Education

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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Smart skills for a smarter Canada

 
What kinds of skills do young Canadians need to get a job – and build satisfying and productive careers?
 
It’s one of the most hotly-debated issues in Canada today. Join Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, as he looks at the evidence on Canada’s future education and labour market needs, drawn from reputable and reliable sources. Mr. Davidson will take you behind the scenes to university campuses today, and describe how universities are preparing young people for innovative and collaborative workplaces. He’ll talk about programs that provide students with the ability to think critically and work collaboratively. He’ll illustrate how universities provide workforce experience, entrepreneurial skills, and leadership training. And he’ll talk about what more Canada needs to do to produce university, college and trades...

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SSH News: Reported earnings by degree, SSH research matters, Ideas can… bubbles, Digital Humanities 2014 conference

Two contradicting articles this week report on the earnings of humanities and social sciences graduates. On one hand, the Globe and Mail reports positively that BA grads have better pay, more career options while Maclean’s magazine suggests that a graduate survey shows stark differences in salaries where humanities graduates earn the least, and even hints at the “underemployment” among these graduates.

Notwithstanding, in a newly-published piece this week in ...

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The towers in the world, the worlds in the towers

Samara Bissonnette

HIGHRISE. An incredibly modern, collaborative, inspiring digital project connecting voices from high rise buildings all over the world. These big concrete mammoths of architecture are "containers of human experience", and this interactive web documentary allows users to discover "the towers in the world, and the worlds in the towers".

The National Film Board, with an extensive team of researchers, creators, academics, digital artists, volunteers and high rise residents, has made the idea of one Katerina Cizek come to life in a project called Highrise that has successfully challenged and reinvented the language of storytelling.

In this exploration of technology and...

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The Robin Hood of academics - open access publishing debate series

Samara Bissonnette

In "Open Access and the future of academic publishing", the second installment of a three part debate series on copyright and the modern academic, Glen Rollan and Michale Geist attacked the highly controversial academic subject of open access publication. Once upon a time, open access - defined here as free and accessible sources for the masses - was the dominant means of publication. Since then however, academic sources have become harder for authors to publish and in turn, harder for the average reader to access. In the last few years, there has been an on-going struggle to bring back open access once again! A sort of Robin...

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SSH News: Farley Mowat, Canada Prizes award ceremony, Hot button issues in higher education

It is with a heavy heart that Canada says goodbye to Farley Mowat, a literary great and passionate Canadian. Mowat passed away, yesterday, at the age of 92. “Mowat, author of dozens of works including Lost in the Barrens and Never Cry Wolf, introduced Canada to readers around the world and shared everything from his time abroad during the Second World War, to his travels in the North and his concern for the deteriorating environment,” writes the CBC.

In much brighter news from the Canadian literary scene, the Federation was honoured to award the four winners of the 2014 Canada Prizes at a gala held yesterday at York University's Glendon College in...

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SSH News: School is out for summer, One month to Congress, Direction and reach of SSH research

School’s out for summer!

Perhaps not Alice Cooper’s famous last words, but as another school year wraps up this month across Canadian campuses, the many challenges facing students today and ways in which these (and future) graduates will need to adapt to the evolving job market are hitting the airwaves. While educators and program directors hope to break down the walls between university and society, students too are being challenged to seize opportunities that give them an edge when moving from school to work. A brief collection of such tales from this week includes:

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Transformations in graduate education: the future of the PhD

 

Does anyone think the current PhD training in Canada is perfect?  If so, they are a quiet minority; re-imagining PhD training is one of the hottest topics in higher education policy. For example, the most popular post last year on University Affairs’ Margin Notes Blog, was “The PhD is in need of revision”.

Considering how to approach PhD training in the 21st century is important across all disciplines, but the humanities face a particularly urgent problem with non-completion rates as high as 50% and only about 20%-30% of graduates finding employment within the academy.

So it makes sense for the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences to explore this issue at our annual conference, a forum for representatives of the Federation’s member organizations, and other...

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Concordia Looks Back 53 Years with University TV

Christine Mitchell, Department of English, Concordia University

The Concordia University community will take a peek into its past later this week when its Media History Research Centre holds a screening of two half-hour television episodes produced on the university campus in 1961.

The programs were part of a seven-episode series that was shot live in temporary campus studios and aired on Sunday mornings at 10:00. The episodes featured faculty, students and administrative personnel in mock classroom situations and in dialogue with host Syd Davidson and focused on university life. The program’s topic is summed up in its simple title: University. Campus newspaper The Georgian described the program as “the first English-language experiment in televised education at the university level.”

Today’s audience may be surprised to discover its forebears concentrating on and grappling over many of the same concerns that abound on Canadian university...

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