“We need all students, whatever their future careers are going to be, to be able to think about science more like scientists do,” Nobel Prize winner Carl Wieman said as he urged Notre Dame to take a second look at education during Monday’s Notre Dame Forum event.Wieman’s presentation, “Taking a Scientific Approach to Science Education,” is the first in a series of discussions that asks, “What do Notre Dame Graduates Need to Know?” In his lecture, Wieman offered an answer that stressed the learning experience as opposed to the learned material itself.By the time a person becomes an authority in their field, they have developed a certain way of thinking about their discipline that gives them expertise, Wieman said. Students can begin to gain this expertise in a subject if they are exposed to a classroom environment that promotes discussion and interaction, rather than the standard lecture format most classes currently use, he said.“It’s not that the knowledge [of a subject] is absolutely important, but what really matters is to have knowledge integrated with these broader underlying aspects of expert thinking,” Wieman said. “Because that’s really when the knowledge is useful, rather than a bunch of memorized facts that you can’t do anything with.”While field experts are preferred to teach undergraduate courses, they may not initially understand the importance of this approach because of their own expertise, Wieman said.“One of the challenges of actually being a good teacher if you’re an expert, particularly of introductory students, is that the way you think your brain worked when it was at their level is fundamentally wrong, because there’s no way for the brain to know it’s changing … your brain is just plain different than [it] was when you were a beginning student,” he said.Wieman said the focus on research in many universities could also impact education.“We developed a system at research universities where really the only thing that’s measured — and it’s measured very carefully — is research productivity,” Wieman said. “And that’s what gets measured and rewarded. And so, as a person who’s done lots of science research I appreciate that. … It’s created the wonderfully productive research university system we have.”Wieman said universities’ obsession with efficiency may decrease the quality of research.“The problem is that because it’s the only thing that’s measured – it’s so effective at what it does – the collateral damage is that diverting even a small amount of time to pay attention to teaching and doing it more effectively penalizes a person and penalizes a department,” Wieman said. “So we have to fix that basic system.”Notre Dame physics professor Michael Hildreth said Wieman’s contribution to the Notre Dame Forum addressed an important topic that the University itself hopes to address.“The forum is supposed to address what Notre Dame students should know when they graduate, or I would rather phrase it, what Notre Dame students should learn while they’re here,” he said. “Too often we get bogged down in what students should know, which is really focused on topics. … I would rather turn that around to look at process. I would like to think that we would teach the students how to think.”Tags: Carl Wieman, Notre Dame Forum, Science Education, Scientific approach
Governor Wolf to Eliminate Blight, Develop Affordable Senior Housing in Nanticoke SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Infrastructure, Press Release, Seniors Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf helped move forward efforts to eliminate blighted buildings and construct 40 affordable housing units for seniors on a two-block portion of downtown Nanticoke, Luzerne County by awarding a $1 million grant to these projects.“Providing homes for our seniors to live comfortably in their communities is vitally important to their quality of life and I’m pleased this grant will help in such a significant way,” Governor Wolf said. “Removing blighted buildings and replacing them with affordable housing is a win for residents and a boost to economic development in the region.”New Horizons Development Corporation was approved for the $1 million grant to revitalize a portion of East Main Street in the downtown area of Nanticoke. Blighted buildings will be demolished and reconstructed into 40 affordable housing units for seniors at or below 60 percent of area median income. In addition to the housing, the building will house a LIFE program on the ground floor in partnership with LIFE Geisinger to provide eligible older adults with the support they may need to continue living independently. A parking structure will also be built into the building that will serve as parking for the housing as well as the business district of Nanticoke.“Governor Wolf’s strategic support of Nanticoke, through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, will enable the Nantego Development Project to bring new housing and retail opportunities to downtown Nanticoke continuing the city’s revitalization and spurring additional economic development throughout the South Valley,” said State Senator John Yudichak.“The revitalization of downtown Nanticoke will get a boost thanks to this funding obtained in partnership with Governor Wolf, Senator Yudichak, and city officials,” said Rep. Gerald Mullery. “Older residents will welcome the new affordable housing options and local businesses and customers will benefit from the additional parking.”“The efforts put forth by New Horizons Development Corporation to work collaboratively with local community leaders, including LIFE Geisinger, to identify a creative housing option that will preserve and improve the quality of life for residents of the City of Nanticoke mirrors the Wolf Administration’s commitment to ensure that older Pennsylvanians can live and age well in the setting of their choice for as long as possible,” said Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne. “With a growing aging population, this collaborative revitalization investment demonstrates a shared desire to create an age-friendly future for all our residents.”“Aging brings changes that affect individuals’ physical health, but living apart from their family and community can affect their mental health by leading to feelings of isolation and depression,” said Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller. “Older Pennsylvanians deserve the opportunity to age safely in place and live in their community and near their family and friends. This development will make that possible for more Pennsylvanians.”Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) program, funding will support critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development. August 17, 2018
European parliamentarians have named the MEPs to oversee negotiations for the passage of the IORP Directive, with a former Irish government minister to lead efforts.Despite the appointment of Brian Hayes, who joined the European Parliament following last May’s elections, there will be a strong Dutch presence among the rapporteurs and shadow rapporteurs.A former junior minister in the current Irish coalition government, Hayes spent three years in the Department of Finance. He will act as rapporteur for the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON).As a Fine Gael MEP, he is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) and was appointed to ECON after joining parliament in July. He is also vice-chair of the parliamentary delegation for relations with Iraq. His appointment comes after several months of uncertainty over the appointment of a rapporteur, who facilitates the passage of legislation and leads negotiations between Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission.Several people with knowledge of the situation told IPE last year that the EPP was behind schedule in naming the rapporteur.Many were hopeful that German Christian Democrat MEP Thomas Mann, an ECON substitute member and former rapporteur for a report on demographic challenges, would be appointed.Jeroen Lenaers, a Dutch member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, has been named its rapporteur,The other main political factions have appointed rapporteurs to shadow Hayes, with a further three Dutch MEPs among them.Paul Tang, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, will represent the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), Bas Eickhout will represent the Green parliamentary faction. Eickhout was previously a member of ECON and was appointed as a substitute late last year.Sophie in ‘t Veld, the third Dutch MEP, will represent the interests of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats. She is also a former member of ECON and has acted as rapporteur and shadow rapporteur on a number of matters relating to civil liberties.The European Conservatives and Reformists Group will be represented by Ashley Fox, in his first term as a UK MEP and an ECON substitute, and Spanish MEP Teresa Rodríguez-Rubio will represent the European United Left.