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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Sarah Thomson
In 2012, 45 US states, as well as the District of Columbia, adopted and began implementing the new Common Core State Standards in K-12 public schools. In history and social studies classes, the Common Core Standards emphasize critical thinking and analytical reading and writing skills.
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.
By Francesco Avvisati, Marc Gurgand, Nina Guyon, and Eric Maurin
Problems of truancy, violence, and discipline can contribute to many schoolchildren in industrialized societies graduating from school without mastering basic skills.