Archive for 13 January 2009

It’s Time to End ‘Courseocentrism’

Posted in teaching with tags on 13 January 2009 by Steve

“At a time when amazing new forms of connectivity are made possible by new digital technologies and when much of the best recent work in the humanities has made us more aware of the social and collective nature of intellectual work, we still think of teaching in ways that are narrowly private and individualistic, as something we do in isolated classrooms with little or no knowledge of what our colleagues are doing in the next classroom or the next building and little chance for each other’s courses to become reference points in our own. Indeed, we betray our assumption that teaching is by nature a solo act in our unreflecting use of ‘the classroom’ as a synecdoche or shorthand for all teaching and learning, as if ‘the way we teach now’ were reducible to ‘the way I teach now.’…” (more)

[Gerald Graff, Inside Higher Ed, 13 January]

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Cell researchers denied funds

Posted in research with tags on 13 January 2009 by Steve

“Researchers working at producing a ‘body repair kit’ are hopeful that the creation of embryonic stem cells from a patient’s skin may soon make their dream a reality. The personalised body repair kits mean scientists could design individual treatments for heart disease, Parkinson’s and diabetes. However, two out of the three licence holders legally permitted to create hybrid embryos from human cells and animal eggs have been denied research funds …” (more)

[Independent, 13 January]

Artists accuse colleges of promoting a ‘celebrity culture’ among students

Posted in teaching with tags , on 13 January 2009 by Steve

“If you think you’re the next big thing, forget it. You’re nothing. So said the tutors of the Royal College of Art to their fine art and sculpture master’s students in 1991. Gavin Turk, then a student, now a highly acclaimed British artist, remembers it well. “‘Britain has had David Hockney; we aren’t bothered by you,’ they told us. They were incredibly patronising and we were a bit depressed after that,” he says. Little over a year later, Turk had his work snapped up by millionaire art collector and talent-spotter Charles Saatchi – despite being refused a master’s for leaving only a heritage plaque to commemorate his work at his all-important final show. Today, Turk and some of his fellow artists accuse art colleges of doing just the opposite to dampening students’ ambitions. Art colleges are behaving irresponsibly, they say, by raising students’ expectations that they will “hit the big time” …” (more)

[Jessica Shepherd, Guardian, 13 January]

UCC awarded for blood test research

Posted in research with tags , on 13 January 2009 by Steve

“A gynaecological research team at University College Cork (UCC) has been awarded €800,000 by the largest medical research charity in the UK to help develop a new blood test to identify women with high-risk pregnancies. The Anu Research Centre at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at UCC is working with the Manchester Biomedical Research Centre in the UK to develop a simple blood test to predict mothers at risk of pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy complications. The Cork part of the project is led by Dr Louise Kenny, senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at UCC …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 13 January]

Third level takes on new relevance in these recessionary times

Posted in Life with tags on 13 January 2009 by Steve

“Is it worth going to college when there is rising unemployment? The harsh new economic realities of recession and unemployment have created great uncertainty for those of you considering the option of further and higher education. Every one of you will know someone – perhaps a recently graduated brother or sister – who is struggling to find a decent job. There are scores of people in the in the prime of their life who have strong educational qualifications but few immediate prospects. They have no opportunity to use their skills and knowledge, as economic activity disappears in their discipline …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 13 January]