Currently Browsing: Interdisciplinarity

Would you do your own degree?

This is a question I am increasingly asked. It’s a well fair question to someone leading a big course which includes a lot of innovation. The shortish answer is: I can’t know for sure because I am a different person now and the world has changed a bit, but probably yes. People who are brighter...

General expertise – the gap between rote learning and a different sort of mastery

The work of Fernand Gobet and Herbert Simon seems to indicate that expertise is ‘domain specific’. That is, you can only learn to be an expert or have mastery in a well-defined area or discipline. This is a challenge to someone who would like to argue for the value of a more general and...

Holistic Hijack

I had in mind to do a proper academic blog on an idea I have that liberal education has generally not flourished in the UK due to a widespread suspicion of ‘theory’ and a healthy devotion to empiricism and pragmatism. However, the blog wasn’t happening, so I’ve sketched the idea in...

Two cautionary tales

I’ve been bigging up interdisciplinarity and generalism as something we must look to provide in UK HE alongside more traditional subject/discipline-based degrees. The most viewed blogs that are closely related to these topics are here, here and here. However, in the interest of balance, there are two...

The Impulse to Generalism

I spoke recently at the London Expertise Group, a group of philosophers, psychologists and educationalists, about generalism in undergraduate education. I argued that we need to reclaim some ground for this type of education – its intrinsic and instrumental value. As I’ve argued before, I see...

Learning Maths 2.0

This year I am tutoring some maths again. I’ve missed it and it was nice to find my brain in decent shape – after 5 years away from teaching this material. But as I was preparing for the tutorial, there was an integral substitution that didn’t come immediately. I thought: ‘OK, shall I...

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