Critical ThinkingCultureEducation

Meaning What We Say, Saying What We Mean

Recently on social media, I posted this Slate article by Sam Kriss criticising Eric Garland’s popular “Game Theory” tweetstorm, which has been shared widely by those on the left who continue to feel shaken and demoralised by the results of the recent US presidential election. I generally try to avoid making too …

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EducationGovernment

Here’s Where Trump and Clinton Stand on K-12 Issues

It’s finally election day in the US, after what seems like about sixty years of campaigning. In case you haven’t made your decision yet–and really, it’s probably about time–eSchoolNews writer Stephen Noonoo has compiled a list of the candidates’ positions on a number of K-12 issues from their official platforms …

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Higher EducationPedagogy

“Syllabus Day” Happens for a Reason

It’s Back-to-School season again, also known to educators as time for classroom-management think pieces, syllabus guides, curricular critiques, and ritual lamentations for summer to make their yearly rounds on social media. Popular among my colleagues this year has been this critique of the phenomenon of “Syllabus Day” by Kevin Gannon, in …

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Meta

School of Doubt is looking for writers!

School of Doubt is looking for more writers! The gig requires a moderate time commitment and offers no pay, except for–should you defeat the Iron Chef–the people’s ovation and fame forever. So, what are we looking for in a candidate? At a minimum, applicants should be educators (whether as instructors or administrators in …

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Document fron US Atomic Energy Commission stamped "top secret" and "confidential"
GovernmentHigher Education

FOIA Abuse Could Become a Serious Problem for Academics

Academics take heed: if you are employed by a public university, the contents of your email account are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. This means activists, critics, or any member of the public with an axe to grind can request copies for a nominal administrative fee and quote-mine …

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Image of 15th-c. scribe Jean Miélot
Higher Education

Universities should be employing surplus PhDs–as administrative staff.

Of the many criticisms I hear levelled at the current state of higher education, I would say that the following four are among the most frequent: The current reliance on contingent faculty rather than full-time professors is both undermining educational quality and creating a permanent academic underclass of PhDs working …

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Empty stage with a stool and a mic stand; sign behind reads "Comedy"
Higher Education

Top Ten Ways Academia and Stand-Up Comedy are Secretly the Same Job

  10. You basically have to take any paid gig you can get (beggars can’t be choosers!) 9. Unusually high rates of anxiety and depression among your peers 8. Constant pressure to write new material 7. Sometimes you take a long trip just to end up talking to an empty room 6. Audiences are …

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Three-way head-on collision of a red, yellow, and green car at a demolition derby.
Critical ThinkingEducationPolitics

Surprise! Grades are nothing like dollars.

Everyone likes a good ideological parable, especially when it confirms what they already believe to be true about the world. I recently caught the following gem on Facebook, which seems perfectly crafted to tickle the fancy of your garden-variety “daggum socialist Obama” conservative type: An economics professor at a local …

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A pile of US $100 bills
From the ArchivesHigher EducationMoneyPolitics

From the Archives: Why College Probably Shouldn’t Be Free

[Note: Much of this analysis was written around the time of the 2012 Quebec Student Protests, but remains relevant given the Sanders campaign’s popular free-college-for-all platform in the ongoing US presidential election.] I think the system of higher education in Quebec provides a useful and interesting comparison to the situation in the …

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Photograph of a piece of chalk resting on a dusty tray at the bottom of a blackboard.
FeaturedHigher Education

Syllabus Adjunct Clause

Hey there, Doubters! As I promised in the last edition of On the Market, here is a sample adjunct clause that can be inserted into any syllabus for courses taught by temporary faculty. Please keep in mind that since situations differ from school to school–and even from department to department–the following …

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