Teaching

Back to school: What is the media saying?

Kayla MacIntosh, Junior Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

As Junior Communications Officer at the Federation, I monitor the “back to school” news that fills the media every September when more than a million Canadian students head back to college and university. In this blog you can find a variety of important conversations about the post-secondary education (PSE) sector and its biggest achievements and challenges moving forward in the 2016-17 academic year.

Several Canadian universities, 13 in total, were buoyed in their back to school start, with landmark...

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2017 pre-budget submission: Research drives innovation and growth

 

As part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultation process, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is recommending significant investments to strengthen research, experiential learning and Indigenous academic inclusion. Read our full submission here.

Canada depends on a strong research ecosystem to prosper in a fast-changing knowledge economy. Budget 2016 made some important contributions to strengthening that system, and this important work must continue. The Federation believes that by strengthening Canada’s education and research systems, we can produce the new knowledge and talented workforce Canada will need to achieve long-term equitable growth. To succeed, we will need to tackle three key challenges:

1: Ensure a high performing and globally connected Canadian research ecosystem

While Canadian researchers continues to rank highly compared to their...

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L’avenir de la recherche au Canada

Fernand Gervais, Administrateur, enseignement et apprentissage, Fédération des sciences humaines

Vous avez peut-être entendu parler de l’initiative récente de l’Association canadienne des études supérieures (ACES) et du Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) qui inviteront 20 étudiants de divers établissements universitaires pour discuter de l’avenir de la recherche au Canada. Ce projet fait partie de l’initiative Imaginer l’avenir du Canada.

C’est à mon sens une excellente idée. Les séances de rencontre permettront aux participants d’exposer leurs idées sur les grands défis de demain, et d’exprimer les besoins de la société en rapport avec le développement de la recherche. Partir du point de vue de ceux et celles qui en seront les principaux acteurs dans le futur au Canada est...

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Once Again, Without Data

Jason Haslam, President, Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE)

It has become a common complaint, across the board, that statistics relating to Canadian higher education are sorely lacking or, when they do exist, are misleading–ACCUTE past-president Stephen Slemon has written about this matter on this very blog. Whether it’s in terms of faculty hiring (and of what sorts), student outcome, or relative growth in funding and expenditures between capital projects, administration, and teaching, we’re operating with few details, and often with far fewer facts to work with than our American cousins have at their disposal. Of course, we can still learn from some of those American data points, but we do have to keep the multiple different...

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What are we telling students about the value of the humanities and social sciences?

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Our daily work at the Federation is a reminder of how important the humanities and social sciences are to our success as an innovative and democratic society. We know very well that, without the self-reflection and criticism provided by the SSH, our public life and policy-making would be much impoverished.

But is this message being communicated effectively to young people who are deciding what to do next? Are there resources available to high school students explaining the value of a university degree? Do university students understand the important role that the SSH can play in their education?

With some effort, we have managed to find excellent resources for high school and university students. Below are some of our...

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SSH News: World Philosophy Day, Bartha Knoppers named Grande Montréalaise, recession sends graduates back to school according to study

World Philosophy Day

November 20 is World Philosophy Day, an initiative by UNESCO. The event has been celebrated since 2002. This year’s theme is “Social Transformation and Intercultural Dialogue”. Programmed events for the day, as well as suggestions for how everyone can join the celebration can be found here.

Big Thinking speaker Bartha Knoppers in media

Bartha Knoppers, McGill University professor and Director of the Centre for Genomics and Policy makes the...

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Understanding Video Games: Interview with Professor Sean Gouglas

Nour Aoude, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The most economically important cultural medium out there today, a cultural touchstone for two generations of Canadians, and a fantastic medium for expression, entertainment and social commentary.

This is how Professor Sean Gouglas described video games in his interview with the Federation.

Gouglas is Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Alberta, and...

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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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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...

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