,...

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SSH News: Fables and moral lessons, rap and racism in Québec, and the Ivy League debate reaches Canada

 

This week in SSH News, children’s stories and fables are the subject of research. At the University of Toronto, psychologist Kang Lee put three well-known tales that involve a main character lying to the test when he asked, do they actually teach children not to lie? The moral of his research, perhaps most useful to parents, teachers, and anyone trying to teach children a lesson about honesty, is that it actually depends on how the consequences of lying are presented.

Meanwhile, researchers in Australia have developed a...

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