- From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, some research that I am also interested in for the South African contex: Do big cities help college graduates find better jobs?
- The Guardian Africa Network has an excellent post: In search of the African middle class. It is something that is punted everywhere as a key driver of growth over the next few years, but the post shows that this has to be taken with a good grain of salt. Yes, many people are getting out of extreme poverty, but the middle class is only the middle of a very skewed income distribution. "The Africa Bank of Development defines "middle class" as those spending between $2 and $20 per day. By its own admission though, about 60% of those only spend between $2 and $4 per day".
- Via Marginal Revolution blog Andrew Oswald has some good advice for young researchers:
If everyone likes your work, you can be certain that you haven’t done anything important. Conflict and pain go with the territory –that of changing how a profession thinks and furthering what we know about our world. The pressures on young researchers are to conform, to accept fashionable ways of analyzing problems, and above all to please senior professors and their own peers. Unfortunately this is bad for scientific progress.
The main difference between world-class researchers and sound researchers is not intellect; it is energy, single-mindedness, more energy, and the ability to withstand what will sometimes feel like never-ending disappointment, tiredness and psychological pain. Tenacity is almost everything.
- I am still planning that ultimate MOOC post, but this one by Nathan Heller in The New Yorker comes close to drawing together a lot of the views out there: Laptop U.
- Inside Higher Ed reported on a new test of non-academic predictors of academic success - a suite of attributes that some researchers have dubbed "grit".
- And finally Edudemic had a nice post on using badges in your classroom. I still ant to try this in the second semester.