What's new in the world of education


Researchers at McGill University have found that “prevention of depression in childhood is the best way to thwart the condition in adulthood.” John Abela, the McGill psychology professor who conducted the study, finds that “children are currently experiencing pessimism, sadness and depression at an unprecedented rate,” and that “depression is not age defined or exclusive to adults. By the time they’re 14 years old, up to nine percent of children have already experienced at least one episode of severe depression.”

“Abela’s study, conducted with the help of 35 undergraduate and graduate students, was the first of its kind to:

– Examine children’s beliefs about themselves, the world, and the future and the consequences of these beliefs on emotional well-being over a 14-month period using diagnostic interviews, multiple assessments of depressive symptoms, and sophisticated assessments of stress.

– Investigate whether children whose parents have a history of depression possess more pessimistic beliefs about themselves, the world and the future – compared to children whose parents do not have a history of depression.

It was also one of the first studies to show that pessimistic styles of thinking bring about vulnerability to depression even in younger children (i.e. 6-10 years of age).

For more information on this study, see the official press release at: http://www.mcgill.ca/releases/2003/april/depression/


University of Calgary Press Release

Calgary (April 22, 2003) – Researchers at the University of Calgary are preparing to share their work with hundreds of international scholars at the world’s largest conference on computer-assisted language learning (CALL).

WorldCALL 2003, hosted by the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta in Banff on May 6 to 10, will welcome 300 researchers from over 46 countries. It will feature hundreds of studies into the uses of computers and new media technologies to help people learn a new language.

Opening speakers will be Dr. Lyle Oberg, Minister of Learning for Alberta and Dyane Adam, the Federal Official Languages Commissioner.

“We have been preparing this event for the last two years, and many people have been involved.” says Dr. Martin Beaudoin, Chair of the local organizing committee and professor at Faculté Saint-Jean. “It has created a lot of visibility for the U of A and the U of C.”

Dr. Brian Gill, Associate Chair of the local organizing committee and Associate Director of the Language Research Centre at U of C, points out that the Internet has completely changed the way languages can be learned: Having over 65% of Alberta households connected to the Internet puts our province in the forefront of developments in this area.

Dr. Grace Wiebe with the University of Alberta provides the global context: “We are proud that the second WorldCALL conference is being held in Alberta:”

University of Calgary researchers, principally from the Language Research Centre and the Faculty of Education will present findings on the following:

“¢ Developing cyber-literacy in French immersion
“¢ Learning Classical Japanese online
“¢ Using visual tools and concept mapping to support second language learning
“¢ Developing hybrid language courses, with both online and classroom components

In all, over 200 research presentations will be featured. WorldCALL is a consortium of more than seven international and continental associations dedicated to advancing the science of computer assisted language learning.

For more information see: http://www.worldcall2003.org
The Entire press release is available at: http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/april03/call.html