Suspension in Admission to German, Religious Studies and Classics in Pittsburgh University

“Long considered one of public higher education’s finest destinations for graduate work in the humanities, the University of Pittsburgh has cut off admissions to master’s and doctoral programs in German, religious studies, and classics in response to reduced state aid.” []

This decision is mainly due to the budget cut in Pittsburg University. Some groups are accepting this decision and some call it irresponsible. University officials declared that it was a necessary action due to the current financial situation.

The classics chair and German chair criticized this decision not only unexpected but also the way that it was taken was not acceptable. As stated, they were officially called and were informed that the decision to suspend these programs was going to take into effect.

Students in other programs within the College of Arts and Sciences are worried as they concern to have the same trend in their programs. However, an official agent said that it was not a planned decision and admissions are suspended temporarily but didn’t state anything about the possibility of closing these programs. It is more than a simple decision as many students and staff will be affected if they decide to close the programs. A university spokesman revealed that those students that have already been involved can finish their programs and those who have admission are allowed to come. That’s where some people have been worried about the elimination of those departments. Students are requesting through online petitions to restore admissions for these programs.

How to Keep Up with Research in Your Field of Study

RSS is a good source to keep up with journal articles as they come out. As a graduate student, one should read lots of journals and keep up with the daily issues. One way is to sign up in the related websites. Once you have the list of journals, you can subscribe to the website or be a member of the professional organization to access them. Many databases exist that hold certain issues of publications. Most of them facilitate subscription via email or RSS. If you subscribe by email, you can receive alerts for updates and track new publications. It is a matter of being more comfortable with what type.


An insight into Interdisciplinarity Concept

Interdisciplinary studies refer to the process of addressing a topic that can’t be analyzed by a single discipline.  In an informal sense, observers either integrate information from their environment to interpret phenomena and make cognitive decisions or concentrate on one specialized discipline. This is sort of interdisciplinary analysis to get pieces of data and find a logical relationship. In fact, this is what discipline-based systems are trying to reach. So, it is not only developing rules, methods and technologies to get a deeper knowledge but also processing the knowledge with a comprehensive insight into the components.

In interdesciplinary science, all the elements are integrated and contrasted within the disciplines to gain an intellectual perspective and an interactive theme between and among disciplines. One definition for Interdisciplinarity is “the interaction among two or more different disciplines. This interaction may range from simple communication of ideas to the mutual integration of organizing concept, methodology, procedures, epistemology, terminology, data and organization of research and education in a fairly large field”. Like any other discipline, interdisciplinary programs should be adapted over time to address priorities of educators and dynamic changes in educational institutes. Different factors can contribute to the field such as the ability to take a perspective, develop structural knowledge and cope with conflicting insight of different disciplines. The challenge is that interdisciplinary study is not bounded and includes various factors that fluctuate from time to time due to its nature.

Reference: Issues in Integrative Studies, No. 21: 170- 203, 2003.

Unemployment Rate in Higher Education

Reading this post,, I came across some issues about the relationship between supply and demand of job opportunities. In societal level, there are varieties of factors affecting job opportunities that mainly stem from social and economical construct of the society. It is interesting to know that a campaign called “occupy movement” has started which is directed towards social and economic inequality. The aim of the campaign is to address social injustice but it also encompasses job opportunity issues.

At higher education, there is a correlation between graduate student enrollment and unemployment rate in society. But the point is how higher education can increase job market. Will providing more faculty positions affect circulating currency in the industry? Higher education has been known as a key component for economic development that is able to control external factors that affect its modality. So in terms of controlling unemployment rate, more attention should be paid to the higher education and specifically research universities.

A Learning Paradigm: Control Theory of Motivation

It has been stated that behavior is never caused by a response to an outside stimulus. Instead, the behavior is inspired by what a person wants most at any given time. This paradigm envisions the person itself as a learner. Making some progress toward a goal, endow progress to achieve it. The appearance of progress can have strong effect, even some routine tasks result in continued effort to gradually accomplish the goal. The thing is the continuous effort, demonstration at some level and then boosting it to support the previous task. But one should be aware of external factors that might affect the process. That’s why there is a cascade of events.

People have cognitive reasons to perform various actions. In higher education, controlled motivation needs to be assessed during learning process. Students are exposed to different activities and accommodate their needs according to their motivations. So it becomes important to self motivate students by making them building their intrinsic intuition upon each task. Besides the individualism attitude to internalize values, students might be involved in extrinsic processes to correlate two aspects and pursue task oriented activities.

Implementing Technology in Social Learning: Augmented Reality

Widespread use of technology is affecting our daily life. On the spectrum between virtual reality and real world, augmented reality is trying to make events in metaphorical space closer to our real world.

One of the aims of social learning is to create a community. Technology is not able to replace human interactions but it can be an essential component in service learning. Every day people spend several hours in popular technologies, but the question is whether spending time in such types of social networking is harmful? At least it will affect the ways in which people are communicating, collaborating and social networking. These technologies influence our life styles and social constructs. Not surprisingly, these transformations have had impact in education too. The thing is cognitive implication of these technologies and overcoming challenges to achieve a standard learning strategy. One of the programs in educational institutions is to establish centers for implementing technology in education. Even the method that such workspaces are designed affects learning process. Generally what is more important is the appropriateness of the application of technology for educational purposes.

In response to this blog about group working,, I think implementing technology in schools help students to collaborate with each other and give them an attribute of system thinking. So, technology can inspire group working. Anyway it can’t replace teaching, it is just a tool.

Another Perspective of Issues in Higher Education

I noticed the way that sequences of assignments are organized for this course. In my opinion, tasks are related and are designed to capture thoughts of students. So I decided to search about philosophy of assessment.

In most of theoretical classes, students are evaluated by tests, presentations and projects. Matrix is designed to evaluate students based on the ability to understand and adopt concepts. In new assessment philosophy, it is important to develop global consciousness among students and motivate them to participate in discussions. In my opinion, it should be designed to strengthen their creativity. In developing assessment programs there are several target domains. I will discuss them as cognitive domain, affective domain and participating domain.

In the cognitive domain, the essential goal is to assess reflective thinking of issues. Students should be able to identify a problem, make a hypothesis and explore consequences. So the focus is on the idea, collecting information, synthesizing data and anticipating outcomes. During this process, it is important to keep a global framework in investigations. Another domain is affective domain which is about orientations toward certain issues such as attitudes and values. Students are asked to develop sense of identity, curiosity, empathy with others’ views and are prepared to take stand for future issues. In a global sense, concerns are oriented to global issues within a global perspective. We try to internalize the value of being a global citizen and understand how the global system operates. In this domain instructions are made to develop a global consciousness among students. Another domain that is related to social actions is participating domain. Participating in social actions requires students to develop an understanding of how the whole system operates and orientations are toward making a more sustainable environment.

Items that are mentioned here focus on the development of the global efficacy. In this system students are asked to develop a global consciousness and be involved in participatory actions. These issues are becoming more interesting and needs to be delved more deeply.