ISIL: History & The Future

This week, the University of Winnipeg will be hosting what it dubs Middle East Week. Every year, the fourth-ranked undergraduate university in Canada hosts a variety of lectures, debates, and screenings in order to examine critical issues within the Middle East.

This year, the University will be hosting Canadian journalist Gwynne Dyer who speaks Monday night (February 22nd) at 7:00 PM. Dyer will be speaking about the future of ISIL. In anticipation of his appearance, Terry McLeod of CBC Radio interviewed both Dyer and Professor Rory Dixon from the University of Winnipeg on Sunday, February 21st.

ISIL’s emergence and future is complex and takes a great deal of careful research, listening, reflection, and critical thought. As such, let’s delve into how ISIL and the complexity of the Middle East came to be and what potential solutions might exist. For those in Global Issues, this might play well into your research for your major papers and Take Action Projects.

The BBC: Why Border Lines Drawn with a Ruler in WWI still Rock the Middle East

Below this post, share your thoughts on why you think there is such disruption and destruction in the region and how or if it might end.

Al Jazeera: How Can ISIL be Defeated?

Furthermore, what should Canada’s response be? How is this now more than a regional conflict?

Al Jazeera: What Would TE Lawrence do?

Ensure that you use evidence to support your arguments and that when you respond to peers, please be courteous. Please also only use first names.


Boys & Homework: Why & How we Learn

zullmodelgif1On Monday morning, I woke up as usual to CBC Information Radio. Whilst making lunches, forcing young children to practice violin, and sorting out who gets to use which spoon, a segment caught my attention related to a recent OECD study which looked at how sex might determine how and why we learn, be it through intrinsic (internal) or extrinsic (external) forces.

Here is the segment on CBC Information Radio:

My colleague, Ms. Ragot, produced an article from Saturday’s Free Press via the Economist looking at the same issue:

This got me thinking about how we learn, regardless of sex, gender or other criteria. It also got me thinking about what sort of baggage teachers bring into the assessment process.

It also brought me back to James Zull, author of The Art of Changing the Brain, and what he suggests learning is about: changing the chemistry of the brain:

So here are my questions: 1) How do we learn and what do we mean by learning? And 2) Do teachers gear courses and learning experiences for a particular sex?

I invite you to ask your questions and to respond via Twitter using #CBCStudentVoice or via a comment below. Be precise, be courteous, and be smart.

CBC Student Voice: Not Criminally Responsible or Dangerous Offender?

Photo taken by John Woods, Canadian Press

Photo taken by John Woods, Canadian Press

Over the past few weeks, Winnipeggers, Manitobans, and Canadians have been debating whether or not Vincent Li, the man who killed Tim McLean in 2008 but was found not criminally responsible, should be given greater independence and within the city of Winnipeg. Throughout this debate, there have been many misunderstandings of the concept of NCR, mental illness, schizophrenia.

Here is the report from CBC Manitoba describing the Criminal Code Review board’s decision to allow Li greater access and also the Federal Government’s response:

Shelly Glover, Manitoba’s most senior Member of Parliament, weighed in on February 28th:

But do our government and outraged members of the public understand the true nature of mental illness and the idea of NCR?

Here is Chris Summerville speaking about mental illness and schizophrenia at the most recent TEDxManitoba:

Here is a fascinating documentary form the CBC’s Fifth Estate on NCR:

Based on what you have read, heard, and watched, what do you think justice is in this particular case? Should Vincent Li be reintroduced into society or should he be locked up? Respond via Twitter using the hashtag #CBCStudentVoice and #VincentLi. (If you are in Mr. Henderson’s class, please also use #CCW2015 or #SJRLaw.) If you do not use Twitter, please leave a comment below. Be clear, use evidence, and be courteous.

Other Resources

CBC Manitoba: Offenders Deemed NCR Not Likely to Reoffend

Mary Agnes Welch (Winnipeg Free Press) Op-Ed

Dan Lett (Free Press) Op-Ed

Other Notable NCR Cases