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Education Ticker: Bar exams for teachers, jobs for PhDs

A bar exam for teachers has been proposed in the United States.

Jae C. Hong/AP

The best of the web on education from kindergarten to postsecondary, as chosen by Globe and Mail education editor Simona Chiose.

Does Canada need bar exams for teachers?

Should we import the U.S. debate on bar exams for teachers? Yes, says Pierre Pettigrew at There are too many ways "to game" the system in education B.As, Prof. Pettigrew argues, from taking easy courses to making excuses for missing tests and essays. (It is unclear how this is different from any other B.A.) And an exam could help teachers make an argument for higher salaries. (licensed like lawyers, paid like lawyers).

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The speedier PhD: road to nowhere

A student academic goes to the 2013 Modern Languages Association convention and returns with some fatalistic observations. Among them? Proposals to count blog posts and databases toward PhD work and thus speed students toward their destination are surfacing: they seem to offer a way out of over-researched and over-written dissertations. But: "Where will these speedy PhDs go? Slowly into oblivion? … At MLA people speak of non-academic jobs. The PhDs will get them. But I see that many of the people who speak of non-academic jobs have academic jobs."

And the three-minute PhD

Simon Fraser University is hosting a three-minute thesis contest. Students will compete in a challenge to distill their research into 180 seconds. Departmental winners will advance to a university-wide battle with prize money increasing in each heat to reach $1500 for the top overall university presenter.

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