Time for law schools to rethink teaching law

As a strong proponent of experiential learning, Osgoode Hall Law School Dean Lorne Sossin argued it’s a better way to teach and learn. Experiential learning “creates better law students,” he said in Canadian Lawyer Oct. 7. “Law students who are problem solvers are simply better than law students who have specialized knowledge. Even those who have specialized knowledge and analytic abilities, if they haven’t actually put them to the test, the humility that comes from trying to solve a problem that is unsolvable is like nothing else we can possibly teach.” Read full story.

Opinion: Overcome modern children’s mantra
A new study, published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, suggests children who are bored are in a tense, negative state, reported the Sunday Mail Oct. 6. They’re frustrated at being unable to engage, focus or start something satisfying….Lead author of the study, John Eastwood, professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, says, as a society, we’ve come to view boredom as something to be avoided. When children complain of being bored, parents can feel threatened and think “what’s wrong with you?” But, rather than stepping in, Eastwood says parents should let children find solutions. Read full story.

A suburban revolution?
Suburbs. This is a word that usually conjures up certain images, of green lawns and tree-lined streets, an idyllic vision of family life; of sprawl, generic strip-malls and cookie-cutter homes. While these elements are part of suburbia, the suburbs are much more diverse than the stereotypical landscapes of single-family homes and middle-class lifestyles. The Suburban Revolution conference held at York University in Toronto highlighted the diversity of suburbs in the Greater Toronto Area and around the world, emphasizing an area too often neglected by policy-makers, academics and journalists, reported the Huffington Post Oct. 7. Read full story.

Dave Nichol: Seven reflections on a marketing master
Dave Nichol – best known for his tenure as president (and prominent pitchman) of Loblaw Supermarkets Ltd. – died on September 22 at the age of 73. We asked a panel of industry experts to weigh in on what Nichol meant to them. “From the perspective of 2013, Dave Nichol’s pioneering work with Loblaws private labels seems less impressive. But in 1984 what he did was radical,” said Alan Middleton, professor of marketing and executive director of York University’s Schulich Executive Education Centre, in Profitguide.com Sept. 27. “The notion of a premium private label was new. Certainly Sainsbury and Tesco in the U.K. had established the appeal of an extensive, good quality private label program, but no one took it to the level of President’s Choice.” Read full story.

An enterprising remedy for youth underemployment
If anyone knows about career change, it’s Marie Bountrogianni….In July, she became interim dean at Ryerson University’s G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Studies. Bountrogianni recently spoke with FP’s Dan Ovsey about correcting youth underemployment and addressing the skills gap via continuing education, and the need for universities to streamline the career-transition process….“I know the government wants the process streamlined. It’s been saying that for decades. There has been some movement. You can have some courses that are accepted from college by universities, etc. Ryerson has just signed an agreement with York University where we can accept credits more easily. There are partnerships between universities and colleges. So, it’s happening slowly, but it is happening,” said Bountrogianni in the Financial Post Oct. 7. Read full story.

Learning side by side: How my four month old is teaching me Russian
By exposing my daughter to Russian I am not only granting her an earpiece to eavesdrop on her distant kin, I am also moulding her mind to handle learning differently, reported the Huffington Post Sept. 27. York University psychology Professor Ellen Bialystok has found that bilinguals are more adept at mastering the side of the brain responsible for executive functioning – multitasking, solving logic problems – while also improving neural circuitry. Read full story.

Effective boards make for good business
The makeup of a board of directors and how they function as a group is under greater scrutiny these days as more attention is paid to issues of diversity and just how public companies and stakeholders are served by their boards, reported Canadian Lawyer’s September 2013 issue….At the Excellence in Governance Awards in Halifax this past summer, one of the judges of the awards, Richard Leblanc, a professor of law, governance and ethics at York University, raised the point these companies are undertaking these endeavours (diversity, environmental sustainability) in the absence of any specific board diversity or climate legislation in Canada. Without any government push, he said there is no firm obligation requiring boards to focus on these efforts. Read full story.