Education

Steven Pinker’s aid in Jeffrey Epstein’s legal defense

Inside Higher Ed reports: That convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein had help in avoiding federal or state prison is unsurprising: money and power often buy what they shouldn’t. But the recent revelation that Epstein found aid from star psychologist Steven Pinker in the form of a 2007 legal document surprised both Pinker’s fans and critics. At least at first. Then came the analysis: to supporters of Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor

Merkel takes aim at Trump in ‘tear down walls’ speech at Harvard

“I want to leave this wish with you: Tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness, for nothing has to stay as it is”. – Angela Merkel’s speech to students after receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from Harvard University. pic.twitter.com/r144M2Qb6K — James Melville (@JamesMelville) May 31, 2019 Politico reports: Angela Merkel urged Harvard graduates Thursday to “tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness” in a speech laced with apparent

Children change their parents’ minds about climate change

Lydia Denworth writes: Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg became famous this spring for launching a student movement to compel adults to take action on climate change. Instead of going to school, Greta has been spending her Fridays in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign reading: “School Strike for Climate.” Students in more than 70 countries have since followed her lead. But before she started trying to convince the world

Screen time has stunted the development of generations of children

The Guardian reports: A study has linked high levels of screen time with delayed development in children, reigniting the row over the extent to which parents should limit how long their offspring spend with electronic devices. Researchers in Canada say children who spent more time with screens at two years of age did worse on tests of development at age three than children who had spent little time with devices.

The importance of knowing you might be wrong

Brian Resnick writes: Julia Rohrer wants to create a radical new culture for social scientists. A personality psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Rohrer is trying to get her peers to publicly, willingly admit it when they are wrong. To do this, she, along with some colleagues, started up something called the Loss of Confidence Project. It’s designed to be an academic safe space for researchers to

Millions of America’s school children are being terrorized by gun violence

The Washington Post reports: Locked behind their green classroom door, MaKenzie Woody and 25 other first-graders huddled in the darkness. She sat on the vinyl tile floor against a far wall, beneath a taped-up list of phrases the kids were encouraged to say to each other: “I like you,” “You’re a rainbow,” “Are you ok?” In that moment, though, the 6-year-old didn’t say anything at all, because she believed that

Binge drinking and blackouts: Sobering truths about lost learning for college students

Young adults at a tailgate. Young adults are more likely than older adults to binge drink and are at greater risk when they do. Monkey Business ImagesShutterstock.com By Jamie Smolen, University of Florida Tens of thousands of college students nationwide will cheer for their football teams this weekend. Some of those who show up for the game after tailgate drinking may not remember the highlight touchdowns that they cheered so

The U.S. education system has produced a society of ‘smart fools’

Cornell University psychologist Robert Sternberg: IQ rose 30 points in the 20th century around the world, and in the U.S., that increase is continuing. That’s huge; that’s two standard deviations, which is like the difference between an average IQ of 100 and a gifted IQ of 130. We should be happy about this, but the question I ask is, If you look at the problems we have in the world

The Chinese Communist Party is setting up cells at universities across America

Foreign Policy reports: In July 2017, a group of nine Chinese students and faculty from Huazhong University of Science and Technology participating in a summer program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) formed a Chinese Communist Party branch on the third floor of Hopkins Hall, a campus dormitory. The group held meetings to discuss party ideology, taking a group photo in front of a red flag emblazoned with

The policing of opinion has become established practice in societies that call themselves free

John Gray writes: For liberals the recent transformation of universities into institutions devoted to the eradication of thought crime must seem paradoxical. In the past higher education was avowedly shaped by an ideal of unfettered inquiry. Varieties of social democrats and conservatives, liberals and Marxists taught and researched alongside scholars with no strong political views. Academic disciplines cherished their orthodoxies, and dissenters could face difficulties in being heard. But visiting

Allowing teachers to be armed is an asinine idea, says a veteran who’s been shot in combat

Matt Martin writes: Someone shooting at you, specifically trying to kill you, is probably the most terrifying life event a person could ever experience. Regardless of training, you don’t know how people will respond in life and death situations until the moment comes. You don’t know how people will react when they hear gunshots. You don’t know how people will react when the person next to them is shot. You

On the need for viewpoint diversity