Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

The cost of the American dream

In its simplest form, the American Dream asserts that success should be determined by effort, not one’s starting point. This is the promise on which most Americans base their hopes and the calculus that is supposed to govern our institutions.

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The vocation of youth

We all benefit when young people understand their strengths and talents and use these to make the world a better place through direct action, service, and leadership. We use the idea of vocation to describe this process of them coming to understand their strengths and talents and how these can be applied to address issues they care about in their community.

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Innovation: in and out of the Budongo

In 2014, PLOS Biology published an article about a cousin of ours, a member of the Sono Community of wild chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest in northwestern Uganda. In a video shared in relation to the study, an alpha male, NK, gathers moss from a tree trunk just within his reach, a prize he will use to lap up water in a nearby pool.

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The goals of medicine do not stop at the edge of the body

Over the last 100 years, the world, people, and our society have changed beyond measure. So have diseases, and we are now almost 75 years into the first ever age where cure of disease, successful organ transplants and near complete recovery from trauma has been possible. Despite all of this change, however, medical school curricula have hardly changed in a hundred years.

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Is there a gender bias in teaching evaluations?

Why are there so few female professors? Despite the fact that the fraction of women enrolling in graduate programs has increased over the last decades, the proportion of women who continue their careers in academia remains low. One explanation that could explain these gender disparities are gender-biased teaching evaluations. Outcomes of teaching evaluations affect hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions.

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Professionalizing leadership – education

“In the past, leadership and teaching how to lead were considered the most consequential of all human endeavors.” Barbara Kellerman looks at three crucial areas of learning leadership; leadership education; leadership training; and leadership development. In this post, she discusses the importance of leadership education and how it should be approached and improved.

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Exploring religious diversity in higher education

In his recent post, “Declining Exposure to Religious Diversity” (24 January), Jeremy Bauer-Wolf notes some striking results of a survey conducted by the Interfaith Youth Core of more than 7,000 students at 122 American colleges and universities. The survey measures the extent of their interfaith experiences on campus, and tracks developments in their attitudes toward religious diversity.

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Should Politics be taught within secondary school?

Despite the higher youth turnout than originally anticipated, it has been estimated that around one third of millennials did not vote in the EU Referendum. But could a better understanding of the European Union, and political affairs in general be achieved if Politics were taught more widely in schools? Would more young people be willing to engage with politics?

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A Q&A with the Editor of Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, Susan Easterbrooks

“The field has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, yet in many ways it remains the same. We have benefitted from advancements in technology that have improved listening technology.” Susan Easterbrooks is Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. We sat down with Susan to discuss her background, the developments in deaf education, and the challenges scholars face in the field.

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Brexit versus UK higher education

Higher education has generally been reckoned to be one of the UK’s success stories, competing with the best American universities and setting the standard against which universities in other European countries measure themselves. UK universities receive roughly €1bn a year from European programs, as well as scooping up many of the brightest students from around Europe who want to study in Britain.

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Does a student’s college funding source influence their field of study?

“There are two dominant narratives about the function of higher education today.” Higher Education has changed dramatically over the past few decades, and debates over college costs have intensified. Examining how college funding is associated with course selection, Social Forces Editor Arne L. Kalleberg interviews Natasha Quadlin about her research about the effects of college funding sources.

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Apparitions in the archives: haunted libraries in the UK

This Halloween we turn our sights to the phantoms haunting the libraries and private collections of Britain. From a headless ghost, to numerous abnormalities surrounding a vast collection of magical literature from a late ghost hunter, here are some stories around apparitions that have been glimpsed among the stacks – you can choose whether or not you believe them to be true….

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How welcoming practices and positive school climate can prevent bullying

What happens when a student or parent first walks in to a new school? What welcoming practices occur during the initial registration process, when parents first complete a set of forms, when they hear the first hello, or when students are first introduced to teachers and classmates? Are students and parents greeted with warmth, guidance, and understanding, or is it a cold administrative process?

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To be a great student, you need to be a great student of time management

You might be brilliant. An exceptional student. But if you can’t get your paper in on-time, revise ahead of the exam, or juggle a busy student & home life, then no-one will ever know how you brilliant you are. Time management is the skill that unlocks everything else. If you want to get more done you need to be a great student of time management because this is the key that can open every door.

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It’s education, stupid: how globalisation has made education the new political cleavage in Europe

Commentators argue that a globalisation cleavage is appearing in western Europe, with the issues of migration and European integration core bones of contention. We argue that at a deeper level it is not just globalisation or the EU that drives this contestation. The new political divide is also rooted in demographic changes, it is a manifestation of the rise of a more structural, educational cleavage.

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Library outreach: a case study from Wakefield Libraries

Dawn Bartram is Library Development Area Supervisor, Skills and Learning, at Wakefield Libraries in the UK, and was the winner of our CILIP competition. Here Dawn expands on her winning entry, and talks us through the benefits and approach to setting up a library outreach programme in order to spread the word about the online resources available at your local library.

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