Coding Bootcamps and the New For-Profit Higher Ed

There are actually a number of narratives – some of them competing narratives – at play here in the recent push for coding bootcamps, MOOCs, and other ed-tech initiatives: that everyone should go to college; that college is too expensive – “a bubble” in the Silicon Valley lexicon; that alternate forms of credentialing will be developed (by the technology sector, naturally); that the tech sector is itself a meritocracy, and…

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Students don’t know what’s best for their own learning

Many educators worry that students are more positive about teachers who give better marks regardless of what the students learn, and are more negative about teachers who make students work hard in order to learn. If this is true, it means the simplest way for a teacher to get a good evaluation is to make it easy for students to get good marks. As it happens, students who rated their…


Smith College Protesters Bar Journalists From Covering Sit-In Unless They Support the Cause

Reporters planning to cover the sit-in arrived at the Massachusetts college’s student center on Wednesday only to find that the protesters intended to keep them out. Alyssa Mata-Flores, a Smith senior and a sit-in organizer, elaborated on the decision to The Republican: “We are asking that any journalists or press that cover our story participate and articulate their solidarity with black students and students of color. By taking a neutral stance, journalists…

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Where is the tipping point?

What if universities stopped buying academic journals, and put the money towards hiring editors who helped their faculty publish their scholarship in their own free, open-source journals? I don’t know how much labour goes into running a prestigious journal, but let’s say all the universities that really need those specialised mathematics journals sat down and discussed what kind of editors they would need in order to create their own journals.…

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Reading should not carry a health warning

This is probably the first time in history that young readers themselves are demanding protection from the disturbing content of their course texts, yet reading has been seen as a threat to mental health for thousands of years. In accordance with the paternalistic ethos of ancient Greece, Socrates said that most people couldn’t handle written text on their own. He feared that for many – especially the uneducated – reading…


Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment

The conventional wisdom is that humanities majors are wasting all that tuition money and dooming themselves to lives of underemployment. The conventional wisdom is wrong. Humanities degrees are actually worth well more than the cost of college. […] The present value of the extra earnings that graduates in humanities majors can expect over their lifetime is $302,400 for drama majors, $444,700 for English majors, $537,800 for history majors, and $658,900…