UNC Chapel Hill, Kenan Memorial Stadium

UNC’s “Paper Classes” are Merely the Logical Endpoint of Several Current Trends

Unless you subscribe to the SoD monthly print zine–sign up now for the low, low price of $100 per crudely photocopied issue; please make all cheques payable to CASH–chances are you have an internet connection and have seen this recent Vox article on the UNC Chapel Hill “Paper Class” scandal bouncing around your social media feeds. On the off chance you haven’t, here&#... »

A Prison Cell

Be Careful What You Wish For (Especially When It Involves Prison)

It’s something many teachers will have said or though at some point, often in the aftermath of a confrontation with a particularly difficult or aggressive student. Once they leave here, they’ll be in prison within a year. There are some students who go beyond “normal” misbehaviour. The ones who radiate a real feeling of threat, the ones who honestly do seem to lack empathy ... »

Student Loan Payments… into Retirement?

Student Loan Payments… into Retirement?

The cost of higher education is on everyone’s minds. The conversation tends to focus on young people who can incur massive amounts of debt in trying to keep up with the rising costs of a college degree. But a growing number of retirees, according to this Associated Press article posted on HigherEdJobs, are dealing with student loans as well, demonstrating that this is a problem that knows no... »

A person in a tyvek suit and mask

Campus security

So the news has been full of Ebola and guns on campus.  I was asked last week in a meeting of some top level administrators if students has been talking about the Ebola outbreak.  (The gun article refers to the Anita Sarkeesian threats in Utah, and may not have crossed their radar.)  I replied that while students had asked (I am a biology professor; I was asked in the context of the courses I was ... »

MRI Scan Image

How much of educational achievement is genetic?

A new study published in PNAS used a twin studies approach of UK students to examine the heritability of a wide range of traits associated with educational achievement. Observations: Heritability measures the degree to which a trait’s variation is determined by genes vs the environmental influences on a population level. Heritability is generally reported as a number between 0 (not genetic a... »

When the Rules Change: Dissolution of Philadelphia Teachers’ Contract

When the Rules Change: Dissolution of Philadelphia Teachers’ Contract

Let’s say you sign a contract with someone.  You hold up your end of the contract and do what you agreed to do, and you are compensated by the terms of that contract.  When the contract expires you begin to negotiate a new contract with the other person, but the work is not done.  So both parties agree that during negotiations the terms of the old contract will remain in effect. Time passes and a ... »

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