What was your sex education like? Did you get any at all past the age of 16? Given that only a quarter to a third of young people have sex before they are 16, but most will have had sex at least once by the age of 19, it seems remiss not to provide high-quality sex education for the 16-25 age range (especially since that is the age group most at risk of contracting STIs such as chlamydia).
Unfortunately, sex education hasn’t moved on much from puberty, plumbing and prevention, and is often reported as being too little, too late and too biological. In the new internet world order where porn and internet hook-ups prevail, and the use of dating apps by perpetrators of sexual violence was reported last week to have increased sharply, it is time we provided sex and relationships education fit for the 21st century, to help us to enjoy our bodies safely.Continue reading...
Newcomb’s problem has split the world of philosophy into two opposing camps. Two philosophers explain - then take the test yourself
Two boxes or not two boxes? That is the question.
For almost half a century Newcomb’s problem has been one of the most contentious conundrums in philosophy, with ramifications in economics, politics and computer science.Continue reading...
Andrew Garrad (Letters, 25 November) says that economists could learn from engineers that there is no “right answer”. There are, however, wrong answers. Historically, engineering has learned from its wrong answers, be they collapsed bridges or crashed aeroplanes; if engineering behaved like mainstream economics, it would look at the wreckage of an aeroplane, deny that any crash had occurred and announce that scheduled flights will continue.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bath
• Having read and loved all of Alex Wheatle’s books, I found his interview fascinating (Report, 19 November). Undoubtedly, the assumption that black writers writing in patois is effortless is an erroneous and careless judgment. Yet this might be more careless than “a form of white privilege”. Were I, a white girl from the Midlands, to live and work in Jamaica and write a book featuring Cockney rhyming slang, would anyone recognise the effort? Cultural difference is not the same as prejudice.
To address prohibitive costs of attendance, the Manhattan university is piloting a scheme helping students save money by lodging in elderly people’s homes
Studying at New York University has become so prohibitively expensive that the historic Manhattan school is introducing a scheme to help students save money by lodging in elderly people’s spare bedrooms.
Andrew Hamilton, NYU’s new president, has approved a pilot scheme to pair up students with low-income older people struggling to make ends meet. The scheme – dubbed “Grandma’s spare room” – may sound like the premise of an intergenerational sitcom but it will begin in fall 2017, and university officials said initial demand had been so strong that it could be extended to hundreds of students and perhaps other schools in New York and other expensive cities across the country.Continue reading...
A rise in racist incidents and a crackdown on visas leave overseas students nervous about studying in the UK
When Maciej Fabrycki, a student at Warwick University, spoke to his parents over the summer, they told him to be careful. His parents, who live back home in Poland, had read about a rise in racist abuse following the vote for Brexit.
“They tell me when I’m coming back from a night out not to speak Polish or not to show off the fact that I’m Polish because it might provoke some British people,” says Fabrycki, who came to the UK to study management and finance. “But they’ve never lived here, so what they hear is from the media, and the image in the media is negative.”Continue reading...
Can you wire a plug, drive a car, understand your electricity bill? Get with the adulting programme
There is a pair of wooden width restrictors on the road near my flat, around which car parts are littered like snow. On a Monday you’ll find a broken wing mirror, Tuesday a full bumper, Wednesday the entire back seat of a Vauxhall Zafira complete with severed leg of a driver who didn’t have the time to go back for it.
I have just turned 36 and still can’t drive, and though I often contemplate learning, it’s these wooden sticks that make me think it’s too late. If only I’d listened to my mum when I was still young and narrow enough.Continue reading...
Born a miner’s daughter, Alice Bacon’s experiences as a teacher at an interwar secondary modern put her on a mission to transform education in Britain. Yorkshire’s first woman MP – elected in 1945 – was passionate about how education could radically improve lives in working-class communities such as hers in West Yorkshire. As an MP and as a minister, she got to fulfil her dream.
As Alice saw it, she was one of a lucky few to go to a grammar school but she could see the world of opportunity denied to her friends, a view confirmed by her time as a teacher. It became Alice’s political, social and personal crusade to improve the education of working-class boys and girls. Early political influence came from her father who took his teenage daughter to work, a memory seared in her mind, describing later how she “went down the mine into its inner workings and almost terrifying darkness”.Continue reading...
City jobs boom brings need for more homes – but proposals could lead to the loss of protected land
It has all the elements of a Tom Sharpe comic novel, a town versus gown spat in which wealthy colleges, politicians and conservation groups slug it out to shape the future of Cambridge. Who emerges victorious will reveal much about how Britain could look decades from now.
The seeds of the row lie in the city’s economic success. Thanks to the draw of its university, Cambridge has become a magnet for technology and biomedical firms. But this brings attendant pressures. Between 2001 and 2011, the population of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire increased by 14%, from 240,000 to 275,000, placing huge demands on housing. The average house price in the city is now above £500,000.Continue reading...
Bill O’Reilly, who doesn’t say ‘please’ on his show, has teamed up with James Patterson for a book that’s really about cementing existing power structures
As a children’s book author and a father of two demanding boys, I read a lot of picture books. As so many parents know, I also read a small number of picture books a great number of times (seriously, who the hell cares what Brown Bear sees?)
Children’s books, like literature in general, can be bent toward various ends. Some, like The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats’s 1962 classic, or Adelaide by Tomi Ungerer, are beautiful stories. Others, like Jon Klassen’s We Found a Hat or Adam Rubin’s Dragons Love Tacos, are just fun to read. There’s another genre, though, I might call “message books” which get a little dicey.Continue reading...
Leading authors pick international classics that should be on student’s bookshelves, but are often neglected by universities
I teach it to my first years and return to the book through their degree. It is the perfect introduction to complex ideas: oppressive socio-economic political structures, forms of resistance and defiance, and the point at which violence becomes justifiable. Students always find the book challenging, disturbing and thought provoking. And that is exactly what university syllabi ought to be!Continue reading...
University counselling services face rise in demand from students struggling to cope with academic and social pressure
Nathan is a 20-year-old arts student. He had depression before he came to university, and felt well-supported by his family, but it has been difficult living and studying away from home.
“Suddenly you come to university and you’ve not got your family around you. So you need your friends, which is tricky because they are busy and stressed themselves.”
I am paid less than ever before and work with scant resources but it is bliss compared with my old schools in Britain
Ten years ago, I took my first job as an English teacher in an east London comprehensive next to a large council estate. I had gravitated towards the profession because it was in my family. My father was a lifer at his school and vastly improved the chances of thousands of students over 30 years; I wanted to be able to say the same for myself when I reached retirement age.Continue reading...
Glenn Sargeant was the principal a generation of girls trusted to support them through pregnancy and help them stay at school
If you found out you were pregnant at the age of fifteen, would you trust your high school principal enough to tell him first?
It sounds unlikely, but for many girls at Plumpton High in Sydney’s western suburbs, this was their reality – and the remarkable man they placed their trust in was Glenn Sargeant.Continue reading...
With regard to David Kynaston’s recent letter (22 November) in which he claims that “science can learn far more from the humanities than the other way round”, this exemplifies a misunderstanding of what CP Snow was saying. Yes, he was pointing out that there are two cultures, but he did not believe this was a good thing. He also reported that, while in the company of scientists he would expect them to have a reasonable knowledge of, say, the works of Shakespeare, in the company of those from the humanities he would hardly ever obtain an understanding of the laws of thermodynamics.
Unfortunately, the debate will continue along its misguided path. Some years back, I attended a meeting with a high-ranking civil servant with a background in the humanities who asked the scientists in attendance whether government should stop financing science and let others (eg the US) do it instead. The natural response was that this would lead to the UK being very poor technologically and disadvantaged in terms of the translation of research into business. More importantly, however, it missed the important point that the culture of our country is heavily influenced by science and technology, viz Newton, Bacon, Boyle, Hooke, Darwin and Wallace, the Hunter brothers, Rutherford, Sanger and so on...
Professor Bernard Moxham
Heartlands academy, which ended teaching assistant’s job over 9/11 footage objection, now faces racial discrimination allegations
A school accused of ethnic discrimination against a teaching assistant is facing similar allegations after a senior staff member was charged with racially abusing a teacher.
Heartlands academy in Birmingham came under fire when an assistant’s role at the school was terminated after she objected to her class of 11- and 12-year-old special needs children being shown footage of people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks.Continue reading...