01 mars 2016

If you speak Mandarin, your brain is different

The ConversationBy . We speak so effortlessly that most of us never think about it. But psychologists and neuroscientists are captivated by the human capacity to communicate with language. By the time a child can tie his or her shoes, enough words and rules have been mastered to allow the expression of an unlimited number of utterances. The uniqueness of this behaviour to the human species indicates its centrality to human psychology. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:03 - - Permalien [#]


Four centuries after Galileo was silenced, UK students are still curbing free speech

The ConversationBy . It’s 400 years since the Catholic Church censored Galileo and denied him a platform for his arguments for the motion of the Earth – a theory now considered entirely uncontroversial and, indeed, part of our understanding of life, the universe and everything. But in those days, with the Inquisition at the height of its powers, heterodoxy was seen as threatening the very fabric of the Church. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:02 - - Permalien [#]

Academics' ability to lobby government under threat from new funding clause

The ConversationBy . There are growing worries in universities that restrictions on the use of public money to lobby the government, initially focused on charities, may have a chilling effect on the independence of publicly funded research. Whether this is ministers’ intention is an open question. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:00 - - Permalien [#]

Why the A-Level psychology exam is already out of date

The ConversationBy  and . As two university lecturers, we are concerned about the new psychology A-Level, which has been taught to teenagers since September 2015. Our concern is that the new syllabus is narrow and out of step with much psychological research and practice. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:59 - - Permalien [#]

The importance of play: what universities can learn from preschools

The ConversationBy . Almost as soon as they begin school, children start getting tested. With the introduction of tests for four-year-olds and the explicit link between test results and school performance, education policies of successive governments have led to an increased emphasis on results at all levels of schooling. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:58 - - Permalien [#]


A prison education saved me from a lifetime behind bars

The ConversationBy . David Cameron’s prison reform speech came one day shy of the 18th anniversary of my release from prison. I can still remember the buzz of excitement I felt walking through the gates for what would be the last time. The very same gates I entered 15 years before to begin my first prison sentence after being sentenced for robbery. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:56 - - Permalien [#]

Curriculum changes contradict vision for Britain’s creative future

The ConversationBy . The government is pulling simultaneously in two different directions when it comes to how seriously it takes the creative industries. At a speech at the first birthday of the Creative Industries Federation in January, chancellor George Osborne argued that public investment in creative industries was “an investment in who we are as a nation”. He also recognised the importance of “art for art’s sake”. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:55 - - Permalien [#]

University freedoms in India under threat as student leader charged with sedition

The ConversationBy . . . On the night of February 12, Kanhaiya Kumar, president of the students union of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, one of India’s foremost universities, was arrested on charges of sedition. In the words of cabinet minister Smriti Irani, he had insulted the divine “Mother India”. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:53 - - Permalien [#]

How shift to computer-based tests could shake up PISA education rankings

The ConversationBy . The world’s most important examination is moving online. Since the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development launched the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2000, it has provided an influential and timely update every three years of how 15-year-old school children’s mathematics, science and reading skills compare across the globe. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:52 - - Permalien [#]

The curious incident of the disappearing French circumflex

The ConversationBy . French speakers have been scratching their heads in recent weeks over the alleged death of the circumflex. The news went viral that the accent, used in words such as goût (taste) or île (island), was no longer necessary in many French spellings. It even sparked a new sister hashtag to last year’s #jesuischarlie on Twitter: #jesuiscirconflexe.
Politicians, particularly those on the right and far-right, voiced their opposition and bemoaned the death of a diacritic – the name given to accents such as the circumflex – that they believe is integral to the French language and France’s identity.
But far from the language being watered down in a conscious effort to dumb down the school system, the changes are not new and probably won’t make much difference anyway. Indeed, the way the words are pronounced won’t even be affected. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:50 - - Permalien [#]