15 June 2006

144721 Essays

I have marked most of the 721 essays. There are some very good evidence-based analyses of diverse countries, all which of which were interesting. There seems to be a general lack of engagement with theory and models of political economy (which really is the core of this course!) What I find often puzzling about these courses is that we give you a healthy selection of study-guide readings that the course controller believes are relevant to the assignments, and most students don’t use them in their assignments. If you’re reading this blog and you can think of a reason why this is so, please note that you can leave anonymous comments on here (click on 'comments' below and click the 'anonymous' button), so feedback would not be able to count against you.
Anyway, while the study guide is by no means the definitive collection of works on this subject, and your own library searching and reading are also vital to success, I should also reiterate that, at postgrad level, one does expect to see evidence that you have read and learnt about something from reliable sources (and, as I said earlier, Wikipedia is not all that reliable!). You should also be able to judge just what kind of case can validly be based upon the reading and evidence that you have dredged up. This expectation must be met in future assignments.


At 6:13 PM, Blogger alberto said...

Hi to all. There is an interesting article at the NZ Herald about racism against Maori people in the Health System. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10386884



At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At post grad level? A social science department at a particular university, this year, from under grad, no longer makes available slides till the end of each unit and has started Socratic teaching as a means to get students doing their readings (and it seems to be working).

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Grant Duncan said...

That sounds good. I think I know what you mean (having read Plato), but can you explain what Socratic teaching might be in practice?

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is mainly practiced (and most brutally) at law schools to give students practice 'thinking on their feet'. However, in sociology at the first lecture, a roll of students is passed around and students are asked to indicate the row they wish to sit in for the rest of the course to enable the teacher to address questions to individual students. In practice, the questions, at least in sociology are quite soft. In the main, it is not done as a way to communicate substantive, core information. Each lecture, a student is asked two questions, they are always the same, the first: 'what did you find interesting from X's article?' and near the end of the lecture: 'what do you think of concept Y?' or 'can you think of an example of Y?'. We are always advised, the required reading for the next lecture, usually 25 pages per night, which I find more than manageable at stage 3.

At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a demonstration of the Socratic method (I ask the questions, you give the answer, then I ask you another question)you might still be able to locate a copy of "The Paper Chase" - I know the movie starred Timothy Bottoms. The method was practised at Victoria's law school when I was there in the 1970's. Geoffrey Palmer was legendary in his use of it, but I missed having him by a year. It certainly was challenging and did lead to better understanding.

Mark V


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