University-prison partnership brings hope to incarcerated learners

“In a makeshift classroom at a correctional facility in Southern Ontario, some 20 students – half of them incarcerated at the facility – sit in a circle alongside a professor. While the professor is responsible for framing discussion topics and structuring class activities, students are encouraged to direct comments at their peers, linking personal perspectives and experiences to the class readings. The students are participating in the Walls to Bridges (W2B) program, which was launched by the faculty of social work at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2011.”

University-NGO partnership brings hope to students overcoming war

“In late April, the administration at Wilfrid Laurier University announced it will provide additional support for international students from war-torn countries to come study at the university. The news is a big win for the leadership of International Students Overcoming War (ISOW), a student-led group at Laurier which provides full scholarships to international students whose lives have been disrupted by violence in their homeland. ISOW has been advocating for more money since January, when the uncertain political situation in the U.S. made Canada the preferred choice for many international students fleeing war.”

Redefining the role of the university in the Trump era

“Canadian universities face potential funding problems as a result of United States protectionist policies, but the bigger threat is of populism spreading across the border. As a result they need to embrace their role to teach more than skills, educating individuals to take responsibility for their part in society.”

The human foundations of the university

There is a good bit of dusty German philosophy in Karl Jaspers [1], who doesn’t seem to be known as a philosopher so much as a psychiatrist and for his contributions to that field. Some of his dusty philosophy can be found in the book The Idea of the University, a couple of chapters of which I discuss here because, well, I had to discuss it in class so I might as well.

Philosopher’s Walk (short film)

The poem “There is ample metaphysics in not thinking at all” is one of the most popular by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. In “Philosopher’s Walk”, Conditioned Things brings the poem to life while highlighting an apparent contradiction: can a philosopher proclaim that it is best not to think at all?
graduation: Eduardo Penna

Why we value education

About a century ago, prominent educational thinker John Dewey argued that education is the means of the social continuity of life. He also predicted that, by the end of the 20th century, Bachelor’s degrees would be as commonplace as high school diplomas, or even literacy. And he meant Bachelor of Arts degrees, and with concentrations in philosophy, no less. Unfortunately, public perception towards higher education has remained fundamentally flawed: we value a degree only to the extent that it affords professional success.
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