Teaching

Salons: Perspectives on society through scholarly journals

In this era of the 24-hour news cycle, alternative facts and the proliferation of hard-to-verify sources, the online magazine Salons reminds us that research in the humanities and social sciences plays a key role in helping us analyze and understand society.

Salons invites the public to reflect on various societal issues as we read and review various articles published over the years in scholarly journals. This is a way for the magazine to showcase the abundance and importance of reputable and rigorously developed research. It also demonstrates the value of easy access to this information, as the articles and other resources featured in Salons are freely available to all.

Instead of offering frenetic...

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On the Impacts of Teaching

Nancy Chick, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute, University Chair in Teaching and Learning and Teaching Professor at the University of Calgary

A key contribution of the Federation’s Approaches to Assessing Impacts in the Humanities and Social Sciences report is its acknowledgement that “Academic work has impacts beyond the initial actions or outputs of the researcher, including effects from teaching” (p. 13). Indeed, the professor of folklore studies sketched in one of the report’s case studies identifies “to strengthen and open the minds of students” as one of two goals for his scholarship (p. 12). His aim is probably familiar to many of us in the humanities and social sciences. He wants to contribute to a wider body of knowledge (his first goal), but on a more human level, the knowledge he wants to...

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Parochialism and protectionism are the enemies of enlightenment: President Deane

 

This article was published in McMaster Daily News on February 28, 2017.

By Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University

On January 27, 2017, the White House issued its now notorious Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. As I write this, the order has been blocked by the courts and theoretically citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted by the ban are able to enter the United States as before. A new Executive Order is said to be imminent, however, so it is reasonable to assume that in one form or another discrimination on the basis of faith or ethnicity will continue to be an element in US immigration policy under the present administration.

That the issuing of the Executive...

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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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