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CARL GOMBRICH - BLOG

Higher Education, Interdisciplinarity, and some related things like Expertise and Future of Work

Welcome to my new blog. You can read more about me in the About tab, top left. I'm looking forward to getting back to 'writing and thinking out loud' about Higher Education, Interdisciplinarity and other things that interest me. You can talk to me either here or on my linked Twitter feed.

 

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 Physical Chemistry – and this is certainly not her field any more. Is running a country a field? I think it is, but it’s not something you can get a PhD in. I think Merkel is an expert in the field of runnin

Enoughness of expertise in higher education in the age of web 2.0

I want to introduce the concept of ‘enough expertise’ into higher education – particularly with respect to teaching undergraduates. The concept of ‘enough’ (or should that really be ‘enoughness’?) is in the air – see, for example this symposium at UCL. But usually we are referring on such occasions to material or economic sufficiency (recall the quote from Obama about having enough money if your curtains cost more than an average person’s salary). But in an age where the grea

10,000 hours and interdisciplinary learning

The notion that 10,000 hours is what is required to reach expertise in a given area has been popularised by Malcolm Gladwell and appeared previously in Daniel Levitin’s book This is Your Brain on Music, and elsewhere. This notion presents a challenge to someone involved in an interdisciplinary education project. There are anxieties that a student studying an interdisciplinary course will spread themselves too thinly; they will only study ‘a little bit of this and a little bit

Experts, PhDs, research, employment – and musicians

There is anxiety that the UK is not producing enough PhD level researchers, particularly in science and engineering. The view of some commentators such as Brian Cox is that this puts our economy and national well-being at risk. There is no doubt that we need experts. And there is no doubt we need cutting edge research and brilliant leading specialists to push things forward. The question is: how many such experts do we need, and would society (and the individuals in it) be be

 

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