teaching

More on bad Ontario/California comparisons

Ken Snowdon has released a paper that echoes our criticisms about Ian Clark’s recent article advocating “California Style”differentiation in Ontario. OCUFA, our publisher, has the complete document and a short summary.

Snowdon’s analysis reveals several facts that should give policy-makers pause before they rush to emulate California: Clark’s analysis is a bad case of “apples-to-oranges” comparisons; there is little evidence that California’s system is any cheaper per student, or any better in terms of outcomes; and invalid comparisons of

The perils of California Dreamin’ in higher education

Writing in the National Post, Ian Clark argues that emulating California’s higher education system will increase the productivity and efficiency of Ontario’s universities. No doubt, this is an idea that will appeal to some, but the rest of us should be cautious in accepting his conclusions.

Clark, along with David Trick and Richard Van Loon, have built a bit of a cottage industry around diagnosing the ailments of Ontario’s universities and suggesting ways to cure them. Their work, expressed

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Zen and the Art of Metacognition: Quality-Based Discrimination, Peer Assessment & Technology

In 1974, Robert M. Pirsig wrote a book entitled “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, within which he provided a philosophical argument for the primacy of quality.  Quality is described as a metaphysical underpinning of , well, just about anything; an underpinning from which other characteristics can be derived.  I read this book for the first time about 2 years ago, after I had become passionate about using technology to better support the development of meta-cognitive skills in students. 

Teaching Mentorship Matters

Learning how to teach is an important process of academic life. But when should it begin? How does it happen? Who should be involved? Who is responsible?