Let’s See What’s in the News Today (Apr. 5, 2015)





Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call “phenomenon” teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take “cafeteria services” lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills. More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union – which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.



Allowing children to live in poverty is a policy choice, not the inevitable result of a given family structure. As author and activist Barbara Ehrenreich has often argued, poverty is not a lack of character, it is a lack of money. Our tendency to shame single mothers or low-income families and express grave concern about their growing numbers improves nothing. Rather, it fosters a climate in which politicians fear a backlash for supporting programs that supposedly “validate” nontraditional family structures. Ambitious family-friendly policies that have potential to dramatically improve the lives of struggling families cannot succeed in a political climate where the nuclear family unit is valued over all others.










  • The famous Trolley problem in philosophy gets more complicated when you look at the race, gender, class, or socioeconomic status of the person who is being sacrificed.

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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