Currently Browsing: Education

Interdisciplinarity and Intellectual Excitement

I’ve been blogging on the connection between studying at university and work recently. I think this is important because the overwhelming majority of our students will not work in universities; there is no obvious reason, therefore, why studying a single university discipline is the best thing for most...

Expertise

What is expertise? ‘Expert skill and knowledge in a particular field’. What is a field? That is much harder. Is this woman an expert in her field? I asked this question of a group of students. The answer was, ‘Yes, she’s an expert because she has a PhD’. But her PhD is in...

The evidence for evidence

Most great scientific advances take place before there is evidence for them. Scientists follow their hunches, then collect data which they hope will substantiate those hunches. Indeed, there is often evidence to substantiate the opposite view. That is what determines great scientific advances from mediocre...

Two problems with academic specialisation

One theme of this blog is the relative importance of specialising over staying broader in your education while at university – particularly at undergraduate level. Elsewhere I’ve made the case for a broader higher education on a number of grounds. But let’s say you want to go on to become...

Rigour in interdisciplinary education

What is rigour in education? A rigorous education must be intellectually demanding. It must require students to present work which is accurate, well-written, well-researched and, where appropriate, contains interesting detail. None of these qualities is the sole property of a particular academic discipline...

Education for ‘specialisation’ in the knowledge economy

There are many reasons to believe that a liberal and interdisciplinary education in arts and sciences is the best to prepare you for work in a knowledge economy. In this world, service jobs overwhelmingly dominate and workers are required to show flexibility, creativity, empathy, team-working skills and so...

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