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June 22, 2016

L’École Nationale de Cirque Tests the Effects of Teaching Circus Arts in Schools

A child who’s happy and confident hanging upside down without a helmet is going to be more active and perhaps more creative than one who’s not allowed to play outside when there’s ice in the schoolyard, Patrice Aubertin thinks. Aubertin, director of research and teacher training at the École Nationale de Cirque in Montréal, is the principal investigator on a national research project to examine the effects of teaching circus arts in primary school. One of 27 studies supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council through its Community and College Social Innovation Fund, the project is looking at... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Dealing with Common Problems Over Uncommon Distance

Campuses in Montréal and Mexico Work for A Better Environment Education is supposed to leave an indelible legacy — but not in terms of a mountain of plastic water bottles left behind by thirsty students, not to be measured by the extent of waste generated by colleges and universities as they try to improve the world one student at a time. Gisela Frias, a researcher and instructor in geography at Dawson College in Montréal, is project director on a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Dawson faculty and students will work with counterparts in Mexico to promote... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Overcoming the Pressure for Perfection: Teens and Body Image

They are everywhere, the pictures of muscular men and lovely, skinny women, endlessly available to anxious teenage eyes and aggravating the longstanding adolescent problem of poor self-esteem. “The problem has indeed gotten worse,” said Marie-Ève Blackburn, of Cégep de Jonquière’s ECOBES (Centre d’Étude des Conditions de vie et des Besoins de la population) in an interview. “Images of the ideal body shape, both female and male, are increasingly and relentlessly portrayed and promoted in the media.” Blackburn is director of a project on body image and self-esteem in adolescents, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, as part... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Reaching Across a Digital Divide

Rummaging around in a child’s school bag almost invariably produces something scary, ranging from a forgotten sandwich to notice of a parent-teacher meeting — two weeks earlier. Schools can’t do much about the sandwiches but they have been increasingly turning to electronic communication to reach parents. The problem is, not all parents have equal access to technology, nor do they all have the same level of comfort with it. Josée Thivierge, an educational consultant with Le Centre d'étude des conditions de vie et des besoins de la population (ÉCOBES) at Cégep de Jonquière, is leading a study into high school... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Cultivating a New Crop of Farmers

Farming, once a heritage, is becoming a lifestyle choice. Traditionally Québec’s farms, like others across the country, have been passed from parent to child, each generation essentially serving an apprenticeship of chores with ever-increasing responsibility before taking over the job. But that’s not true any longer. More and more farm kids choose different careers — and at Cégep de Victoriaville, at least, a new crop of farmers is being nurtured. “We are full of students in this program who come from non-farming backgrounds,” says Simon Dugré, director of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­the Centre d’innovation sociale en agriculture at Cégep de Victoriaville. “They choose... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Going Deep in the Brain to Control Outward Attention

Two researchers at Collège Montmorency, in Laval, are introducing a new approach to helping students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — training them to reach deep inside to modulate their brain waves to control attention. Andrea Szabo and Hélène Brisebois were both practicing psychologists before they became professors of psychology at Collège Montmorency, and both were struck by how many students with ADHD were struggling to succeed at the college. Now, having received a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, a part of its Community and College Social Innovation Fund, they are developing a neurofeedback lab... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Returning to Traditional Knowledge for Solutions to Modern Problems

In Northern Québec, just inland from James Bay, stands the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, a new home for an ancient people. The history that brought a nomadic nation to this small village caused disruption in every aspect of life, culture and knowledge. Now, the Chisasibi nation is working with researchers, led by the Cégep de Victoriaville, to establish new approaches to food security based on traditional knowledge. The project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, out of its Community and College Social Innovation Fund. There are about 4,000 Chisasibi Cree. For them, as for other northern... Read more
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June 22, 2016

When Disrupting the Classroom Doesn’t Get You Sent to the Principal

Bringing Teaching and Tech Together to Promote Active Learning Elizabeth Charles believes the last new technology to really have an impact on teaching was the overhead projector. Its huge popularity in schools began building in the late 1950s, as teachers realized the advantages of being able to bring prepared material to class and modify it in response to class discussion. It was, in Charles’ words, a disruptive technology, forcing change in the way people taught and students learned. “In the past three or four decades, technology has not been able to break through, or ‘be disruptive,’ in making changes in... Read more
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June 21, 2016

Mapping a Better Path to Employment for Immigrant Women

Immigrants come to Canada to change their lives. For many, however, the changes they find are not what they were expecting; and they may be particularly challenging for professional women. “What’s really exciting about this project is most research has been on immigrant employment in general, it didn’t consider what particular problems are for women,” said Frédéric Dejean. “But if you’re a Muslim woman from North Africa, the problems you face are going to be different from your husband’s.” Dejean is a researcher at the Institut de recherche sur l’intégration professionnelle des immigrants at Collège Maisonneuve in Montréal. He’s also... Read more
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March 15, 2016

Conversion of Marine Macroalgae

The industrial use of marine algae is a huge and growing market feeding large industries, mainly in Asia and Europe. Canada has all the elements required to develop an industrial centre in this field, namely, relatively unpolluted coastal waters and large reserves of this natural resource. Québec’s coastal areas are no exception. Québec’s macroalgae has a high commercial potential, since this natural resource is used in a wide range of products, including fertilizers, foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Fast-growing cold-water algae are easily cultivated in marine farms, and could bring needed diversification to shellfish farmers. Despite the emergence of an algae... Read more
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