Speculative Diction: Contemplation of Innovation [October 31 2011]

This post takes a look at the report produced by a government panel led by Tom Jenkins, placing the report in the context of decades of Canadian government policy and critiques about “lack of innovation” and the low level of research done by Canadian industry.

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Speculative Diction: On the Up and Up – Socioeconomic Class and Inter-Generational Change [September 19, 2011]

I wrote this post after watching theĀ Up Series, a group of documentaries begun in 1964 and continued for every 7 years after. The series traces the personal histories of a group of children through their adulthood. I was struck by how much people’s life trajectories seem to have changed within less than 2 generations, particularly with regards to education and employment.

The latest instalment of theĀ Up Series56 Up – was released last year (2012).

Speculative Diction: The Absurdity of Numbers [February 20, 2011]

Building on the same themes I discussed in “Proof of the pudding“, this post returns to the “completion agenda” in the United States and the role of for-profit colleges, the question of who is getting what out of higher education, and some issues with the concept of “human capital” as a driver of policy.

Speculative Diction: Creative Thinking [November 2, 2010]

I’m fascinated with the idea of “creativity” and I have been for a long time, probably because I’ve been labelled as “creative” my whole life (I started out in the fine arts and spent 2 years working on a BFA). However, I find I don’t identify much with the way creativity is so frequently discussed in economic terms. This post was the beginning of some thoughts on the issue. I later proposed a conference talk which was accepted after peer review, though unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the conference. I hope to publish something lengthier and more in-depth in the future.

Speculative Diction: The Proof of the Pudding [September 21 2010]

In this blog post I discuss how the focus on measurable outcomes from higher education, and on quantitative measures of comparison such as international rankings. How are these linked to a culture of risk and accountability, considering that students paying higher premiums for education are now seeking a return on their “investment”? What happens when they don’t get the outcomes they paid for – and why is it that we can never market higher education as a “product” that is the same for everyone?