Category: Uncategorized

‘The mortal in the portal’: how the online world strengthens our capacity to be truly human

I am indebted to Richard Ovenden, the University of Oxford’s Bodley’s Librarian, for the title of this blog; speaking last week at a City of London Livery Company Event in Vintners’ Hall, he used the phrase during the course of his fascinating (and passionate) insight into the work that librarians now do to educate their …

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Online gaming for girls: scoping out the landscape

In a recent conversation with a young female relative, I asked her about her experiences of online gaming, as I know that she is a devotee. She explained why she enjoyed it so much – the challenge, the camaraderie, and so on – but she went on to explain how difficult it was for girls …

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Why ‘education’ is holding us all back

Writing in an opinion piece on 1 June in Today’s Zaman, the English language version of one of Turkey’s most widely circulated newspapers, Ricardo Hausmann questions government policies around the world that point towards education as a growth strategy. Education, he says, has had mixed success in raising worker productivity, and it is worker productivity …

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The importance of teaching critical thinking in our schools

In the days and weeks preceding the recent UK General Election, there were moments when the frenzy of messages being communicated by the parties and the candidates led almost to overload on the part of the electorate. There were messages about what politicians and parties had done (or had not done), were doing (or were …

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Why is it important to develop a global mindset in our young people?

I am always slightly reluctant to make political comments, even in the run-up to one of the most hotly contested UK general elections in memory, but it was at the very least worrying (and probably far, far more frightening than that) to hear a child telling a politician last week that he would vote UKIP (The …

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Why we should vote in the general election

Election fever has gripped the country’s media in the UK; indeed, it is hard to avoid the glee of broadcasters and reporters who are revelling in the stories that the impending general election on 7th May is generating. Politicians are touring the country kissing babies – and feeding lambs – and the polls reveal that …

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Happy International Day of Happiness!

“When you’re smilin’ keep on smilin’ The whole world smiles with you” So wrote (and sang) Louis Armstrong, and who amongst us hasn’t experienced the power of sharing smiles and happiness with others? Since 2012, today (20 March) has been designated the UN International Day of Happiness, and this, the relevant Resolution explains, is why: …

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Selfies of the world unite?

I have so far resisted taking a stance on the phenomenon of selfies – those snaps of oneself, taken and posted on social media, despite the fact that they are ubiquitous, a recognised word in Oxford Dictionaries Online since 2013, and increasingly institutionalised, as is evident by the development of mainstream paraphernalia to ease the …

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Levelling the playing field for women: the IMF perspective

The IMF have spoken: in a staff discussion note published a few days ago, entitled ‘Fair Play: More Equal Laws Boost Female Labor Force participation’, the authors outline research which supports women’s involvement in the workplace in all countries of the world. Their main finding is that “less legal discrimination against women is strongly associated …

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Finding out what works in education

The UK Telegraph’s newspaper interview with Tom Bennett, published today, is worth a read. It follows on from widely publicised recent comments make by Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills at OECD, which attempted to debunk various myths about the top-performing school systems … again, these too are worth a read. What both educationalists …

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