'You're a sinner': how a Mormon university shames rape victims

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 30/04/2016 - 12:00

Rape survivors at Brigham Young University, considered the ‘Mormon Harvard’, face penalties under its strict honor code. Now they’re fighting back

Madi Barney sat sobbing in the Provo, Utah, police department. It had been four days since the Brigham Young University sophomore had been raped in her off-campus apartment.

She was scared – terrified – that the officials at her strict, Mormon university would find out and punish her.

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Categories: Education news feeds

VIDEO: Morgan heckled over academy plans

BBC - Sat, 30/04/2016 - 10:54
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been heckled at the National Association of Head Teachers' conference in Birmingham.
Categories: Education news feeds

The key to learning a new skill? Wanting it badly enough

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 30/04/2016 - 09:00

Learning is all about motivation. When we really want to learn something, we generally succeed, even when the going gets tough

Imagine I gave you a book full of words, numbers and strange symbols – 150-odd pages of the stuff. Some of the things relate to each other in obvious ways, others not so much. Now suppose I’m going to test you: 50 questions about the contents of that book, how do you think you’d do?

Well, if you can drive a car, chances are you’ve already done very well: those of you who passed the theory test recently will have got at least 43 out of 50 questions correct. That’s just one everyday example of the average person’s capacity to learn something that appears complex at first. Despite recently making the questions tougher, the DVLA still reports that the test has a pass rate above 50%.

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Secret Teacher: pupils with behavioural issues are overwhelming my SEN school

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 30/04/2016 - 07:00

My school is designed for students with moderate learning difficulties but their needs are undermined by the arrival of pupils with severe behavioural problems

• More from the Secret Teacher

I’m standing in the middle of the playground on break-time duty, doing my best to scan the area. If accident, injury, or a play-fight suddenly turn nasty, disaster can strike in a matter of seconds. I glance at my watch – only two minutes to go, thank goodness. Then I see Kerry running towards me. “Miss! Miss! Charlie’s crying! Jordan’s being horrible to him!” I follow Kerry and see Charlie, a slightly-built child with severe autism, crouching close to the ground, sobbing. “What’s the matter, Charlie?” I ask. “Jordan keeps saying I look like an alien and that she’s glad my Mum’s sick,” he says between sobs (Charlie’s mum has cancer). I promise to sort this out, but as I lead him back across the playground, it crosses my mind that this won’t be the last time today that Charlie, and others like him, suffer this kind of torment.

I teach in a special school, which caters for pupils with moderate learning difficulties (MLD). Our pupils go from reception age right through to year 11 and have a range of diagnoses from autistic spectrum disorder and Asperger syndrome to Down’s syndrome. These diagnoses are often accompanied by a variety of medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, which combine to significantly hamper a child’s ability to learn.

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CV of failures: Princeton professor publishes résumé of his career lows

The Guardian Unlimited - Sat, 30/04/2016 - 04:51

Johannes Haushofer bravely posts document listing degree programs he did not get in to and academic positions he did not get

A professor at Princeton University has published a CV listing his career failures on Twitter, in an attempt to “balance the record” and encourage others to keep trying in the face of disappointment.

Johannes Haushofer, who is an assistant professor of psychology and public affairs at the university in New Jersey, posted his unusual CV on Twitter last week. The document contains sections titled Degree programs I did not get into, Research funding I did not get and Paper rejections from academic journals.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Head's doubts over mass academisation

BBC - Sat, 30/04/2016 - 00:26
A heads teachers' leader has expressed his doubts about government plans to force all schools in England to become academies.
Categories: Education news feeds

Over 30,000 sign petition to boycott primary school Sats tests

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 23:36

Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign calls for parents to keep Year 2 children off school on 3 May, saying they are ‘overworked’

More than 30,000 people have backed a boycott of the Sats exams next week.

The Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign wants parents to keep their children off primary school, saying they are “over-tested, over-worked and in a school system that places more importance of test results and league tables than children’s happiness and joy of learning”.

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Sats have troubled England’s children for too long: they must go | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 19:14

We, as teachers, educators, parents and grandparents, are writing out of huge concern for the deteriorating experience of children in England’s primary schools – and the part played by assessment models in this distressing process.

A year ago over 80 of us signed a letter to the Guardian saying why we opposed the baseline assessment for four-year-olds. We welcome the decision to withdraw that, in the light of experience, and note that the proposed key stage 1 grammar has recently been cancelled due to errors in administration.

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Nine Edinburgh schools to remain closed until end of summer holidays

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 18:08

More than 3,500 children will continue to be taught at other sites while remedial work is carried out to fix building defects

More than 3,500 children in Edinburgh affected by the emergency closure of 17 privately financed schools will be taught in temporary sites until the next school year starts in August.

The city council said on Friday that nine of the 17 schools shut suddenly after potentially lethal building defects were found will remain closed for nearly four more months. They will reopen after the summer holidays on 17 August while remedial work is carried out – later than council leaders and parents had hoped.

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Primary tests would have stumped Jane Austen, says teacher

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 17:51

National Association of Head Teachers says new grammar assessments for 10- and 11-year-olds in England are too difficult

The new grammar tests for primary school pupils would have stumped Jane Austen, according to an experienced headteacher, as members of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) criticised the government’s assessment regime.

Amanda Hulme, an NAHT executive member and head of a primary school in Bolton, said the tests for year six pupils were too difficult for the 10- and 11-year-olds in England who would be taking them this year.

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Categories: Education news feeds

Primary tests in England 'too hard'

BBC - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 16:19
New national tests to be sat by 11-year-olds in England have been made too hard, say head teachers.
Categories: Education news feeds

School for standups: let’s teach chidren the art of playing the fool | Christina Patterson

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 14:57
In this world where we live, there should be more happiness. – so a new search for the nation’s classroom jokers seems like a good idea

The puddle was bad enough. The tiny puddle that started with a trickle was really quite bad enough. One minute I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, trying to look as if I was singing along to Now Thank We All Our God. The next, I was being marched out of the assembly hall by a teacher. I was sent home in someone else’s (clean) pants. But at least no one had told me that I’d have to stand at the front of the class and perform standup comedy.

If we all studied standup, we would certainly learn how to deal with humiliation, and how to have another go

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Categories: Education news feeds

Experience: I am 16 and live alone in the wilderness

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 14:00

I have an open fire and spend my evenings tanning animal and fish skins, and carving wood

I live alone on the Isle of Skye in a tipi almost impossible to find without detailed directions. It might seem unusual for someone of 16, but I love my own company and I’m passionate about preserving wild spaces. I grew up with my mum, Ghillie, and older sister, Yazzie, in the wilds of the Cairngorms, in a remote and sometimes inaccessible home, using cross-country skis to haul food and supplies to the house.

Mum, a cookbook writer, taught us about possible dangers and how to cope with them, then let us run wild from an early age. We also travelled abroad regularly, visiting remote tribes and cultures, where we lived for weeks as Mum studied food and recipes to write about. I spent so much time with tribes who rely on the land that this became second nature to me. When I gained a place at the School of Adventure Studies on Skye last year, I decided to live in a tipi, practising what I preach.

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Categories: Education news feeds

If it’s cheaper to study in the US, the student finance system really is broken | Abi Wilkinson

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 12:09

Graduates from England incur the most debt, research has found. It’s an intimidating figure that deters bright applicants from poorer backgrounds

Going to university felt like it was worthwhile. I enjoyed myself. I found my course interesting, and regularly use the things I learned in my writing. I got involved in various extracurricular activities and balanced studying with paid part-time work, allowing me to develop organisational skills that have helped me as a freelancer.

I also paid only a fraction of the tuition fees faced by current students. A recent report by the Sutton Trust showing that students in England graduate with more debt than anywhere else in the English-speaking world – including the US, where the cost of higher education has become a central political issue – has made me wonder whether I would have bothered with uni if tuition had been nine grand a year.

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Five steps to put young people at the heart of development | Carla Kweifio-Okai

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 11:30

Responding to the needs of the world’s 3.5 billion young people will be vital in achieving the global goals. How do we get them more involved in policy-making?

With more than half the global population aged under 30, issues affecting young people are receiving greater attention from policymakers. Tackling high youth unemployment and low school attendance rates, and providing greater access to sexual and reproductive health services, are now top priorities. Leaders are beginning to realise that responding to young people’s needs is the only way to meet the biggest challenges facing the world.

But how involved are young people in the decisions that affect them? We asked campaigners involved with the youth-led NGO Restless Development what needs to be done to bring them closer to the heart of development.

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'I must have my teddy': what do students need to feel at home?

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 10:52

The idea of home can be complicated when you move away from where you grew up. Students tell us how they settled into their halls

Accidentally referring to uni as “home” in the presence of Mum and Dad can be the first sign that you have settled in. But the idea of home can be complicated when moving away for the first time.

While university can be an exciting escape from parental authority, it’s common for students to feel uncomfortable in their new surroundings. Students tell us what has made them feel most at home.

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VIDEO: Is primary testing too stressful?

BBC - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 09:08
The testing regime for primary schools in England is in chaos and distracting to pupils, says the National Association of Head Teachers.
Categories: Education news feeds

Coalition considers caps and ombudsman for student loan scheme

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 08:54

Discussion paper will form basis of Coalition policy on private vocational education and training in the election

Student loans for the private vocational education and training (VET) sector could be capped and restricted to certain courses, a government discussion paper has suggested.

It also proposed an ombudsman be appointed for the sector, which has been plagued with scandals.

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Story of cities #33: how Santiago tackled its housing crisis with 'Operation Chalk'

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 07:30

In 1965, Chile launched a bold new policy which became infamous for officials’ use of white chalk to mark out plots of land for Santiago’s poorest families. Half a century on, did it really help those in need – or simply deepen social divisions?

Castor Castro was 14 years old when his family moved to La Faena, a residential project in east Santiago, in 1967. “There was nothing here, just bare earth,” Castro recalls, sitting in the house his parents built back then. “Each family was given a plot, and they had to get on with it and build. There was no electricity supply and no plumbing – just land.”

Despite this rudimentary introduction to La Faena, Castor and his family were, in many ways, lucky. They were beneficiaries of “Operación Sitio” (Operation Site), a bold housing policy rolled out by the Chilean state in the late 1960s.

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Child mental health crisis 'worse than suspected'

The Guardian Unlimited - Fri, 29/04/2016 - 07:00

Natasha Devon, the government’s mental health champion in England and Wales, warns of ‘medicalising childhood’

The crisis in children’s mental health is far worse than most people suspect and we are in danger of “medicalising childhood” by focussing on symptoms rather than causes, the government’s mental health champion for schools has warned.

Natasha Devon, who has been working in schools for almost a decade delivering mental health and wellbeing classes, said an average of three children in a class were diagnosed with a mental illness, but many more slipped under the radar.

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