All Posts Tagged With: "Saskatoon"
The boom has slowed, but the province is still growing
The smell of smoked meat wafts through Jack Keaton’s BBQ & Grill.
For diners in the northwest Regina restaurant, it’s mouthwatering. For chef and owner Brett Huber, it’s a dream come full circle.
“When I was growing up, all I wanted to do was get out of here, but now that I’m back it’s like this is where I want to be,” he said.
Huber was born and raised in Regina. He moved to Vancouver when he was 24 for culinary school and worked around British Columbia, as well as in England.
But home was calling.
“I wanted to start a family and I wanted to basically start a restaurant.”
Huber and wife, Kristi, moved to Regina in 2007 — about the time Saskatchewan became the “it” province, the place to be in Canada.
People from every part of the country were flocking in. Statistics Canada figures showed at the time that Saskatchewan’s population growth in 2007-08 was the strongest since the early 1970s. For the first time, the province led the pack when it came to interprovincial migration.
Global Institute for Food Security received $50 million in funding
SASKATOON – A new centre is being developed to look at food supply as a growing world population needs to be fed.
The Global Institute for Food Security, based at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, will look at everything from boosting crop yields to government agricultural policies.
“One of the things that makes this centre unique from other centres is that we will be looking at the entire stream from production to the delivery of food where it is needed, so one way of saying that is, we are looking at the whole process from field to fork,” said university president Ilene Busch-Vishniac.
Officials comb South Saskatchewan River
A jacket that may have belonged to a missing student from Saudi Arabia prompted an unsuccessful search of the South Saskatchewan River on Saturday, reports CKOM radio. Hamza Alsharief, a 23-year-old chemical engineering student at the University of Saskatchewan, went missing in December. Alsharief’s wallet and identification were found in his residence. Investigators believe he may have taken his own life. He’s described as 5’8″ with a slim build, brown hair and brown eyes.
Government to develop province-wide policy on assessing student behaviour
After a storm of controversy hit Saskatoon over reports that the city’s school board was planning to remove penalties for plagiarism, the government is stepping in to develop a province wide policy on assessing behaviour.
Early last week, the CBC, National Post, and other media outlets, suggested that a new report card system for Saskatoon that aims to separate student behaviour from learning outcomes would include eliminating penalties for late marks and plagiarism. By Thursday, the school board had denied that that was the case. “What’s being represented in the media is certainly not what we’re trying to do in the school division,” school board chair, Ray Morrison, told the CBC. Students found to have plagiarized will indeed be given a zero and whether or not to give late marks will be left to the discretion of teachers, Morrison added.
In its earlier story, the CBC had interviewed superintendent John Dewar and English teacher Katie Kehrig, whom the school division had referred for an interview. Similarly, the National Post reported that “Mr. Dewar said that if a student handed in a paper that was clearly plagiarized, the teacher could give the student the opportunity to rewrite the assignment, instead of doling out a failing grade.”
The school board says that “miscommunication” or “misinterpretation” is to blame for the apparent misunderstanding.
Evidently, separating learning from behaviour entails reporting separately whether students are capable of working independently, or well with others, or whether or not they waste class time.
In light of all the attention, Saskatchewan’s Education Minister Donna Harpauer announced yesterday that the province will be working with school boards to develop an anti-plagiarism and late marks policy. “The Ministry of Education has not directed school divisions to separate marks for behaviour from marks for learning outcomes,” the minister said.
-Photo by K. Sawyer
UPDATED: Saskatoon public schools to eliminate consequences for academic dishonesty
In an educational climate where red pens are chucked for coming off as confrontational and teachers are encouraged to use “brainshowering” over the more violent-sounding “brainstorming,” the Saskatoon Public School Board has gone overboard by eliminating penalties for plagiarism and missed deadlines.
Under a new evaluation method for report cards, Saskatoon public high school students will no longer face penalties for handing assignments in late or trying to pass off someone else’s work as their own. The idea, according to the board, is to shift focus from behaviour to learning. “We’re trying to keep the emphasis on the learning, not on the penalty,” John Dewar, a superintendent with Saskatoon Public Schools told the National Post. And so, students caught plagiarizing may not be penalized with a poor grade, but will instead could be required to redo the assignment.
Besides the whole—you know—culture of tolerance for fraudulence thing, the program will undoubtedly create unnecessary extra work for teachers. Not only will they have to mark subsequent drafts after detecting plagiarized assignments, but they will likely also face an influx of last-minute submissions if penalties are removed for lateness. After all, why should students aim for the due date if they can hold off handing in their “Principles of Intellectual Property” essay until just before report cards?
A similar, misguided policy was introduced in Ontario in 1999 but has since been reversed under new policy guidelines released this year. Saskatoon, however, is going ahead with its no-reprimand plan. “I don’t give late marks, or deduct marks if students are late,” Katie Kehrig, a Saskatoon teacher who supports the policy told CBC News. “I don’t give bonus marks. I don’t have participation marks. Those are behaviours.”
And so, out the door goes the idea of holistic learning. Kehrig and the Saskatoon school board have essentially deemed behavioural growth, an integral part of a child’s development, simply irrelevant within the classroom context. Students, therefore, are being given the message that they can copy, steal, slack off and lie without any consequences. Granted, a plagiarized assignment may have to be rewritten—but that’s only if the student gets caught.
So, shall we peg our bets on Saskatoon as the next breeding ground for disciplined, honest workers? The city where individuals leave school well-versed in the implications of dishonesty and the discipline to adhere to deadlines?
There’s no tolerance for cheating or plagiarism in the real world, and examples are everywhere. In 1998 a scandal erupted when journalist Stephen Glass was discovered to have fabricated countless investigative features for The New Republic. In 2007, Rapper Timbaland was involved in a plagiarism scandal concerning the motifs and samples of his collaborative track “Do It,” and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper faced a plagiarism accusation in a 2003 speech he delivered about the US-led invasion of Iraq. In those cases, Glass was fired and disgraced (though he later got a law degree and wrote a novel—go figure), Timbaland’s reputation was tarnished because of the plagiarism controversy and the Tory campaigner who wrote Harper’s speech was compelled to resign in 2008. And yet, the only words of caution we’re giving Saskatoon high schoolers is ‘Whoopsies, try again?’
In any case, the buck will certainly stop for these students at the post-secondary level. While some university students still manage to get away with academic dishonesty, those caught cheating or plagiarizing are always subjected to some form of institutional slaughter. Whether it’s a failing mark, a spot on academic probation, or expulsion in some extreme cases, professors certainly will not shrug it off and ask a fraudster to try again. Many first-year students already struggle with academic integrity issues having never learned how to properly cite borrowed ideas; not exposing them to the consequences of plagiarism early will only exacerbate their difficulties.
The Saskatoon school board needs to realize it is ill-preparing its students for the real world. Cheating and missing deadlines simply won’t be tolerated, nevermind go without reprimand. So while the public school bubble may be romanticizing this latest win for ‘learning,’ its students, in the meantime, will be clipping posts off Wikipedia.