Anti-Semitism compensation and apology for student

BBC - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 16:34
A Jewish student who suffered anti-Semitic racial abuse and bullying accepts a payout and apology from the University of York Students' Union.
Categories: Education news feeds

In a world of fear and loathing, we need art more than ever

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 14:38

Attempts to downgrade the importance of art in education are plain wrong. Creativity is transforming lives, and always will

This has been a grisly week, and the future looks rather a mess, so as light relief I’d like to report on something uplifting and beautiful I saw in London last week – an exhibition by artists working with the charity Intoart of ceramics, prints and paintings. It included a stunning 48-piece tiled frieze by Mawuena Kattah, full of energy, colour, wit, and all about who and what she loves. I stood gazing at it and listening to how she had done it – a very complex procedure using photos, stencils, transfers, tracings, ceramic tiles, firings, paintings and slips, and all the more adventurous because she’d never done ceramics before, and has a learning disability, like all of Intoart’s artists.

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Funding honoured for EU students in UK

BBC - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 14:06
Students from the European Union starting university courses in the UK this autumn are promised no change to student loans funding.
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How to teach ... UFOs

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 13:53

From flying saucers to alien life on other planets, our lessons will help you explore all things extra-terrestrial from the comfort of your classroom

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? If you have to ask, then – technically – it is an unidentified flying object (UFO), although not necessarily an alien craft. Saturday 2 July is World UFO day, when residents of Earth are encouraged to look skyward in search of unexpected items whizzing around. The date was chosen in honour of the first ever reported UFO sighting: US pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed to have seen nine objects flying in tandem on 24 June 1947 in Mount Rainier national park.

This year’s World UFO day was also chosen to mark the anniversary of the supposed UFO crash in Roswell – and is commemorated as a means of encouraging the US government to declassify its files on UFOs. It’s an intriguing subject, and one that works across the curriculum. So how can you explore it with your students?

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Pat Glass appointed Labour's education shadow secretary

BBC - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 12:20
Pat Glass has been announced as Labour's shadow education secretary, after Lucy Powell resigned from Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet.
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Universities will pay a high price now our future has been voted down | Peter Scott

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 12:05

Our EU exit will endanger the UK’s scientific capability and the liberal and cosmopolitan culture on campus

The unthinkable now has to be thought. The UK is abandoning Europe, which – let’s be honest – is what leaving the EU amounts to. That is going to be particularly tough for higher education. The overwhelming majority in colleges and universities, from overpaid vice-chancellors to debt-burdened students, was pro-Europe. The remain votes in Oxford and Cambridge, Brighton and Cardiff demonstrate that clearly enough. It was probably also the higher education vote that tipped the balance in cities like Leeds and Newcastle.

The great majority of informed opinion, the “experts” derided by the leave campaign (most shamefully by Michael Gove, a former education secretary), was also clear: the only rational decision was to stay in the EU. Nobel prize-winners, distinguished economists, the world-class scientists of whom we are so proud – they were (almost) of one voice.

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Universities have survived wars and dictatorships. They will survive this too

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 12:01
Despite the vote I remain an optimist – a cross-border European community of scholars predates the EU by centuries

The referendum will be regarded as a good day for Ukip and a bad day for British universities. But it is not as simple as that. Ukip is itself the child of a UK university. Its first leader, Alan Sked, was the LSE’s head of European studies. In that role, he convinced himself the EU was “mad, undemocratic, a waste of money, profligate, [and] a bad bargain for Britain both economically and politically”. A UK university begat Ukip, which begat Nigel Farage.

Nonetheless, strongly Eurosceptic views are rare in British higher education. In the referendum campaign there was a broad consensus in favour of remain among vice-chancellors, staff and students. This unity was a strength but also a weakness. Groupthink meant the pro-EU arguments were a little lazy, typically focusing on universities’ income rather than more outward-looking points. Moreover, the limited support for Brexit on campus prevented the arguments from being sharpened in the cut and thrust of open debate. In a recent poll by the Higher Education Policy Institute, one-quarter of students said Ukip members should be barred from campuses.

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India Bihar 'exam topper' sent to jail for cheating

BBC - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 10:44
A "top student" in India's Bihar state, 17-year-old Ruby Rai, is arrested after a panel of examiners retesting her cancelled her original results.
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Treasury of historic clothing revealed at Westminster Abbey

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 08:00

Undressing of royal and aristocratic funeral effigies for conservation work gives costume historians the chance to examine extraordinary collection

Poor King Charles II cuts a forlorn figure in Westminster Abbey, arms and chest stripped down to scrawny straw, sacking and wood, head gone just like his father – but his lower body is still covered in magnificent blue silk stockings, and a dainty pair of cream silk underpants, tied with a bow at the back.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like them – but there is no reason to think they are not original to the figure. There’s no proof that they actually belonged to Charles himself, but it’s certainly possible,” said textile conservator Zenzie Tinker.

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Putting power in the hands of parents

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 08:00

The establishment has one view of parent power – parents have another

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Pay close attention to who our children are – not who we want them to be | Lucy Clark

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 06:37

My daughter’s unexpected struggle with one-size-fits-all schooling became an article and then a book on our vanishingly narrow concept of success

I never really went in for the concept of learning from one’s children. Every time a celebrity with a freshly baked newborn would gush about how much the little bundle had taught them I would roll my eyes and think oh, come on! Not only did this half-blind creature not ask to be brought into the world, they have to provide you, the parent, with all the answers too? What a burden.

It’s supposed to be the other way round, right? Fill the empty vessels with your hard-won wisdom, teach them well, watch them tick off their milestones at the mandated moments, mould them into strictly regulated versions of oneself, and look forward to a life of martyrdom and smug pride in your supreme parental efficacy. This is the program.

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Indian police arrest schoolgirl in exam cheating scandal

The Guardian Unlimited - Mon, 27/06/2016 - 03:10

Seventeen-year-old who got best mark in the state detained by authorities after it emerged she couldn’t spell ‘political science’

Police have arrested a schoolgirl in north-east India for allegedly cheating during exams that saw her come top in the state.

Authorities in the impoverished state of Bihar have come under intense pressure to crack down on cheating this year during crucial school-leaving exams sat by hundreds of thousands of students.

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York University pays student £1,000 over antisemitic abuse

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 16:48

Zachary Confino will also receive a public apology after two years of abuse that he says ruined his university experience

A student at York University is to receive a public apology and £1,000 from the student union for antisemitic abuse he was subjected to during his studies.

Zachary Confino, a law student and former treasurer of the student union, said the university had done very little over two years when he was called a “Jewish prick”, an “Israeli twat” and subjected to an anonymous social media comment that Hitler was “on to something”. The payment is believed to be the first of its kind by a UK university.

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On the frontline of integration: how Swedish schools are helping refugees

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 08:00

Educators are trialling a range of initiatives to ensure newly arrived children do not fall through the gaps and all schools bear the pressure equally

Botkyrka, a municipality just south of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, is full of contrasts. The massive apartment complexes in the area’s northern suburbs, where most refugees and migrants settle, are a far cry from the airy wooden villas just 15 minutes away. The area’s schools are similarly divided; while some teach large numbers of children from non-Swedish backgrounds, others have few or none in their classes.

This contrast is becoming more stark. Of roughly 163,000 migrants who applied for asylum in Sweden in 2015, more than 70,000 of them were children. Half of those children arrived in the country alone. Swedish law stipulates that refugee children should be offered a school placement within a month of arriving – so far just 4% of schools have taken a third of the newly arrived pupils. It is feared that with some schools taking more of the strain than others, young people in the country are becoming segregated.

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Nostalgic elderly Brexiters have stolen my future | Sara Abbasi

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 00:08

The strong connection I have with the EU is a result of my academic choices, predominantly due to the opportunities offered to UK students like me

The future of the younger generation in the UK has been decided against their wishes. A nostalgic older generation has shaken my identity and I no longer fully understand what it means to be British. The number of students wanting to pursue opportunities in another EU country is likely to decline; it remains unclear whether or not future generations will even have the opportunities that were made available to me, which moulded me into an outward-looking, inquisitive and ambitious British citizen.

During my undergraduate studies, I was one of the only students who belonged to a BAME background on my languages course. I would often be asked why I chose to study a languages degree and I’d always proudly explain that the UK was a part of the EU and that we needed to learn to work closely with our neighbours and maintain friendly relations – by studying about their history, their cultures, their languages.

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Stand up for the arts in schools, say children’s laureates

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 00:07
Observer cartoonist explains the need for action by writers and illustrators for children

Children’s fiction sections of bookshelves are stalked by imaginary giants and superheroes. But these books have also given Britain a succession of real-life literary giants, from Lewis Carroll to Roald Dahl.

Now a group of leading modern-day titans of the field, the eight former children’s laureates, have joined forces with the current holder of the post, Chris Riddell, to create one formidable force.

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Despite the lack of resources we need a commitment to the arts in schools that reflects their value | Stephanie Merritt

The Guardian Unlimited - Sun, 26/06/2016 - 00:05
Despite the lack of resources we need a commitment to creativity in schools that reflects its value

In 2006, the 84-year-old Kurt Vonnegut wrote a letter to a class of schoolchildren who had asked him to visit. He was too ill to travel, but offered them instead the following lesson for life: “Practise any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

Beautiful advice, certainly; there’s no question that access to art and literature, and the opportunity to explore creative expression, can broaden young people’s outlook, boost their confidence and encourage empathy and curiosity about the wider world. Middle-class parents have always known this; it’s why their children are signed up for MiniMozart groups and pre-school Mandarin classes before they can walk. Being “cultured” opens doors even if you don’t pursue a career in the arts; private schools know this and usually offer a rich and varied extracurricular programme of artistic activities. But Vonnegut’s exhortation is not so easy to follow for young people who have little opportunity or guidance when it comes to the arts.

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'I don't like where the UK is going' – students share their feelings about Brexit

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 07:00

Young people – especially students – overwhelmingly voted to remain in the European Union. So how do they feel now that the country has opted to leave?

Britain’s exit from the European Union raises lots of questions for students. How will the vote affect their chances of getting a decent job after graduation? What will happen to the funding that’s available to EU undergraduates? Will UK students still be able to take part in study abroad programmes? And what does all this mean for research funding and postgraduates? The mood is one of uncertainty.

Most university students are aged 18-24, a cohort that polling data suggests was firmly in the remain camp, with 75% preferring to stay in the EU. So how do they feel about today’s result?

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Secret Teacher: restraining pupils is humiliating – for everyone

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 25/06/2016 - 07:00

Physical restraint is degrading and ineffective: the techniques are inept, and guidance on when to use them is ambiguous

I have been summoned from my classroom to relieve a colleague. When I come across the incident in the corridor, I see two teachers restraining a pupil on the floor. One of them is tiring and needs to be swapped, by me. We go through the procedure of disentangling limbs until I slide into the classic “figure four” restraint – my right arm threaded under the pupil’s, with my left hand clasping my own forearm and my right leg crossed over his at the ankle.

Pleased I have managed to remember the complicated human origami, I now look at the teenage boy who needs to be controlled in such a humiliating manner. I know him well – I have taught him for a while in our specialist autism unit. He has learning and communication difficulties and a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome. There have also been problems at home.

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The student experience — then and now

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 24/06/2016 - 14:51

Has university life changed beyond recognition for a new generation of undergraduates or is it the same as it ever was? Five parents compare their own experiences with their children’s

Long gone but not forgotten are those carefree student days of shared showers, derelict rental properties and parties where the booze always ran out before midnight. Being a student was quite a privilege in the good old days when local authorities and the government footed the bill and there was almost certainly a job at the end of it.

In the early 1960s, only 4% of school leavers went to university, rising to around 14% by the end of the 1970s. Nowadays, more than 40% of young people start undergraduate degrees – but it comes at a cost. Today’s students leave with debts of £40,000 and upwards to pay back over their working lives.

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