"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)
"Elite American universities maintain their prestige by turning away a huge percentage of applicants every year. And the education entrepreneur Ben Nelson sees an opportunity in this demand for top–flight education: He wants to reach talented students across the world and to build a new university that could remake the image of Ivy League education.
Mr. Nelson, founder of a start–up called the Minerva Project, believes the minuscule acceptance rates at prestigious institutions leave some college–bound students without a place where they can pursue a blue–ribbon degree. So his for–profit enterprise seeks to satisfy that demand by offering a rigorous online education to the brightest students around the world who slip through the cracks of highly selective admissions cycles. ...
To create these advanced courses, Minerva will break down the role of professor into two distinct jobs instead of simply poaching faculty members from other universities. The company will award monetary prizes to 'distinguished teachers among great research faculty,' Mr. Nelson said, who will team up with crews to videotape lectures and craft innovative courses when they are not teaching at their home institutions. (Mr. Nelson declined to elaborate on the size of the prizes.)
Minerva will then hire a second group of instructors to deliver the material. Mr. Nelson called them 'preceptors,' who will typically be young graduates of doctoral programs–they will lead class discussions online, hold office hours, and grade assignments."
(Nick DeSantis, 3 April 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education)
"KBU Interior Architecture and Design (KBUIAD) club is a platform for all KBU IAD students to showcase projects, get updated with the upcoming events in the school and share information and thoughts related to Interior Architecture & Design."
(Chiang Siew Leng, Malaysia)
"even were a design school to decide to teach more formal methods, we don't really have a curriculum that is appropriate for designers. Take my concern about the lack of experimental rigor. Suppose you were to agree with me – what courses would we teach? We don't really know. The experimental methods of the social and behavioral sciences are not well suited for the issues faced by designers.
Designers are practitioners, which means they are not trying to extend the knowledge base of science but instead, to apply the knowledge. The designer's goal is to have large, important impact. Scientists are interested in truth, often in the distinction between the predictions of two differing theories. The differences they look for are quite small: often statistically significant but in terms of applied impact, quite unimportant. Experiments that carefully control for numerous possible biases and that use large numbers of experimental observers are inappropriate for designers.
The designer needs results immediately, in hours or at possibly a few days. Quite often tests of 5 to 10 people are quite sufficient. Yes, attention must be paid to the possible biases (such as experimenter biases and the impact of order of presentation of tests), but if one is looking for large effect, it should be possible to do tests that are simpler and faster than are used by the scientific community will suffice. Designs don't have to be optimal or perfect: results that are not quite optimum or les than perfect are often completely satisfactory for everyday usage. No everyday product is perfect, nor need they be. We need experimental techniques that recognize these pragmatic, applied goals.
Design needs to develop its own experimental methods. They should be simple and quick, looking for large phenomena and conditions that are 'good enough.' But they must still be sensitive to statistical variability and experimental biases. These methods do not exist: we need some sympathetic statisticians to work with designers to develop these new, appropriate methods."
(Don Norman, 26 Nov 2010, Core77)