Share your opinion!
Send us feedback by e-mail to
News. Careers. Ideas.
mish” about consuming genetically modified
organisms. There is a real scientific debate about
the safety of consuming GMOs: a number of
recent studies indicate that GM animal feed may
contribute to health problems in livestock.
As noted in the article, there have also been
concerns about GM salmon escaping into the
ocean and affecting wild fish stocks. In early
studies, at least, it was found that the large GM
salmon were more likely to mate but were also
less fertile than wild salmon – something that
could affect wild salmon stocks should the GM
salmon escape into the ocean. While using only
sterile female salmon in landlocked tanks may
give some assurance that this will not happen,
mistakes can happen (as the example of GM pigs
entering the food chain mentioned in the article
There are very real concerns, too, about the
current regulatory framework and the safety testing of GM foods (which is based on a very reduc-tionist approach to genetics). I would have hoped
that, in a publication for universities, these very
real concerns would be presented. While argu-ably this was beyond the scope of the article, the
tone of this piece seems to reduce any opposition
to GM animals or other GM foods to questions
of perception and politics, when in fact very significant safety and environmental concerns
raised by scientific studies remain outstanding.
Mr. Hathaway is a PhD candidate in adult education, and the
collaborative environmental studies program, at the University
à propos de l’article, « Un procès impliquant
l’industrie du tabac met en lumière le rôle
controversé de certains historiens » (Affaires universitaires, novembre 2013), c’est un excellent
reportage, très documenté, très bien synthétisé,
rédigé d’une plume alerte. Néanmoins, serait-il
possible, pour ne pas chagriner mon vieux papa
de 82 ans, de corriger et d’écrire mon nom cor-rectement C'est Croteau, et non Croteaux.
M. Croteau rédige un blogue sur les procès du tabac mentionné
ci-haut pour le compte de l’Association pour la santé publique
Flipping big classes isn’t easy
the flipped classroom has potential (“How to
flip your classroom,” October 2013). However,
I’m not sure it will work with a large class. As
we all know, some classes exceed 300 students.
I’ve heard that Western University’s first-year
psychology class comes close to 2,000. How does
collaborative work happen in this environment
unless there is a system to oversee this work and
I’ve seen it work very well with smaller classes
of 20 to 30 students. I am trying the concept to
some extent this year with my high school classes
and it works, at least with the older students.
Large classes would require a fundamental
shift in structure. First, teaching assistants need
to be more involved. Typically, TAs receive little
Pourquoi les étudiants au
Why university “differentiation”
is a tough sell.
How to delegate
Avoid burnout by giving
some tasks to others.
In their own words
Three women scientists
talk about their career paths.
What’s new online! Nouveautés en ligne!
instruction in pedagogy. They would require
training in teaching and assessment to run useful tutorials. Furthermore, the three-hour lecture
should be abandoned and tutorial meetings with
TAs lengthened to facilitate collaborative student work. Professors of large classes would
become course coordinators and visit tutorials
to ensure quality of instruction and material.
Student class hours per week would increase,
but not more than what is expected of most science and engineering students.
Given the proliferation of online courses
(and complete degrees), I think the traditional
class of several hundred students with a talking
head at the front is going to slowly phase out.
The flipped classroom has the potential to reinvigorate how humanities and social science
classes are taught. However, it requires institutional innovation to make it happen.
Dr. Calverley is head of history at Crescent School, an independent boys’ school in Toronto.