An education system that actively choses to value the voices, practices and methodologies of privilege is damaging to everyone involved, but particularly to students from marginalised groups. The need for a free education comes directly out of this: education should be a source of liberation, not oppression.
Crisis may seem a little alarmist. Maybe it is, but probably not. The Enlightment taught us that there exists no better way for us to accrue knowledge about the world than the dispassionate, evidence-driven approach of the scientific method and, conversely, no bigger obstacle to progress than ideology and dogma.
This book is not perfect, certainly, and I would advise anyone short on time to leave out the final fifty pages entirely - nothing of any great value would be missed. But, regardless of these criticisms, any work of historical theory which is written as well as this one is certainly worth looking at and - maybe with caution, in this particular case - taking to heart.
The reality is that Cambridge is hard, and for many people it is too hard. I don't mean 'hard' here in an academic sense. Of course it is hard in this way, and rightly so. I mean hard in the sense that the overly and unnecessarily stressful way in which Cambridge is set up means that it is hard simply to exist here.
From time to time, my career in the academia reminds me of my grandmother's cooking. She has the ability to make strange mixture of random ingredients come together and make for a delicious dish. On several occasions when I asked my grandmother how this phenomenon occurs, she lowered her voice and said, "There is a secret ingredient."
It's officially the start of a new academic year, which means it's time for a fresh batch of PhD candidates to enter the weird and wonderful world of doctoral research (I mean it; it really is wonderful). These are some of the techniques I've used over the last two years, and will rely on to pull me through the final twelve months of researching, writing, and revising.
The two traditional reasons for the destruction of the academic job market are attributed to the marketisation of education and to the government cuts in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences. Although these are the causes of the crisis, the structural damage is done by the reaction of the departments to the new status quo.
I would like to posit a few ideas on how an awareness of rhetorical and oratorical techniques can improve politics lectures. This is by no means a comprehensive discussion of either but is simply a very brief discussion of how classical techniques - that are used by political scientists to scrutinise political leaders - can also have relevance for politics lecturers.
Poynter had an interesting post earlier this week on a study about errors in news reports. The researchers looked at 2,000 stories in the Swiss and Italian press, and contacted people quoted in those stories.
But many view children's literature as beneath them. If it's not for 'grownups', it's not worthwhile. But, wait, here's a sneaky little problem: what about all the 'grownups' who read and enjoy Rowling's work and other children's books? Shouldn't we explore why these works appeals to adults who are apparently supposed to know better?
The problems within the higher education system are multiple, and these need to be considered if we are to expect students to willingly put themselves in three times more debt. The pool of 18-year-old with the financial support to go to university on a whim without a concern for its relative value will be vastly reduced.