What can tweets teach us about about the shortcomings in our educational system? Roya Moussapour ’17 is working with Bowdoin’s Associate Professor of Education Doris Santoro to find out.
This summer Moussapour and Santoro are using Twitter to gather data from current and former K-12 teachers from across the country who have become frustrated by mandatory teaching duties that they believe aren’t right for their students – for instance, requiring students to work from workbooks or gearing lessons toward high-stakes testing.
Sometimes such “moral discontent” is strong enough to persuade teachers to leave the school system. Whether or not they continue teaching, many express their discontent through personal blogs – or distill their frustrations into concise tweets.
With the aim of harvesting this rich yet low-cost digital resource, Moussapour and Santoro have begun a test-trial of tweets from 100 Twitter users. They’re using a program called Scraper Wiki to identify influencers in Twitter’s education community, and they’re “following” teachers who tweet their thoughts on the current state of American education.
“We’ll be looking at threads between the various moral claims,” Santoro said, “and we will be examining how teachers use Twitter as a form of moral and political resistance.” Read the full story.
New initiatives and regulations for healthy, nutrition-savvy kids are great. But what if they are crushing a healthy entrepreneurial spirit? Bake sales, which have long helped school clubs and sports teams raise fast cash, also teach kids how to sell things — and give them the confidence boost that comes along with it. These bake sales may be banned if their products don’t meet fat, sugar, calorie and salt content regulations set by the USDA (read: that’s hard for a brownie or cupcake to do). With a curriculum already devoid of personal finance training in many states, supporters of financial education worry that kids will not learn the basic enterpreneurial skills a bake sale can teach. As a result, Domino’s Pizza is coming out with a pizza that conforms to these regulations , and it’s likely other businesses will follow suit.
Starbucks employees nationwide will be eligible for free college courses through Arizona State University’s online program beginning in the fall. ASU president and Bowdoin College trustee emeritus Michael Crow P’02 made the announcement Monday with Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Read more about the new initiative.
Bowdoin Professor Mark Wethli’s paintings are on display at ICON Contemporary Art Gallery in Brunswick this summer. His works in “Paintings” are a collection of abstract geometric interactions painted onto Jaipur paper.
“These works are a product of Wethli’s free-hand abilities and, more importantly, his extraordinary sensibilities,” writes the Portland Press Herald. The works have a “meditative effect,” drawing your eye to stark contrasts between black, white, and a single other color while maintaining a natural feel through edges that aren’t perfectly measured or parallel. Wethli’s abstract body of work contrasts with his photorealistic painting of a sunlit dining room, called “Crossing”, which is on display at the Portland Art Museum.
Bowdoin Rowing’s Varsity 1 Women’s boat won the Women’s Elite 4+ at the Reading Amateur Regatta Saturday, claiming Bowdoin’s first ever victory in an international regatta and continuing their undefeated streak for the year. Katie Ross ’14, Emily Martin ’15, Courtney Payne ’15, Mary Bryan Barksdale ’15 and coxswain Sophie Berubé ’16 took home the Jane Snow Trophy and made an indelible impression on the British rowing community. They beat out the British powerhouse Thames RC, one of London’s oldest and most prestigious rowing clubs, in the semifinals, then bested Boston’s Riverside Boat Club — who was favored to win the Henley — a mere two hours later in the finals.
In the Women’s Intermediate 4+ category, Bowdoin’s Varsity 2 women — Nora Hefner ’16, Erica Hummel ’16, Amy Spens ’15, Audrey DeFusco ’16, and coxswain Maddie Livingston ’16 — were defeated by only 2 boat lengths to a crew that went on to compete in the event’s final round. In the Women’s Intermediate Single Sculls, Liza Tarbell ’17 chased after a rower from Thames RC who went on to win the event.
The Henley Women’s Regatta opens Friday, June 20, 2014, and will include crews from Britain who were not at Reading, but head coach Gil Birney says Bowdoin goes into the HWR with a huge win under its belt. Row U Bears!
USA Today tapped Christian Potholm, Bowdoin’s DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government, for an article highlighting the three-way gubernatorial race. While dissenters of Governor Paul LePage may form a majority, Potholm notes, “You couldn’t say anything about him that would knock him down below 37 percent.” Read the USA Today article.
Mary Bonauto, who received an honorary degree from the College last month, has been labeled one of “15 Women Changing the World” in the June 16, 2014, issue of People magazine. Described as an “equality crusader,” Bonauto, the civil rights project director at GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders), has been a driving force in the legalization of gay marriage in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The article also applauds Angelina Jolie’s activism, Oprah Winfrey’s philanthropy, and Shannon Watts’ gun-sense advocacy.
“Street art often comes with a bad reputation,” Phillipe Vergne, director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, recognizes, “where people don’t know how to discriminate art from vandalism.” But this is not the main reason for the stir over Google’s new Street Art Project, which documents the art painted on buildings around the world. In Europe especially, people find Google’s street view surveillance “invasive,” and see the Street Art Project as an extension of that perceived violation of privacy. There is also the artists’s worry that groups who provide photos to Google are looking to sell images of their artwork. Nonetheless, many artists seem happy to be expanding their visibility online – not to mention the fact that graffiti works are often whitewashed or demolished, giving the Street Art Project an important archival role.