21 June 2011It’s going to be a busy week for US First Lady Michelle Obama, who is on her first official visit to South Africa.Obama, who landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Monday night, started her day on Tuesday by visiting President Jacob Zuma’s second wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli Zuma, at the President’s official residence in Pretoria.She then proceeded to Johannesburg, where she visited to the Nelson Mandela Foundation. There she toured the Nobel Peace laureate’s archives with Mandela’s wife, former Mozambican first lady Graca Machel.It was unclear whether the first lady would meet the 92-year-old icon, who is in frail health and has been under home medical care since he was hospitalised with a respiratory infection in January.Later in the afternoon Obama, who is travelling with her daughters Malia and Sasha and her mother Marian, was due to make a stop at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, which chronicles the history of the fight against white minority rule.Obama has a packed schedule that includes a trip to the memorial for Hector Pieterson in Soweto on Wednesday.She will also give a keynote address at a conference of the Young African Women Leaders Forum, a two-day meeting of 75 women aged 16 to 30 who are playing leadership roles across the continent.She will then jet off to Cape Town on Thursday, where she will meet with Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu before leaving for Botswana on Saturday.The White House says the First Lady’s visit will advance her husband’s foreign policy goals.The trip is a continuation of Michelle Obama’s work in engaging young people, especially girls and young women, at home and abroad.“This visit to two critical countries will underscore that the United States has an important stake in the success of Africa’s many nations and underscore the historic connections between the American people and those who live on the African continent,” the US embassy in South Africa said in a statement last week.“South Africa is a vital global partner for the United States, as political leader and economic engine on the continent, and a historic example of democratic transition in Africa and around the world.”Source: BuaNews
A video clip, showing Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers allegedly punishing a man with 50 squats in Pune for allegedly criticising party chief Raj Thackeray on social media, has gone viral.In the clip, the man identifies himself as Rohit Burade, and is surrounded by MNS workers led by the student wing leaders Ashish Sable-Patil and Rahul Gawali. He is made to acknowledge his “error” in posting an “objectionable” comment against Mr. Thackeray on the MNS leader’s Facebook page.The MNS workers are heard saying that Mr. Burade was let off easily as he was a Maharashtrian hailing from a poor family. “His father passed away… Hence, we are not beating him up,” one of them is heard remarking.The party workers are then heard reprimanding Mr. Burade, making him say, ““Raaj saheb, I have made a mistake and this will not happen again,” even as the victim is seen gasping for breath. They then issue a warning that anyone insulting Mr. Thackeray would suffer a similar fate. No case has been lodged against the MNS workers.
“Students who are used to working on well-structured problems struggle when confronted with the multiple challenges of more complex tasks.” writes Professor Ogilvie (Iowa State University), who not only assigns context-rich problems in his course but has also begun researching their effect on the problem-solving strategies adopted by students. The problems are implemented in a computer-assisted learning environment of his own design. When a student group logs into the system, a context-rich problem is presented with a selection of information resources that may or may not be relevant. The students are asked to write not just the solution, but describe their thought process in categories corresponding to the typical stages of expert reasoning: qualitative analysis, identification of relevant concepts, ongoing monitoring (evaluation of the solution as it progresses), and validation of the solution obtained. The beauty of this system is that it not only guides the student into a more ‘expert’ mode, it also tracks the time spent at each step, the resources accessed, and so on.So, has this learning environment helped train a new generation of experts?The answer is yes, with some caveats. First, as with any group project it is hard to track which students are working and which ones are learning. Second, Ogilvie’s course presents only five such problems to the students. (There is still all the core material to get through, after all!)As for the results, there is some good news and some bad news.In the first problem of the course, students completed the ‘qualitative analysis’ section an average of ten minutes before completing the assignment. In the last problem, this section was completed about twenty minutes beforehand. Another encouraging point is that very few students wasted time reading all the available information in later problems. “Taken together, the student groups show some progression towards expert-like behavior” Ogilvie writes, “earlier qualitative analysis and more selective requests for information.” By the end of the course, students were also identifying the most relevant concepts earlier.In other words, the students grew more likely to think about the problem before attacking it. That’s the good news!The bad news is that there is no evidence for improvement in one of the most important aspects of expert reasoning: ongoing monitoring. Monitoring is a form of critical thinking, the general (and highly useful) cognitive skill of evaluating the quality of information. Experts in a field will examine their solutions repeatedly as they work them out. Have any of their initial assumptions been violated along the way? Is the solution making progress, or is it getting sidetracked? Is the math becoming simpler or more complicated? If an expert senses that a solution isn’t working well, they may abandon it to look for a better approach.In all fairness, this is also probably the most difficult skill to measure. Computer tracking can only show that students usually filled in the “monitoring” summary right before completing the assignment. No doubt this skill can be taught as well, but it might lie beyond the scope of computer instruction. I still vividly remember one of my professors taking only ten minutes to solve a physics problem that had taken me hours to work out. Perhaps the lesson of monitoring solutions can only be learned by sincerely regretting the time you just wasted.Note: 1groups.physics.umn.edu/physed/ … rch/CRP/crintro.htmlCitation: “Understanding Student Pathways in Context-rich Problems” by Pavlo Antonenko, John Jackman, Piyamart Kumsaikaew, Rahul Marathe, Dale Niederhauser, Craig Ogilvie, and Sarah Ryan is available online at xxx.arxiv.org/abs/physics/0701284By Ben Mathiesen, Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Can expert reasoning be taught? (2007, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-02-expert-taught.html In addition to mastering a large body of knowledge, successful researchers must acquire a host of high-level cognitive skills: critical thinking, “framing” a problem, ongoing evaluation of the solution as it progresses, and ruthless validation of one’s final answer. Some students pick these skills up on their own as they advance towards their degree, especially those who participate in research, but they rarely appear in a curriculum. Students working on a context-rich problem fall naturally into two groups. Teams above the line demonstrate expert-like behavior, in that they completed their qualitative analysis of the problem before accessing the relevant information and submitting a solution. Those teams below the line demonstrate novice-like behavior, in that they appear to read through as many resources as they can before attempting a solution and submit their analysis of the problem only after a solution has been recognized. Credit: Craig Ogilvie Expert mathematicians stumped by simple subtractions Explore further Professor Craig Ogilvie of Iowa State University has developed a problem-solving environment that not only encourages students to practice these skills but also monitors their progress.As a physics professor, I often find myself torn between competing educational goals. On the one hand, most courses have a laundry list of fundamental theories and techniques that must be taught if the students are to advance further in the subject. On the other hand, there are a number of higher cognitive skills that I would also like to emphasize. The cognitive skills are more useful in life, but how much subject matter can I reasonably sacrifice to make room for teaching them?Traditional teaching methods reinforce the course content by assigning busy work — practice makes perfect, after all. Homework assignments consist of simple “plug and chug” problems that students can solve easily by finding the appropriate formula. While such assignments do help students learn the main topics of a course and prepare for the inevitable final exam, they promote a very limited style of problem-solving. More importantly, they provide little motivation for students to absorb the lessons of scientific thought.One solution is to raise the bar on the problems. Why not strip them of their hand-holding language, and present information in a more realistic setting? The result may be too difficult for one student, but is probably suitable for a group of students. Researchers in physics education at the University of Minnesota, for example, have created an archive of such context-rich problems for their introductory physics courses1. Context-rich problems force students to practice some of the cognitive skills used by experts, in particular the skill of analyzing a problem qualitatively before looking for the proper formula.I don’t wish to bore my readers, so I will present the briefest possible example of this qualitative analysis. When confronted with a collision problem, students should ask themselves whether friction is an important factor before they look up Newton’s laws. Figuring out how a problem relates to known principles is the first step taken by experts when they approach a new situation. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Kolkata: After the recent introduction of the Krishak Bandhu scheme which will grant Rs 2 lakh to the kin of farmers after their death irrespective of the cause, the farmers of Bengal are set to receive another good news. The state government has decided to expand the National Agriculture Market (eNAM) scheme to the markets of Bengal, in order to end the plight of small-scale, marginal farmers.Speaking at an event organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) on ‘Driving Agri-Business through electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) Platform & Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)’ on Monday, the agriculture advisor to the Chief Minister, Pradip Mazumdar said: “In a country where agricultural distress is at an all-time high, it is highly important to find a modern solution to address the problem of wastage of surplus produce. eNAM gives the platform to small-scale farmers to meet international buyers and also to sell their produce at the best possible price.” Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”We are all used to the concept of e-shopping, where we can buy products online while sitting comfortably in our living room. The same concept has been applied to eNAM, which opens up bigger opportunities for farmers who are often neglected,” Mazumdar said. The farmers of Bengal, who live even in the remotest part of the state, are not oblivious to the fact that they need to adopt modern technology or change the way they function. “In fact, the rate of adoption among Bengal farmers is extremely high but all they need is a bit of hand holding and the right kind of training,” he maintained. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe state at present has 17 large markets under the scheme of eNAM, under which 10,798 farmers, 1,742 traders and 62 Farmer-Producer Organisations (FPOs) have registered. Commodities like fruits, vegetables, sugarcane and jute are mainly dealt with on eNAM. The state government aims to double the numbers at the end of this year. Speaking about the hurdles faced by the scheme, Rajesh Kumar Sinha, secretary of West Bengal Agricultural Marketing, said that the eNAM scheme is giving efficient outcome in other states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but not in Bengal. “The scheme is not going good for small and marginal farmers with very small amounts of produce. For them, there is a need for an aggregation system that collects small lots. Even grading and assaying of vegetables and foods has not been done well in the state. We need a transparent and robust online interface for buyers and sellers to benefit,” he said. The state government has already spent around Rs 40 lakh on the scheme and another 40 lakh is needed to keep the scheme up and running. “Within a couple of weeks or months, eNAM will be getting the additional budgetary support from the government. This is a good scheme but it has teething issues,” Sinha added.
Undergoing bariatric surgery to combat obesity can prevent women from developing womb cancer also known as uterine or endometrial cancer, claims a study. The findings, led by scientists from the University of Manchester, showed that women who had gastric sleeve or bypass surgery for obesity found that precancerous tissue in their womb reverted to normal tissue when they lost weight. “For super obese women, quick access to weight loss surgery has benefits beyond improving diabetes and risk of heart disease. It can also reduce womb cancer risk,” said Emma Crosbie, clinical senior lecturer from Manchester. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Losing weight through dieting is also likely to be effective, but we know that dieting is very hard to do and weight lost is often re-gained,” she said. In the study, published in International journal of Cancer, the team examined nearly 100 women with an average BMI of over 50 – considered to be super obese – had biopsies taken from their wombs during gastric sleeve or bypass surgery. Obese post-menopausal women produce oestrogen from their fat stores. But as they no longer ovulate, the lack of progesterone allows the cells in the womb to grow, which increases the risk of cancer. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveInflammatory responses and insulin production are also changed in obese women and can cause cells in the womb to grow. “Because the reversal of precancerous changes in the womb was so quick, we think the metabolic consequences of weight loss surgery was crucial,” said Crosbie. However, the researchers stressed that the surgical option was not for everyone, because it was no an easy choice. “It changes your relationship with food forever, as you’ll be eating smaller meals more frequently, and it is important to remember that surgery can be a hazardous procedure,” said Crosbie. “But for those that choose it, gastric sleeve or bypass surgery can now be seen as a preventative measure for womb cancer.”
Rassie Erasmus gave hope to many South Africa fans when taking over the Springboks but this has been a tough Rugby Championship for them and things could get much more difficult against New Zealand early on Saturday.There have been signs of improvement from South Africa since he took over from Allister Coetzee and the World Cup is the big target, but flaws remain in a side that has struggled for wins and there is much to work on.New Zealand, sailing along at the top of world rugby, made a raft of changes before their match against Argentina. Many new faces played a big part in a 46-22 win that flattered New Zealand given how competitive Argentina were, but a disallowed try along with a heavy penalty count and back-wheeling scrum eventually played a big part in the winning victory margin.There will be a couple of changes again for the All Blacks -Brodie Retallick and Ngani Laumape have been ruled out for six and three weeks respectively, but Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty and Sam Cane have been passed fit for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash – but their quality will shine through at some point.It was too much for Argentina last week with two tries from promoted scrumhalf T.J. Perenara and other tries to returning winger Nehe Milner-Skudder, and the deeply impressive Shannon Frizell amongst New Zealand’s six tries.There was no shame in South Africa’s defeat to Australia in a game which went down to the wire, but Australia were missing David Pocock, Israel Folau and Adam Coleman from their number and lost their two games against New Zealand by a combined 58 points. The hosts, whatever side they name, can cover the handicap.HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches, Home team on the left unless specified)OCT 2017 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP South Africa 24-25 New ZealandSEP 2017 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP New Zealand 57-0 South AfricaOCT 2016 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP South Africa 15-57 New ZealandSEPT 2016 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP New Zealand 41-13 South AfricaOCT 2015 RUGBY WORLD CUP South Africa 18=20 New ZealandJUL 2015 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP South Africa 20-27 New ZealandOCT 2014 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP South Africa 27-25 New ZealandSEP 2014 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP New Zealand 14-10 South AfricaOCT 2013 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP South Africa 27-38 New ZealandSEP 2013 RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP New Zealand 29-13 South AfricaRECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK NEW ZEALAND (-22.5) 10pts at 5/6 with starsports.betPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 134.94 points(not including Test series recommendations and Premier League ante-post)