Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Great example of using positive reinforcement in teaching: Mom cat teaches kitten to climb fence

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This GIF shows a mom cat demonstrating how to climb a fence, watching her kitten succeed, and then rewarding the kitten by showering it with affectionate attention.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 February 2017 at 11:33 am

Posted in Cats, Daily life, Education

Jesus, save us: Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He Will Lead Federal Task Force on Higher-Ed Policy

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In the Chronicle of Higher Education Goldie Blumenstyk reports what a travesty the Trump administration is, and how very much damage they are doing in tearing down structures painfully (and thoughtfully) erected: no attempt to fix or adjust (though it seems they’re being forced in that direction on Obamacare: deny reality all you like, it’s still reality and in the long run it wins):

Jerry L. Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, has been asked by President Trump to head up a new task force that will identify changes that should be made to the U.S. Department of Education’s policies and procedures, Mr. Falwell told The Chronicle on Tuesday.

The exact scope, size, and mission of the task force has yet to be formally announced. But in an interview, Mr. Falwell said he sees it as a response to what he called “overreaching regulation” and micromanagement by the department in areas like accreditation and policies that affect colleges’ student-recruiting behavior, like the new “borrower defense to repayment” regulations.

“The goal is to pare it back and give colleges and their accrediting agencies more leeway in governing their affairs,” said Mr. Falwell, who said he had been discussing possible issues with several other college leaders and at least one head of an accrediting agency for the past two months. “I’ve got notebooks full of issues,” he said. . .

Continue reading.

I’m sure for-profit colleges are excited about this and eager to help. There goes Title IX, I imagine.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 February 2017 at 6:50 pm

How to get better at things you care about

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I’ve several times mentioned and recommended Carol Dweck’s book Mindset. Here’s some more about the idea. Worth watching.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 February 2017 at 6:07 pm

What Stanford University says about the new immigration orders

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Stanford University has faculty and students from abroad and a strong international presence. Here’s their initial response to yesterday’s surprising executive order:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dear members of the Stanford community,

We write to address questions and mounting concerns in our community and elsewhere for the welfare of immigrants, and for the effect on the global academic community, following the executive order issued Friday imposing new federal travel restrictions. We want to provide the latest information about what is occurring and how Stanford is responding.

We also want to use the opportunity to reiterate our community values. As an academic institution with students and scholars from around the world, Stanford values and in fact depends upon the flow of students, educators and researchers across borders. National security and counterterrorism considerations are of course vital to effective immigration policy. But the current situation is causing deeply regrettable alarm and uncertainty for many people who are part of the academic community here in the United States.

As background, the new federal administration issued an executive order on Friday that, among other things, suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days and also barred entry for 90 days for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. News reports have indicated that individuals from those countries who hold green cards will need case-by-case waivers to return to the United States following travel.

Since news of a draft of the executive order began circulating last week, Stanford has been contacting members of our community who are from these countries to provide information and support, and to engage with concerned student groups. The Bechtel International Center, Office of International Affairs, Student Affairs, and many other campus organizations have been working on these efforts and will continue to do so.

The university is encouraging members of our community who may be impacted by the executive order to postpone international travel for the time being. In addition, recognizing the concerns of students and scholars from other countries not addressed in the current executive order, we are working to develop broader travel guidance that will be issued in the coming week.

Advisers are available at the Bechtel International Center to support those who have questions or need assistance. In addition, a gathering is being planned for next week at Stanford Law School, bringing together immigration law experts and others to provide additional information and to reaffirm our support for one another as a community.

We are quite concerned about the experience of one of our students upon returning to the United States from Sudan late Friday. This graduate student, a legal permanent resident of the United States, was detained for several hours at Kennedy International Airport, and handcuffed briefly, upon trying to return from a research trip. While thankfully she was released, we are enormously concerned about the anguish this episode caused our student and her family, and what it may suggest for others in similar situations. An unfortunate consequence of the new policy appears to be that students and scholars from designated countries are, for the moment, effectively detainees in this country.

The Association of American Universities, of which Stanford is a part, issued a statement on Saturday that we are including below. It, too, reflects our concerns and priorities.

While we work in the short term to provide support and assistance to members of our campus community, over the medium and longer term we will continue to work with AAU and other national partners on strategies for helping to shape visa and immigration policies in ways consistent with our shared values.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, John Etchemendy and Persis Drell

Statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman:

We recognize the importance of a strong visa process to our nation’s security. However, the administration’s new order barring the entry or return of individuals from certain countries is already causing damage and should end as quickly as possible. The order is stranding students who have been approved to study here and are trying to get back to campus, and threatens to disrupt the education and research of many others.

We also urge the Administration, as soon as possible, to make clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome the most talented individuals from all countries to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at our universities. It is vital to our economy and the national interest that we continue to attract the best students, scientists, engineers, and scholars. That is why we have worked closely with previous administrations, especially in the wake of 9/11, to ensure our visa system prevents entry by those who wish to harm us, while maintaining the inflow of talent that has contributed so much to our nation.

Other countries have set the goal of surpassing the United States as the global leader in higher education, research, and innovation. Allowing them to replace this country as the prime destination for the most talented students and researchers would cause irreparable damage, and help them to achieve their goal of global leadership.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 January 2017 at 5:56 pm

Shaping one’s worldview through Google is not a good idea: e.g., Dylann Roof

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Thanks to JvR for pointing this out:

Written by LeisureGuy

22 January 2017 at 9:11 pm

Posted in Education, Technology

Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening

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It is amazing how often something that is scientifically known and demonstrated to work will be ignored in favor of approaches that in fact make the problem worse. (I blogged one interesting example a few days ago.) Iceland took some findings of behavioral science and applied them. Emma Young reports in Mosaic what happened:

Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. “This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen,” says Milkman. “I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.”

Read the article for what they did and why. It really is a matter of asking basic questions: Why do teens get high? For the feelings. What causes the feelings? Brain chemistry. Can the same brain chemistry be triggered by other, more benign causes?

Well, there are sports, and learning things, and so on…

It’s quite a fascinating article, and note the many benefits of Iceland’s approach as compared to the approach the US uses (break into people’s houses, steal their possessions through asset forfeiture, lock people up, create cause for cop corruption, and so on). That is, not just lower use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, but also the development of more skills and knowledge in teens (who soon will be adults, and probably more successful as a result of a more productive adolescence).

In the context of the article, watch again this video—but read the article first:

Written by LeisureGuy

18 January 2017 at 2:54 pm

Betty DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, flat-out lied to the Senate

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Trump clearly doesn’t put much stock in telling the truth, and he is nominating people whose attitude reflects his own. Do read Jeremy Scahill’s report at The Intercept.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 January 2017 at 11:34 am

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