Category Archives: Education

Professor cancels hate speech course after students object to use of racial slur

Princeton University’s Lawrence Rosen used slur while teaching anthropology students, prompting some to walk out of class

A Princeton University professor has cancelled a course he teaches on cultural freedoms and hate speech after his use of a racial slur during a class discussion led some students to walk out.

Colleagues say Professor Emeritus Lawrence Rosen has often used the slur during lectures on free speech. They say this is the first time he has received such a negative response from students.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

In Sweden, Noor went straight to school; in Britain, Ammar waited six months

A new study contrasts the radically different education offered to young refugees arriving alone in Britain and Sweden

Noor and Ammar are two teenage boys with a lot in common. They’ve never met, but both made perilous journeys to Europe, arriving unaccompanied at the age of 16. Both are bright, ambitious and determined to make a contribution.

Noor – sharp, confident; looks you straight in the eye when he speaks – hasn’t met Ammar, but he could be talking for both of them: “It took me six months to get here and we had a lot of problems on the way,” he says. “I didn’t know anybody, I couldn’t speak the language.”

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Ofsted head to be questioned over backing for hijab ban

Amanda Spielman to appear before MPs after giving her ‘full support’ to primary school headteacher

MPs are to quiz Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England, about her controversial backing for a ban on girls wearing the hijab, following complaints from Muslim community leaders.

Parliament’s education select committee will question Spielman, the head of Ofsted, next month over her vocal support for a primary school in east London that barred girls under eight from wearing the headscarf – a move the school’s headteacher swiftly reversed after complaints from parents.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Hundreds of millions of children in school but not learning

Poor countries urged to increase domestic spending on education as World Bank sounds alarm bell over ‘learning crisis’

More than 260 million children worldwide are out of school, yet more than half of those in education are not learning, the World Bank has warned.

The global push to ensure free primary and secondary education by 2030 has helped fuel a “trade-off of quality for quantity”, whereby children are spending several years in school yet remain unable to read, write or do basic sums, according to Jaime Saavedra, who leads the global education practice at the bank.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

I was a video game sceptic, but now I'm a fan

After spending most of her life bouncing off video games, Jessica Furseth finally discovers the joy and practical benefits of play

‘Luke, how do I get this power moon? Luke!” I’m playing Super Mario Odyssey while my partner, Luke, is trying to work. “You’ll figure it out,” he says patiently. Luke has been playing video games since he was a child, but this is my first ever game, and he’s thrilled that I’m invested in Mario’s quest to save Princess Peach.

Considering it’s a $100bn (£70bn) industry, gaming is a surprisingly “love it, or just don’t get it” kind of activity. I’ve tried video games a few times over the years, as people seemed to be having so much fun with them. But I never got into it. I kept dying, so I gave up. Last year, though, my curiosity was piqued again as I watched Luke play the newest Mario game with his children. One slow Sunday, I picked up the Nintendo Switch. No one was more surprised than me when I kept coming back to the game, and eventually beat Bowser.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Monica Ali on feminism in the 2000s: ‘I hadn’t truly considered the impact of children’

The Brick Lane author read era-defining books by Rachel Cusk and Allison Pearson as her dreams of equality drowned in a sea of nappies. But soon third-wave feminism brought fresh energy

As a student in the late 80s, I read Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and Sexual Politics by Kate Millett. I knew that challenging the patriarchy was an urgent task, and I knew how to accomplish it: by making banners and drinking tea in the Wadham Women’s Room (at the Oxford college where I was an undergraduate). The banners were deployed on marches such as the one that protested against MP David Alton’s 1987 private member’s bill to end late abortions. “Keep your hands off my body,” we shouted, supremely confident, blissfully blind to any ethical nuance in one of the defining issues of gender equality – that of our reproductive rights.

Could ‘feminist pornography’ really be the route to equality?

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Blockchain is this year's buzzword – but can it outlive the hype?

The open-source ledger behind bitcoin is touted as revolutionary for everything from banking to health, but the jury is still out

The speculation around cryptocurrencies has obscured the fact that blockchain, the decentralised, open-source ledger that drives bitcoin, could radically change how ownership is verified.

While the value of the main cryptocurrencies fluctuates, “blockchain” remains a lucrative buzzword that companies have found is a magnet for funding. But cutting through the hype, could blockchain technology really revolutionise the way anything from banking to education is run?

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

The cult of Mary Beard

How a late-blossoming classics don became Britain’s most beloved intellectual. By Charlotte Higgins

The first time I saw Mary Beard, I was 17. It was 1989, and she was speaking at a joint open day for the Oxford and Cambridge classics faculties. She was utterly unlike the other speakers, who, as I recall them, were Oxbridge dons straight from central casting: tweedy, forbidding, male. Instead of standing at a lectern like everyone else, she perched rakishly on the edge of a desk. She was dressed in a vaguely hippyish, embroidered black dress, and a cascade of black hair tumbled around her shoulders. Greg Woolf, now director of the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London, recalls another one of those open days, in the early 1990s. “I spoke, and then another big hairy bloke like me spoke. And then Mary came on and said: ‘Well, you’ve heard what the boys have got to say.’ And you could see that she’d already won everyone’s hearts.”

Everyone who has met Beard seems to have a story about encountering her for the first time – usually involving her rigorous intellect, her total lack of formality, and her sense of mischief. One of her former students, Emily Kneebone, remembers supervisions – one-to-one or two-to-one teaching sessions – at Newnham, the women-only Cambridge college to which Beard has been attached for most of her adult life, first as a student, then as a don. She would teach from a chaise longue: “At first she’d be in a normal position, but as the hour progressed she would gradually slide further and further down so you could only see her feet.” One junior colleague still remembers Beard introducing herself, at a conference almost 25 years ago, with the overture, “Give us a fag, darlin’.”

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Children are tech addicts – and schools are the pushers | Eliane Glaser

When Silicon Valley bosses send their children to screen-free schools, why do we believe the claims of the ‘ed tech’ industry?

As a culture, we are finally waking up to the dark side of new technology. “The internet is broken”, declares the current issue of Wired, the tech insiders’ bible. Last month Rick Webb, an early digital investor, posted a blog titled “My internet mea culpa”. “I was wrong,” he wrote. “We all were.” He called on the architects of the web to admit that new technology had brought more harm than good.

Yet while geeks, the public and politicians – including Theresa May – grow disenchanted, schools, and those responsible for the national curriculum, seem stuck in an earlier wide-eyed era. My instinct tells me that this innocence is perverse. As a friend memorably described it, when he gave his three-year-old his phone to play with, it was as if a worm had found its way into her head.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Too many graduates are mismatched to their jobs. What's going wrong?

Students often aren’t aware of their own skills and experience, or what different jobs require. They need more meaningful careers advice

Advice about the art of interview preparation and how to craft the perfect CV isn’t enough to put every student on a path to a career they want. About one in three graduates end up being “mismatched” to the jobs they find after leaving university, research [pdf] by Universities UK suggests.

Related: The perfect pitch: how to write a successful cover letter

Continue reading…
Source: gad