Categories
Academic

Knowledge is not enough…

…lecturers must be able to impart what they know. Craig Mahoney, head of the HEA, believes training can make any academic a more effective and inspired teacher

“When I moved to England from Australia, I was excited at the prospect of undertaking the postgraduate certificate in higher education,” writes Francesca Haig, a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Chester, in a 2009 article for the Higher Education Academy’sAcademy Exchange magazine.

“In Australia, such qualifications were not required for academic posts, and I thought that the emphasis England placed on teaching qualifications indicated a regard for teaching, usually so undervalued in academia (although not by students). Colleagues in England laughed ominously at my enthusiasm; such qualifications, I soon learnt, are commonly viewed as yet another hoop through which academics must now jump.”

Read full story, and note that I really enjoyed the PGCLTHE at my University, and am now teaching on it.

 

Categories
Academic Digital

Brian Lamb calling for open access

It is almost “criminally irresponsible” to hoard academic knowledge in the digital age, according to a Canadian specialist in the field.

Brian Lamb, manager of emerging technologies and digital content at the University of British Columbia, also said that open educational resources (OERs) could help to reassert the academy’s role as a “leader and guardian of free and open enquiry”.

He made the comments at the Open Educational Resources International Symposium in London, which was sponsored by the Joint Information Systems Committee.

Mr Lamb said that OER – freely available course material – was “one small piece” of a broader movement. “Yes, we want open content, but also open source tools, the adoption of open standards, open data and open and transparent practices,” he said.

He added that it was possible universities did not have the answers to the world’s problems and that the human race was “doomed”, but that hoarding knowledge was “perverse”.

Categories
Academic

Keep Calm and Carry On

“For many the wartime slogans, such as Dig for Victory, Careless Talk Costs Lives, and Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases, have never been forgotten. Such slogans have been passed on as a part of our common heritage,” says Dr Rebecca Lewis, a historian who has made a study of the subject. “Posters that were not published or were withdrawn also make for interesting study, particularly for reasons as to why they were rejected,” she adds. “However, there do not seem to be many examples of these, although whether this is because records of unsuccessful designs were not kept or because there were not many was not established.”

Simon Edge, ‘Sign of the Times’, Daily Express, Thursday March 19, 2009, p36

So, a part of my thesis is finally published… my book is still in the planning stages, and the website: http://www.ww2poster.co.uk/ needs a distinct overhaul and I am throwing around ideas for an associated blog, but I’m not there yet [EDIT: See http://ww2poster.wordpress.com/]! In the meantime, I’ve been quoted in the national press in relation to a story which now I’ve done a bit of a hunt, appears to have been circulating for some time, re the discovery of the unpublished Second World War posters ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ ten years ago by Barter Books, and it’s continued surprise success (although with my love of wartime posters I don’t find the idea that people love posters surprising, it is surprising that such a generally non-visual design is popular, but the slogan is very strong, and very apt in the present times)!

PhD Findings
My PhD ‘The Planning, Design and Reception of British Home Front Propaganda Posters of the Second World War’ was awarded (without corrections) in June 2004 by what is now the University of Winchester.

A section from pages 104-5 of my thesis (copy held in the Imperial War Museum, and in the RKE Centre at the University of Winchester):

The poster with a proclamation from the King was to be ‘plastered everywhere in order to drive the contents into everyone’s head’.[1] By August 1939 war was regarded as inevitable, and by 9 August the finished drawings were submitted to Macadam for final approval. Any adaptations to proportions would then be made and the posters printed.[2] By 23 August the proportions to be printed were decided. The percentages were: ‘Freedom is in Peril’ (for remote areas), 12% (figure 22); ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’, 65%; and ‘Your Courage, etc.’, 23% (figure 1).[3] The Treasury had approved costs for a single poster, three designs were produced, exceeding estimates by under £50. “Our Fighting Men Depend on You” for factories, works, docks and harbours, was also printed, for which no allowance had originally been made.[4] By September, ‘Your Courage’ and ‘Freedom is in Peril’ were already being posted throughout the country. ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ was printed and held in reserve for when the necessity arose, for example, a severe air-raid, although it was never actually displayed. Soon after war was declared, the small poster ‘Don’t Help the Enemy, Careless Talk may give away vital secrets’ (figure 62) was approved by the War Office and was ready to put into production. 58,000 copies had already been distributed by September 17, and 75,000 copies were to be despatched daily from September 26.[5] By the end of September 1939, roughs for further designs had been prepared and approved, including messages from the King and the Queen, designs specifically for factories and docks, and designs specifically for each branch of the armed services: reassurance, not recruiting, posters.[6]

[1] PRO INF 1/10, ‘Functions and Organisation of the Ministry. Memorandum by E.B. Morgan’, early 1939.
[2] PRO INF 1/266, ‘Memo from Vaughan to Macadam’, August 9 1939.
[3] PRO INF 1/226, ‘Letter from Macadam to W.G.V. Vaughan’, August 23 1939. In the same folder, ‘Demand for Printing Slip for HMSO’, August 31 1939, and ‘Poster Campaign: Distribution’, November 1 1940, give details of the exact quantities ordered on August 31 1939, in a variety of sizes and in both broadside and upright versions, and where distributed. PRO INF 1/302, ‘Summary of Activities of Home Publicity Division’, September 28 1939 notes that all sizes were included, from 20ft. by 10ft. down to 15” x 10”.
[4] PRO INF 1/226, ‘Letter from I.S.Macadam, MOI to E.Rowe-Dutton, Treasury’, September 4 1939.
[5] PRO INF 1/6, ‘First Report on the Activities of the Ministry of Information from September 3 to September 17 1939’, September 1939.
[6] PRO INF 1/302, ‘Summary of Activities of Home Publicity Division’, September 28 1939.

I have lots more I could say, and hope to be back with some more considered comments, summarising elements of my PhD, before I get round to the book!

Some Links:

Categories
Life(style)

Where has the week gone?

The week has disappeared in starting on the journey to becoming a life coach, job searches/applications, interviews with temping agencies, many hours of freelance work using Joomla, and generally re-aquainting myself with Winchester, and some of the people in it! It’s been great being back on Campus at the University of Winchester where I still know so many people… it’s a lovely, friendly, community-based University… of course it’s not perfect, but I like it!

Discovery Centre
I was very impressed to get a chance for a real look at the Discovery Centre (formerly ‘The Library). Spectacular looking building, friendly staff (although I’m not too sure about the ‘sweatshirt’ look), and up-to-date books which I want to borrow (alongside a cafe, a shop, internet access, an art gallery, and I don’t know what else yet). It was easy to sign up, and I have already made use of a number of the facilities, and I’ve only really been inside for about half-an-hour.