Academics fear Donald Trump’s environmental policy may put an end to key data from US agencies
UK scientists are warning they may be unable to carry out crucial research on climate change if Donald Trump cuts climate science funding in the US.
Trump tweeted in 2014 that research on global warming is “very expensive bullshit” that “has to stop”. Scientists are braced to find out whether his administration will put these words into practice. The early signs are not good. Last month Scott Pruitt, one of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s fiercest critics, was named as its new head. There are rumours that the budget of its office for research could be cut by more than 40% as part of extensive overall cuts.Continue reading...
National Citizen Service – aimed at restoring discipline in teenagers – slammed for lax controls and poor management
A publicly funded £1bn “big society” project set up by former prime minister David Cameron to restore values of responsibility and discipline among young people has been criticised by MPs for lax spending controls and poor management.
The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) said the National Citizen Service (NCS) trust lacked appropriate governance arrangements, could not justify its high costs, and was unable to prove whether its courses had any long-term impact on youngsters.Continue reading...
It is good that neuroscientists are taking seriously their responsibility to improve education (No evidence to back idea of learning styles, Letters, 13 March). However, debunking can oversimplify matters.
My favourite example showing that learning styles do exist, but that focusing on them does not improve learning, comes from football. We easily agree that most players have a preferred foot (typically the right one). However, unfortunately for them, the pitch has two sides to play on. Hence, though laterality does exist, it is a great advantage if you also learn to kick the ball with your non-preferred left foot.Continue reading...
My cousin Frank Rose, who has died aged 89, was a talented teacher who rose to become head of Millfields primary school in Hackney, east London. His child-centred approach was much influenced by AS Neill’s Summerhill school in Suffolk, where the emphasis lay on giving children a greater say in the way they were taught.
Known throughout most of his life as Chicky, Frank was brought up in an orthodox Jewish family in the East End of London by his parents, Leah (nee Shinebone) and Phil Rosenthal. He attended the Jews’ Free school in London, established to help Jewish children integrate into British society, and in 1940 was evacuated to Soham in Cambridgeshire, where he was exposed to rural life and fell in love with nature.Continue reading...
Misconduct in academia isn’t rampant but should be taken more seriously: let’s consider independent anti-corruption units
Watching the BBC’s detective drama Line of Duty, I thought: could the academic research community benefit from an internal affairs style anti-corruption unit? Not to police illegal behaviour in an underworld of dons and deans – but to tackle the very real problem of fraudulent research.Continue reading...
Only 7% of students across the UK are privately educated, but 26% of medical students went to fee-paying schools
Medicine in the UK has traditionally been deemed an elite profession that excludes those from low socioeconomic groups. A mere 7% of students are privately educated, but 26% of medical students went to fee-paying schools.
However, when you look closely at the figures, many students leave school at 16, and 18% of 16- to 18-year-olds are in fact privately educated; the proportion is even higher for those studying science subjects. Suddenly, the figure of 26% of privately educated medical students seems to reflect numbers studying sciences at school. It is not surprising that the majority of doctors come from more affluent backgrounds.Continue reading...
Our schools are being threatened by Betsy DeVos and her friends. For public school parents this attack is nothing short of an emergency
The first sign that things were not as we had expected was the surprised look we got from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s staffer. It was the day before the nomination of Betsy DeVos as education secretary was initially slated to be voted on by a Senate subcommittee. We were a group of public school parents with more than 1,000 letters from parents all over New York City urging our senators to oppose DeVos’s appointment.
We were confident that our blue-state senators would vote the right way, if only to capitalize on the ferocious anti-Trump sentiment among Democrats. Our letter-writing campaign was something they could point to as a reason to take an even stronger stand against DeVos.Continue reading...
We are living in interesting times, and that shows no sign of changing. We are ready for new solutions. What you so often hear from all sides of an argument is that they are “doing this for our children’s future”. Yet that future is one of the biggest unknowns. Are today’s children going to be doing jobs of which we can’t yet conceive? Will the world still exist in the way we know it, given the looming danger of climate change?Continue reading...
College heads warn that without reassurance on their rights many lecturers, researchers and support staff will depart, causing ‘enormous damage’
Academics are already planning to leave the UK in the face of uncertainty on their rights after Brexit, university leaders have claimed.
The heads of 35 Oxford University colleges have warned that the institution will suffer “enormous damage” if European Union staff lose their right to work in Britain.
There’s a certain natural creativity and lyrical flair in great writers. But, as with all art, there’s an element of skill involved that can be improved with instruction
When I tell people I’m doing a creative writing degree there are two questions that people usually ask: the first is “Why?’” and the second, “How?”
The “how” is an interesting place to start. With university course fees rising and incomes for writers falling, the financial outlook of a creative writing degree is at best optimistic, and at worst downright crazy.Continue reading...
Eminent academics from worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology voice concerns over popularity of method
Teaching children according to their individual “learning style” does not achieve better results and should be ditched by schools in favour of evidence-based practice, according to leading scientists.
Thirty eminent academics from the worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology have signed a letter to the Guardian voicing their concern about the popularity of the learning style approach among some teachers.