Ireland Cuts Funding for Special Needs

The Irish government today confirmed that it will be cutting special teacher support for children with mild learning disabilities in 119 schools nationwide. This announcement comes on the same day that the government will give €8bn to re-capitalize the banks, according to The Irish Times. Smart thinking!

Over 500 children will feel the effects of the move when it is introduced at the beginning of the next school year as they are moved into regular classes to be educated by regular teachers.

General secretary of the Irish National Teachers Organisation, John Carr admitted to being “shocked” by the “indefensible” action. "On a day when €8 billion is being provided to bail out banks the Department of Education is axing €7 million in funding to special needs children,” he roared.

Fine Gael, Labour, and the Sinn Fein parties have all reacted angrily to the move. "Ending vital services for these children is inexplicable, but denying them the opportunity to flourish in school is unforgivable,” said the Labour equality spokeswoman, Kathleen Lynch, adding that their classmates would suffer and a further burden, as well as the overstretched mainstream teachers.” This is just one of many cutbacks which the government have been putting in place lately. But hey, the €8 billion has to come from somewhere.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

For a long time, the West shaped the world. That time is over.

The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.

  • Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
  • European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
Keep reading Show less

Why modern men are losing their testosterone

Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?

Flickr user Tom Simpson
Sex & Relationships
  • Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
  • While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
  • The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Keep reading Show less

Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less