The Week’s Headlines

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Here are the week’s headlines from the News Room:

Middlebury Announces Alumni and Family Scholarship Program to the Institute of International Studies at Monterey

The Art of Birds

Modern Love

President Patton Presides at Her First Bread Loaf School of English

Old Chapel: Hello, Middlebury

View past stories by visiting the News Room page.

Friday Links – August 14, 2015

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Language Schools are over; Fall term is yet to start. Is it the Silly Season at Middlebury? (not counting Bread Loaf where BLWC is in full-swing.)

New Apple Update Available

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Apple Update

 

Yes, it is that time again, when your Mac is urging you to update your software with those little reminders up in corner or showing a pop-up on the iPad or iPhone for it.

OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 Update

Updating is so simple now, just open up App Store in your dock and click Updates.  Then, Update All when prompted.  After your Mac downloads the updates you will be prompted to restart which you should.  The whole process takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes.  These Yosemite updates fix minor issues with certain apps, helps improve performance as well as enhances security for your Mac.

For more info, click the following Apple support link to read more and/or download the new update.

Apple OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 Support

 

iOS 8.4.1 Update

There is also a new iOS 8.4.1 update for iPhones, iPods and iPads.  This update fixes minor issue with Apple Music including your iCloud Music Library, and along with other software bug fixes there is enhancement to security as well.  Simply open the App Store, then under General open Software Updates where you will Install Updates.

Security for your device is very important and Apple is providing information about Apple Security Updates in the link provided below.

 

Apple Support

 

William Weightman on his 2015 Summer Internship

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William Weightman presenting his research findings on VET to Stanford and Shaanxi Normal University faculty and researchers.

William Weightman presenting his research findings on VET to Stanford and Shaanxi Normal University faculty and researchers.

William received funding for his internship from the The Cross Cultural Community Service Fund (CCCS), which supports international community service, advocacy, and activism.

 

This summer I spent four weeks working with Stanford University’s Rural Education Action Program (REAP) as a research intern. REAP is an impact evaluation organization that aims to inform sound education, health and nutrition policy in China. Their goal is to help improve the lives of the millions of people by developing their human capital and overcoming obstacles to education so that they can escape poverty and better contribute to China’s developing economy.

As a part of the REAP research team I worked on their project evaluating China’s vocational education and training (VET) programs. There is a widespread belief at the upper echelons of China’s political decision-making bodies that VET is a way to give poor, rural students the skills they need for future employment. However, research has shown that VET has not been an effective tool for improving students’ economic outcomes. Not only are they learning less than their peers in academic high schools, but also many are regressing in basic skills like Chinese language and math. As a summer intern, I spent two weeks conducting field interviews with VET students and dropouts in China and another two weeks writing a paper incorporating quantitative and qualitative analysis to submit to academic journals and the Chinese Academy of Sciences—and ideally impact policy.

When someone mentions China, images of rapid development and growing prosperity frequently come to mind. Indeed, in the last 30 years China has made rapid improvements and its urban centers and infrastructure rival much of the developed world. However, in the rural parts of China far away from the developed coastal regions, millions of people continue to live in abject poverty with little hope of partaking in the advantages of China’s burgeoning growth.

It is often easy to think of economic development in abstract terms. Numbers such as GDP per capita and spending on infrastructure are important indicators. However, my experience working with REAP made me realize the important role that education and human capital play in economic development. Quality education is essential for any country to succeed. After meeting the kids that are enrolled in VET programs, it became clear to me that they are not receiving a quality education. Three main themes emerged in our interviews: first, students have low expectations for their ability to gain from VET and thus little motivation to learn; second, the schooling system is characterized by a complete lack of accountability for students to learn, engage in appropriate behavior, or stay in school; finally, the vocational education system leaves opportunities for schools to take advantage of their students for pecuniary gain through recruitment, illegal fees, and internships that benefit the school more than the student.

It became apparent to me that the educational opportunities needed to improve the lives of poor, rural students in China are not available in the current educational system. Integrating poor, rural students into an effective educational system is essential to China’s ability to make growth inclusive. If one hopes to create economic growth and development and fairness in a country, it is essential that the educational system help the least-advantaged members of that society.

-William Weightman ’17

Jessica Teets and Orion Lewis awarded grant from Social Science Research and Humanities Council of Canada

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Jessica Teets and Orion Lewis (both Political Science) are part of a research team based at the University of Alberta that has received funding from the Social Science Research and Humanities Council of Canada for a project titled Policy Innovation and Institutional Change in China. This study uses an evolutionary approach to analyze how the interaction of policy ideas, individual preferences, and existing institutions in China create incentives for local officials to act as policy entrepreneurs in an authoritarian system. The grant provides travel funds for research in China and other project costs. At least two Middlebury undergraduate students will assist with this research.

Page 1 Literacy Project

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Page 1 Literacy Project aims to foster a love of learning in local elementary school students through weekly programming and community events.  As mentors, organizers, and program leaders, Page 1 volunteers take an active role in promoting literacy in all of its forms.

As a student, I am very invested in school and have always loved learning. However, it is often easy to forget how I first became enamored with the process of learning. The joy of reading can become overshadowed by the ever-looming syllabus, and the pressure to use big words can overpower the actual thought that is trying to be communicated. Leading an afterschool PageOne Literacy reading program injects my weeks with energy and goofiness, gives me access to a community outside of the college, and reminds me how fun it can be to simply learn stuff from books. Some kids are just learning to read, while others have mastered the skill, but all are mesmerized by the idea of taking new information from a page and storing it in their mind. We learn new things about underwater creatures, read and discuss fairytales from other countries, and even do an art project or two. In my time with PageOne it has certainly been rewarding to create a relaxed and exciting environment for kids to practice and develop their literacy skills, but it has been equally rewarding to use that environment to reconnect and rekindle my own love for literacy and learning. – Anna Dennis ‘17.5

 

 

Who We Are

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