5 minutes of thoughts on integrated curricula and liberal arts

Below is the text of a short talk I gave at a conference on Liberal Arts organised by Benedictus on Friday 24 June 2016. * I’m not sure what I was thinking when I proposed to give a 5-minute talk on the topic of ‘How to create an integrated curriculum’.  I now don’t think this is possible to do...

Necessary and Sufficient Conditions in Higher Education

I think that most important decisions, realisations and insights in life are essentially irrational, or a least a-rational, processes.  This may sound odd, but I mean that who you fall in love with, which music you like, what politics you espouse, which career you choose – the things that shape your...

Academic Empathy

An occasional paper given at The Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies (FIGS) within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UCL November, 2013. Academic Empathy: A concept worth bearing in mind? Abstract Talk of empathy is everywhere: in science, the humanities, business and politics. Yet do we, as academics,...

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...

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