“I hate lectures. Within the first five minutes, I am checked out,” said Humphrey, a student who prefers using class time for in-depth discussions. “Digital stuff is always better than someone talking at me.”
From cellular mitosis to using semicolons, most subjects have remedial material that is important to know and difficult for professors to translate into a creative lecture or an active discussion. If these dull-but-necessary lessons migrate out of the classroom, professors can use the extra time for more creative, complicated and nuanced topics.
“The trouble always starts when teachers are told to put innovative ideas into practice without much guidance on how to do it. In the hands of unprepared teachers, the reforms turn to nonsense, perplexing students more than helping them. One 1965 Peanuts cartoon depicts the young blond-haired Sally struggling to understand her new-math assignment: “Sets … one to one matching … equivalent sets … sets of one … sets of two … renaming two… .” After persisting for three valiant frames, she throws back her head and bursts into tears: “All I want to know is, how much is two and two?””
An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.
Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.
“The idea is that children, with their sparking synapses and sponge-like brains, will be able to easily digest all the stuff that I had such trouble comprehending in my early 20s. It’s the same thing that compels Type A parents to scour the city for Mandarin-speaking preschools and toddler violin lessons.”
“Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.”
“A new analysis from the San Francisco Fed finds entry-level earnings for new college grads — defined as working graduates age 21 to 25 — grew only by 6 percent from April 2007 to April 2014. In comparison, median weekly earnings for all workers grew two-and-a-half times as fast, at 15 percent. And while recent grads tend to fall behind after any recession, the gap since the Great Recession has been both wide and long-lasting.”
““I wanted to give freshmen more control over the process, first because we’d have fewer roommate changes,” Mr. Austin told me, “but also because, if students were more invested in that roommate, they would try harder to work things out before they requested a roommate change.” In fact, he says, letting students participate in selecting their roommates may play a more significant role in residential harmony than the matching algorithm itself. Among incoming Lowell students who found a roommate on RoomSync last year, about 1 percent later asked to change rooms. Among those who tried the app but did not choose a roommate on it, the figure was 4 percent. Among those who did not try the app at all, it was about 8 percent.”
“I think we are in the initial phase of the next evolutionary step of the librarian as liaison. I touched upon this in my last post about the shift from “knowledge service provider to collaborative partner.” ARL is also focusing on “new roles for new times” exploring the move from a collections-centric to an engagement-centered model. And recently a paper from Ithaka (Anne Kenney, Cornell) builds upon this theme by outlining how librarians are becoming more embedded in the research life of campus. This includes things like technology development, data services, grant assistance, and publishing support.”
“We got a group together and said what we wanted to do, and the administration just said, ‘O.K., ask for any equipment or advice you need,’ ” said Colleen Perry, who is studying bioengineering. “We’ve definitely made mistakes, but it’s probably the first time in our lives that we’re not getting a grade and we don’t have anyone telling us what to do.”