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Education Archives | OUPblog

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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Common Core Standards, universal pre-K, and educating young readers

Parents and educators everywhere want to introduce children to the world of reading, but the task of helping a child become an independent reader is increasingly difficult and daunting. How can you create a love for reading and learning with stories, lessons, and activities while also supporting reading development? Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers, written by Anne E. Cunningham, PhD and Jamie Zibulsky, PhD, serves as a how-to guide for parents as they navigate through the uncertainties of teaching their children to read.

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Why nobody dreams of being a professor

By now the reactions to Nicholas Kristof’s piece at the New York Times are circulating the Internet. There are good arguments in favor and against blaming professors or the public or both. Rather than take one side or the other I thought it would make sense to give a couple of anecdotes that provide insight into this issue.

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How the Humanities changed the world

Have insights from the humanities ever led to breakthroughs, or is any interpretation of a text, painting, musical piece, or historical event as good as any other? I have long been fascinated with this question. To be sure, insights from the humanities have had an impact on society.

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Contradictions in Cold War-era higher education

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
This week, managing editor Troy Reeves wears his Badgers pride proudly in an interview with historian Matthew Levin. Levin, who received his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of Cold War University: Madison and the New Left in the Sixties (UW Press, 2013).

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How electronic publishing is changing academia for the better

By Hannah Skoda
When I started in my current post, one of my students, off to a nightclub, very cheekily asked me whether when I was young, they were still called discos. The same sorts of feelings are coming to characterize attitudes towards books – our students find it hard to imagine a time when nothing was available electronically.

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Going local: understanding regional library needs

By Anne Ziebart
As a marketer you spend a lot of time hidden behind your screen. At least it feels like that sometimes. Conferences and the occasional external meeting offer a welcome excuse to step into the picture and finally meet the people you market to. So I was excited when there was talk of setting up regionally focussed “library advisory councils”, and a German-speaking was one under consideration.

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UK National Libraries Day 2014: “Why we love libraries”

Today is National Libraries Day in the United Kingdom, and hundreds of activities and events are taking place in public libraries of all shapes and sizes — from the multi-million pound Library of Birmingham, to the tiniest local libraries run by volunteers — in order to celebrate our wonderful librarians, and the libraries they run. To celebrate National Libraries Day, we asked a few of our staff what they love about public libraries.

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Be Book Smart on National Reading Day

By Anne Cunningham and Jamie Zibulsky
If you want to help a child get ahead in school and in life, there is no better value you can impart to him or her than a love of reading. The skills that early and avid reading builds are the skills that older readers need in order to make sense of sophisticated and complex texts.

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Bernstein’s disturbing vision

By Jeremy Begbie
On my office wall I keep two photos together in a single frame. They show two teachers who inspired me more than any others—my first theology teacher, James Torrance (1923–2003), and next to him the American conductor, composer and pianist, Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990).

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What the bilingual brain tells us about language learning

One of the most common questions people ask revolves around when and how to learn a second language. One common view is that earlier is better. There is good evidence for this view. A number of studies have found that the earlier a person learns a second language, the better they perform on a number of tests.

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The current crisis in American legal education

By G. Edward White
There has been a good deal of recent commentary about a perceived “crisis” in American legal education. A combination of rising tuition rates for law schools and a decline in the number of entry-level jobs in the legal profession has resulted in reduced numbers of applicants to law schools, and a corresponding reduction in entering law school class sizes.

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Thinking of applying to medical school?

By Kelly Hewinson
Applying for medical school becomes harder every year. Many would-be doctors are discouraged by mounting competition for places, achieving A* grades, spiraling student fees, and negative headlines about the NHS.

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University libraries and the e-books revolution

By Luke Swindler
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Libraries, it took well over a century, from the university’s founding in 1789, to reach a collection of one million volumes. In the last five years alone, the campus has added nearly one million “volume-equivalents”, mainly due to massive e-book acquisitions.

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The indiscipline of discipline, or, whose ‘English’ is it anyway?

By Susan Bruce
It is a great educational paradox that the nature of one of the UK’s key subjects is both ill-defined and poorly understood. What counts as ‘English’ is contested at all levels, from arguments about the literacy hour at primary level, through the relative importance of English Language and English Literature at GCSE level, to the introduction of a new A Level in Creative Writing, and the ‘confirmatory consultations’ recently conducted over the reform of AL and GCSE English syllabi.

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Add a fourth year to law school

By Edward Zelinsky
President Obama has joined with other critics of contemporary legal education in calling for the reduction of law school to a two year program. The President and these other critics are wrong. Indeed, the remedy they propose for the ills of legal education has it exactly backward.

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