“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
National and EU policymakers should address regulatory constraints and risks, such as subsidy changes, that are deterring or preventing pension funds from investing in alternative assets such as infrastructure and venture capital, according to PensionsEurope. The European pension fund association bemoaned the lack of infrastructure investment opportunities and said political and regulatory risks could be major barriers to pension funds’ investing in infrastructure over the long term.It called on policymakers at the national and EU level to “ensure a stable regulatory and fiscal framework” for infrastructure investment, although it added that pension funds themselves could take matters into their hands.It cited as an example the creation of the Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP) in the UK, which pools investment from a number of pension funds. The PiP received its UK regulatory authorisation in mid-January, having by then mobilised commitments to invest £1bn (€1.3bn), half of its £2bn target size.PensionsEurope noted that infrastructure investments were often made in the context of public assets, in some cases incorporating state subsidies.Such investments require a “stable” public and legal environment over the long term.“Variability in those areas may significantly reduce investor confidence and willingness to invest,” it said.“Reducing subsidies during the life-time of a project could significantly curtail the advantages of these types of investments.”The illiquid and long-term nature of infrastructure investments underscores the importance of stability, it said.PensionsEurope cited “the many shifts” of tariffs for solar energy projects in the EU as an example of political and regulatory risks that could reduce the appeal of infrastructure investments.It cited the UK government’s current consideration of reducing feed-in tariffs for small installations, changes in Spain in 2012-13 to the policy on a guaranteed price for renewable electricity, and plans in Norway to “drastically” reduce transmission fees for gas pipelines.PensionsEurope also called for a better definition of infrastructure investments “to help to support industry-wide best practices or standards for contractual documentation for long-term project financing”.The association also addressed other non-traditional asset classes in its response to the European Commission’s call for evidence on the EU financial services regulatory framework.It said “unnecessary regulatory constraints on financing” were also affecting pension fund investment in venture capital and European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs).European venture capital funds (EuVECA) have existed since 2013, but there are too few, and the ones that do exist fail to meet pension funds’ basic diversification requirements, said Pensions Europe.The local implementation and promotion of EuVECA should be corrected to allow pension funds to use the vehicles, the association said.The EU ELTIF regulation, meanwhile, has not been fully transposed into local legislation and/or regulation for pension funds, it said, which creates problems.It gave as an example that, in German local pension fund regulation, an ELTIF would be considered an equity vehicle, even if it carried only debt investments.
Victor Osimhen yesterday scored a hat-trick in Flying Eagles’ 5-0 defeat of Kano-based Dabo Babes FC 5-0 in yet another test match.The FIFA Under-17 World Cup winner was the man-of –the-match at the FIFA Goal Project, Abuja as his first half hat –trick drew applause from an appreciable crowd that included Nigeria U-23 team Coach Samson Siasia, former Super Eagles captain Mutiu Adepoju, one-ime Super Eagles Assistant Coach Bitrus Bewarang and NFF assistant director (Technical) Siji Lagunju, also a former Nigeria international.Spectators were still exchanging pleasantries on arrival at the venue, when Wolfsburg striker Osimhen set the game alive with his first minute strike. That goal came in just 25 seconds of play.He added a second in the 25th minute after some good work from the flanks by Samuel Chukwueze.Chukwueze, bronze boot winner at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 and who will be penning a deal with English Premier League side, Arsenal in the coming days also had his name on the scorers’ sheet, combining well with Osimhen to slot the ball beyond a bemused Dabo Babes goalkeeper for the third goal of the match.Just when it looked like the Flying Eagles needed a breather after some exhausting early minutes display, Victor Osimhen came up with the fourth goal in the 43rd minute to complete his hat trick and make it a comfortable lead before Chukwudi Agor completed the rout in the 47th minute, running onto a through pass from Orji Okonkwo to fire home a long range shot which drew applause from the spectators. In the second half, Flying Eagles gaffer Emmanuel Amuneke brought in some of the untested legs and rested his key men as he became conscious of the task ahead. The half produced little in form of excitement, as the Nigeria U-20 played safe to avoid unwanted injuries.The match was the second in a series of friendly games lined up by Coach Emmanuel Amuneke for his wards as they intensify preparation for next month’s Africa U-20 Cup of Nations qualifying fixture with Burundi.The process started with 30 players invited to the team’s Serob Legacy Hotel camp in Wuye. They were joined on arrival by over sixty other players at a routine screening exercise that lasted over two weeks after which the number was pruned down to 45, to allow the coaches concentrate more on individual abilities and group work.Head Coach Amuneke plans to play more friendly games against NPFL clubsides, with the hope that he can still identify some more league players within the age bracket to further fortify his team ahead of the first leg against Burundi on May 22 in Bujumbura.The winner of the two-legged tie will qualify for the final round of the U-20 Cup of Nations qualifying series in July this year.Eight teams will participate in the finals of the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Zambia next year, and it is from there that Africa’s four representatives to the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic would emerge.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram