"Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional 'teaching by subject' in favour of 'teaching by topic'.
'This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,' said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. ...
Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call 'phenomenon' teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take 'cafeteria services' lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.
More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union - which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.
There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. ...
Finnish schools are obliged to introduce a period of 'phenomenon-based teaching' at least once a year. These projects can last several weeks. In Helsinki, they are pushing the reforms at a faster pace with schools encouraged to set aside two periods during the year for adopting the new approach. Ms Kyllonen’s blueprint, to be published later this month, envisages the reforms will be in place across all Finnish schools by 2020."
(Richard Garner, Friday 20 March 2015, independent.co.uk)
"The final year NTU Multimedia module called the Research Project provides useful insight into the changing knowledge relationships operating within regionalised knowledge contexts. The module requires students to demonstrate scholarship that spans multiple traditional domains, it requires them to: situate their work and communicate its worth through academic writing; build conceptual models which they must be able to explore through applied research; express their design knowledge and craft skills so that they are able to plan and produce creative work; and design software and application development skills to produce working prototypes. In this way the module provides a challenge which is unique to such programmes. It requires that students engage in a sustained conceptual and technical discovery process which is located within a rapidly changing knowledge context."
(Simon Perkins, 2011)
"So now there's yet someone else adding to the pile of what they feel is 'the' definition, when it's really just 'their' definition. I have mine, Bass has his. Rand had his. I bet Armin has his. Bierut, Scher, Danziger,, Bantjes has hers, and the list goes on an on and each definition (as well as the 'definitive' term) is always different, in semantics at least. The philosophy itself varies somewhat less, but it's no less tragic.
This should be a call, loud and clear within our industry, for certification and standardization."
(Michael Holdren, 18 April 2008, comment at Tiny Gigantic)
Holdren, M. (18 April 2008). "A comment replying to 'Communication design, the definitive definition.'" Retrieved 21 May 2011, 2011, from http://www.tinygigantic.com/2008/04/17/communication–design–the–definitive–definition/#comment–27369.
[Michael Holdren attacks Josh Kamler's effort to define 'communication design' as a singularly identifiable discursive field (Kamler, 17 April 2008). In doing so Holdren criticises the effort for being simply a personal definition. This is an appropriate critique given that Kamler fails to draw on available literature in the field. In his comment Holdren calls for communication design to be defined through its standardisation and professional certification. In Basil Bernstein's terms this can be understood as a call for regulation through 'strongly classified singulars'. While this might appear logical from a professional perspective both efforts must be seen as being misguided because they ignore the essential character of communication design. Both efforts are attempts to stall the process of 'disciplinary recontextualisation' which continues to form and reshape the boundaries of communication design and which provides its essential utility as a means for adapting to change.]
Kamler, J. (17 April 2008). "Communication design, the definitive definition." Retrieved 21 May 2011, 2011, from http://www.tinygigantic.com/2008/04/17/communication–design–the–definitive–definition/.
"Multimedia techniques change very quickly in Korea. All of the universities have made new departments for interactive media and have had more instructors who are involved in high technology such as Web design, game character design, motion graphics, and moving image design. After the development of the Internet and multimedia games and products, many companies have needed designers with new skills. Today, some schools are combining all of their art departments into one college. For example, one university usually has three colleges of art: one devoted solely to music, one devoted to art and design, and another devoted to human movement and performance. With the development of multimedia technologies, the distinctions between these various field are disappearing. Now, it's common to use motion graphics with dance. Many universities want to expand the art fields while at the same time trying to unite them. It's a good change. If the different arts are all in one college, collaboration is easier. Students can learn new skills from each other and think about their works in other creative ways. There are problems that remain to be addressed ... Most education is based on practical business. Many instructors are second–generation designers, meaning that they learned design from the first generation of Korean designers, who didn't have a sufficient basis for study. Many instructors teach design founded on their direct experiences in the design field rather than on theory, methodology, or intensive creative thinking and experiment. Some design programs focus on multimedia classes instead of teaching basic principals of design–technology is more important than ideas."
(HyunSoo Lim, 13 December 2006)
Fig.1 Minsun Eo (2008). 'Typography and the Rules'; 210 x 297 mm (folded), 594 x 841 mm (unfolded), Inkjet Printing Booklet/Poster; Exhibition at Hongdesign Gallery in Seoul, South Korea
"A leading scientist has attacked the government for funding students doing 'Mickey Mouse' degrees – and called for the money to be spent on science instead.
Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said degrees in celebrity journalism, drama combined with waste management, and international football business management – all of which exist – should be 'kicked into touch'.
Funds for the courses should be channelled into science degrees and research. ...
Pike said degree courses should reflect the challenges the country will face in the future, rather than an 'ephemeral demand that in 10 years' time will be viewed as a curiosity'. ...
'Funding for the sciences should be ringfenced so that, in effect, it becomes a more dominant component. This is not a question of pleading a special case. Such a move is essential if we are all to enjoy the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, and ensure that we are prepared for the changes that will affect us all in the future.
'We need a population with an enduring set of skills, such as an understanding of the physical world around us, literacy and communication, numeracy, and how to function and continue to learn in a complex society.'"
(Jessica Shepherd, 10 February 2010, guardian.co.uk)
[While Dr Richard Pike is making a noble effort –it is a vain one. His plea is a naive attempt to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses (Bernstein 2000, p.52) as they continue to undermine the authority of the strong classification principles (Bernstein 2000, p.99) of the traditional European Enlightenment university disciplinary model (Nussbaum 1997; Weeks and Glyer 1998). His comments fail to recognise dramatic global technological and sociological changes (Beck, Giddens et al. 1994) which have accelerated the pace of change and whose needs steadily diminish the relevance and potency of traditional scholarly insight.
Beck, U., A. Giddens, et al. (1994). Reflexive Modernization Politics Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford California, Stanford University Press.
Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. New York, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 15–16.
Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.
Weeks, D. L. and D. Glyer (1998). The Liberal Arts in Higher Education. Challenging Assumptions Exploring Possibilities. Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America.]