By Les Back

Is a college schooling nonetheless suitable? What are the forces that threaten it? may still lecturers ever be allowed close to Twitter? In Academic Diary, Les again has chronicled 3 a long time of his educational profession, turning his sharp and infrequently satirical eye to the typical elements of lifestyles on campus and the bigger forces which are reshaping it. awarded as a set of entries from a unmarried educational 12 months, the diary strikes from the neighborhood to the worldwide, from PowerPoint to the halls of strength. With entries like "Ivory Towers" and "The Library Angel," those shrewdpermanent, funny, and occasionally absurd campus stories not just demystify the opaque rituals of scholarship but in addition provide a private point of view at the far-reaching problems with collage life.

Commenting on themes that variety from the impression of commercialization and cost raises to dimension and auditing learn, the diary deals a serious research of upper schooling at the present time. while, it's a passionate argument for the lifetime of the brain, the significance of collaborative pondering, and the explanations that scholarship and writing are nonetheless important for making feel of our bothered and divided world.

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24 20 September 20 September Welcome Week Just a few weeks after graduation the new intake of students arrives for induction or what used to be called ‘Freshers’ and is now re-titled ‘Welcome Week’. In London this coincides with cold but sunny mornings that mark the beginning of autumn, although its effect has yet to strip the leaves from the trees. m. For now the ‘first years’ have the institution to themselves. The college is a maze. They are continually getting lost, finding their way with smiling nervousness through trial and error.

Nietzsche captures something important. Higher learning means that students have to train their ears. It is increasingly hard in our world of distractions to listen with undivided attention for a whole hour. Via mobile phones we hold the world in the palm of our hand and the temptation to text and email under the table is particularly strong. Many educators believe that the kind of obedient listening that takes place in a lecture is actually not a very good way to learn at all. I am sure this is right.

In a time when education is a commodity, little wonder that students are goal-oriented and have an instrumental view of education. Therein lies another paradox: some of our most dearly held educational values are in direct conflict with the economic and practical conditions within which teaching takes place. As a result, the pressure and temptation to simplify the curriculum and make courses less demanding and more ‘student friendly’ militates against the commitment to spend time with difficult ideas.

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Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters by Les Back
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