Monthly Archives: March 2014

Messing with Trinity – cultural vandalism?

I was at a special screening of the new Muppet movie recently and before the film started, the general manager of Disney Ireland gave a little speech in which she mentioned that part of the movie was set in Dublin. … Continue reading

Posted in education | 3 Comments

What the Minister could learn from Third Level

The Minister is hell-bent on making an impact as he winds down his time in politics. He talks a lot about rote learning – in fact he tends to lecture us in an annoying kind of way on the evils … Continue reading

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Most academics would gladly ditch the teaching

That’s my perception at least. I would bet that if you asked a sample of research-active academics if they could give up undergraduate teaching and focus on research, the vast majority would do so in a heartbeat. I think that … Continue reading

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Why ‘Grade Inflation’ is a red herring

Grade inflation (i.e. an increase in grades without a simultaneous improvement in real performance) was discussed on The Last Word the other evening, sparked by Morgan Kelly’s foray into the education debate. Whatever about the property bubble, I think Prof. … Continue reading

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Structured PhDs – Let’s get it right

This time last year I wrote about the structured PhD and tried to present a rationale for why it had become not only a ‘nice to do’ but a ‘have to do’. Structured PhDs are here to stay and there … Continue reading

Posted in education, Research | 1 Comment

Learning for learning’s sake

One of the most thought-provoking articles that appeared in the recent mini-supplement on third level education in the Irish Times was that of  graduate Orlaith Delargy. The article was titled “What’s wrong with learning for learning’s sake”. It was a … Continue reading

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Dear Minister – 10 things for you to think about regarding maths

Dear Minister You are clearly very happy with the surge in numbers taking honours maths. You claim that this is good news because it is crucial for the ‘knowledge economy’ that we have high numbers taking higher level maths, now … Continue reading

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