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June 22, 2016

Connecting Ideas in a Time of Transformation

Introducing all-day kindergarten was just a part of a massive transformation in early learning and child care in Ontario. From provincial governance to curriculum details to work relationships, everything is changing. Researchers at Conestoga College in Waterloo are working with the Region of Waterloo Children’s Services Division to help make sense of those changes for stakeholders in the region — all the educators, planners and administrators who contribute to different aspects of care and education for very young children. “They are being asked to embrace a pedagogy that is much more emergent, much more process-oriented,” said Goranka Vukelich, director of... Read more
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June 22, 2016

A Light of Hope at a Dark Time

Services for victims of crime have been multiplying in recent decades, as a kind of formalized compassion in the face of pain that was often terrible to witness, let alone experience. Those services, however, were more instinctive than scientific in design and information on how victims navigate their way through the system that’s intended to help them is sparse. Researchers at Algonquin College in Ottawa are exploring how victims of violence navigate obstacles as they deal with the aftermath of a crime, and whether negotiating the system and their own trauma helps them develop resilience. “So much focus goes on... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Measuring What’s Hard to Quantify

Calculating the value of unquantifiable change, identifying the ingredients of intangible success — it is no easy task to plan and evaluate social innovation. Yet, in the face of competing needs and limited resources, it must be done. “The more you understand why something was or was not successful the more you can generalize later and come up with best practices that will help future projects have success,” said Russ Wilde, of Bow Valley College in Calgary. Wilde is directing a project to develop evidence-based criteria for evaluating social innovation and to identify factors that promote or inhibit its success.... 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

Loneliness and Isolation in Older Immigrant

Immigrants face great upheaval and life challenges by coming to a new country. Sadly, many of them must confront others — loneliness and isolation— as they grow old. There is increasing evidence that loneliness and social isolation damage seniors’ quality of life. That and the growing number of people over 65 (expected to rise from 5 million people in 2011 to 10.4 million by 2036), combined with the increasing number of older immigrants arriving or aging in Canada, suggest a considerable problem on the horizon. Immigrant seniors have been called the most powerless and forgotten segment of the ethnic population.... Read more
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June 22, 2016

Art, Science and Traditional Knowledge

Finding Understanding of the Thawing Northern Landscape In Canada’s north, climate change is not just manifested in more storms and hotter summers. As the world warms up and permafrost melts, the landscape itself is transforming. Life for northerners is transforming with it, as they experience climate change through shifts in everything they do and have always understood. Scientists’ understanding of climate change, on the other hand, is couched in hard data, things that are physically quantifiable: temperature increases, greenhouse gases, water vapour loss. The challenge for Graham Strickert, adjunct faculty at Yukon College and research fellow at the University of Saskatchewan's... 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

Different People, Regular Roommates

Finding a roommate who’s a good fit is a relief for most of us. For people with intellectual disabilities, it could be a lifeline — an opportunity for more inclusion in society. “Friendly Housemates” is a joint program being developed by Centennial College researchers and Community Living Toronto to make that lifeline available to more people. The idea of Friendly Housemates is to pair people with an intellectual disability and undergraduate students in shared living arrangements. The students get free accommodation, a bursary and a guaranteed summer job in exchange for their role in helping their “friendly housemate” to live... Read more
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