Dec 11 2014

What will LSE academics be reading this Christmas?

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To celebrate the end of Michaelmas Term, we asked some of the academics on LSE’s Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programme to tell us what they’ll be reading over the break.

Austin Zeiderman smallAmitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies will be accompanying me during Winter break. I picked it up when it was first released back in 2008, and lost patience with its bewildering dialects and arcane seafaring jargon after less than 50 pages. Six years older and wiser, or so I’d like to think, I now find myself captivated by its intersecting voyages and interwoven histories. I may not be traveling far this December, but I expect the book to continue transporting me to distant landscapes and seascapes where the intoxicated, violent marriage between colonial rule and the opium trade revolved around the power of one delicate, red flower. Austin Zeiderman, Geography and Environment

 

Sohini Kar smallI’ll be reading John Lanchester’s How to Speak Money. I really enjoyed his novel Capital, and am looking forward to his new guide to financial terms. I also reserve the holidays for fun reading, and will be catching up on the new novels from the Austen Project, including Emma by Alexander McCall Smith. Sohini Kar, International Development

 

 

Jose-Carabias-PalmeiroA few weeks ago I went to the superb ‘Terror and Wonder’ exhibition at the British Library. The exposition takes visitors on a journey through the history of British Gothic literature, from its beginnings in the 1700s up to today with its new shapes and formats (films, music, and fashion). It was a very informative and interesting display and it inspired me to investigate a little more the stories which have always been present in our lives but which I, personally, have not looked at in great detail. And so I left the library with a bag full of books which I am looking forward to reading in the coming weeks: Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. The last, I hope, will not be a source of inspiration for my 2015 research. Jose M Carabias, Accounting

 

Amanda SheelyI hope to use the time over Christmas break to learn a bit more about multiculturalism, poverty and inequality in Britain. For an academic angle on the subject, I plan on reading Sir John Hills’ newest book, Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us. For a more fictional take on the subject, I’m also looking forward to reading Zadie Smith’s book, White Teeth. Amanda Sheely, Social Policy

 

Jonathan BirchI’m slowly working my way through the 26 episodes of The Great War, an extraordinary 1964 documentary on World War I that the BBC is currently repeating. Unlike any programme they could make now, it’s full of interviews with WWI veterans, which makes it compelling, appalling viewing. Book-wise, I’m currently trying to get to the presumably bitter end of The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, the WW2 POW-themed and grimly scatalogical winner of this year’s Booker Prize. When I finish that I’ll read Stoner by John Williams, the much-hyped ‘forgotten classic’ I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Since it’s about the loneliness and misery of being an academic, I’m hoping it won’t mirror my own life too accurately. So which predicament is the bleakest: fighting in WWI, being a POW in WW2, or being a lecturer in a university? Ask me after Christmas. Jonathan Birch, Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

 

This is our last post of the term, so we’d like to wish all our readers a very happy and restful break. We look forward to your company again in January.

 

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Dec 9 2014

European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities

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Central European University is running its fourth annual call for this award, which honours academics teaching at higher education institutions in the European Higher Education Area. Applications are welcome from academics of any rank who are currently teaching in the social sciences and/or humanities and whose overall teaching record is outstanding. For more information see European Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Applications close on 15 January 2015.

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Dec 8 2014

Resource of the week

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electree-4-1145119-mIn this term’s last resource, we’re posting some seasonal information for staff and students. LSE’s Christmas holiday web pages include guidance for those planning to travel and, for those staying in London, details of local events, volunteering opportunities and the opening hours of LSE buildings and services.

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Dec 4 2014

The LSE Academic Development Scheme

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LSE’s Academic Development Scheme, launched at the start of the 2014/15 session, is designed to fill a gap in the School’s provision of professional development opportunities for academics engaged in teaching and supporting student learning. Since its introduction in 2009 the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education has become an integral part of early career development for new academics at LSE in line with current practice across the higher education sector in the UK and increasingly in a range of other countries, but there have been relatively limited opportunities for academic staff at all levels to explore, share practice, develop new skills and research different aspects of teaching and learning. The LSE Academic Development Scheme reflects the School’s growing priority to foster excellence in teaching and learning alongside expertise in academic research. At the same time it has been designed to take into account the interests and lived experience of academics in a research intensive higher education setting, incorporating opportunities for both formal and informal development and where possible linking academics’ interests across the various spheres of their work. Consequently, the scheme is underpinned by three principles – that teaching and learning can be approached with the same scientific rigour that is applied to research, that development and reflection on teaching and learning needs to takes place throughout an academic career, and that research and teaching can and should be complementary rather than conflicting aspects of academic life at LSE. (For more on this last, see Research led learning: the heart of a Russell Group university experience (PDF), Russell Group, 2009.)

Formal and informal development opportunities

In terms of informal development the Academic Development Scheme offers a series of Continue reading

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Dec 1 2014

Resource of the week

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In advance of Thursday’s post about LSE’s new Academic Development Scheme, today’s resource is an article that addresses a range of issues relating to the professional development of academics working in higher education. Karin Crawford’s ‘Continuing Professional Development in Higher Education: Tensions and Debates in a Changing Environment’ (at p.69 of The Future of Higher Education – Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience (PDF), edited by Les Bell, Howard Stevenson and Mike Neary, 2009, London, Continuum International Publishing Group) considers the purpose and delivery of continuing professional development against a background of change in both national policy contexts and the nature of the academic’s role and responsibilities.

 

 

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