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    From 2012, it has been proposed that no more intakes will be made for the University's undergraduate course in Education Studies. Education-related papers will instead be offered as options in the Part II of the newly proposed Social Sciences tripos. What are your thoughts on this?

    My views on this are mixed. As a student on a different degree subject (History), I don't feel I am particularly biased either way. I do however support this motion. I think the Social Sciences are often so interdisciplinary, that studying them all, at least during Part I of a tripos, will prove broadly beneficial. Students who then wish to study Education papers in Part II of the degree will have a thorough grounding in the various related Social Sciences.

    IMPORTANT TO NOTE: The Education Studies tripos is NOT a teaching degree, and does NOT include a practical teaching element. It is the academic study of Education and its policy.

    I do not agree with the notion that the current Education Studies tripos is any less academic than other triposes [this has not been suggested by any official bodies or departments, but is an argument misguidedly used by some students]. This should therefore not be used as an argument for its abolition. The tripos currently comprises the study of Education through the disciplines of History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. To say the tripos is unacademic therefore suggests the that other University courses in these subjects are also unacademic. This includes triposes such as PPS, Philosophy, and History.

    One might argue that it is presently less academic than other subjects because students become a 'jack of all trades but master of none'. This argument also does not stand up to scrutiny. Education students still do a considerable level of study into each discipline. Furthermore, the skills required to do well in these are often broadly similar, although there are of course also some differences (but not ones which cannot be overcome). If one still maintains that studying a subject through various disciplines instead of one is less academic, then I expect them to claim the same regarding, for example, the Geography, NatSci, and ASNAC triposes. The argument that Education Studies is not academic therefore appears void to me.


    Related to the subject's abolition is the statistical fact that Education Studies students have the lowest number of UCAS points, on average, of any tripos in the university. Though this may be true, I think it still important to remember that almost all Education students are required to get AAA, and for the next two years, A*AA. This is still an achievement and does not bar success in Cambridge examinations.

    However, as I stated above, I broadly agree with the motion that the Social Sciences should be more integrated, and I believe the Education Studies tripos should be included in this.

    What are your thoughts?
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    Didn't you used to do Education and then switched to History? In which case, your views are slightly biased....

    Anyway, I think it's excellent news. Education received just 98 applications last year, and 50 offers were made. Whilst some other subjects (Classics/Arch&Anth/ASNAC) are similarly uncompetitive, they do tend to admit fewer students. Scrapping Education should free up some precious college space for more students in other, more competitive, subjects.

    Since Cambridge always aims to attract the very brightest minds, the fact that hundreds (if not thousands) of incredibly bright students get rejected every year for their preferred course -- when they probably could have got an offer if they applied for Education -- speaks volumes of this news and, IMO, it can't come soon enough.
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    What on earth is Social Sciences? Isn't that roughly just SPS (= Social and Political Science)?
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    (Original post by jcb914)
    Didn't you used to do Education and then switched to History? In which case, your views are slightly biased....

    Anyway, I think it's excellent news. Education received just 98 applications last year, and 50 offers were made. Whilst some other subjects (Classics/Arch&Anth/ASNAC) are similarly uncompetitive, they do tend to admit fewer students. Scrapping Education should free up some precious college space for more students in other, more competitive, subjects.

    Since Cambridge always aims to attract the very brightest minds, the fact that hundreds (if not thousands) of incredibly bright students get rejected every year for their preferred course -- when they probably could have got an offer if they applied for Education -- speaks volumes of this news and, IMO, it can't come soon enough.

    Yes I suppose you are right. I was originally given an offer for Education Studies, but never ended up studying it. I did however have to go through the admissions process again, resubmit essays, get interviewed etc in order to do a different subject (History). My comment about the academic ability of Education students wouldn't be particularly biased as I do not feel insecure in my own grades (higher than most Education students, and the majority applicants for other subjects) so I don't think I would need to alter any facts. However, I agree I am therefore perhaps not completed devoid of bias. My original interests do however mean I understand the broad nature of the course and I don't feel an allegiance to it - indeed above I supported its abolition.


    On the topic of freeing up spaces for other triposes. All of the spaces currently available for Education Studies will (it is aimed) be made available for the new Social Sciences tripos. SPS/PPS is already very oversubscribed, so I think this is a reasonable idea.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    What on earth is Social Sciences? Isn't that roughly just SPS (= Social and Political Science)?
    Social Sciences is the newly proposed tripos, beginning in 2012. SPS, and subsequently PPS, will be amalgamated into this new tripos, together with Education Studies and potentially a few other subjects.
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    (Original post by tony_ron)
    Social Sciences is the newly proposed tripos, beginning in 2012. SPS, and subsequently PPS, will be amalgamated into this new tripos, together with Education Studies and potentially a few other subjects.
    Oh. I suppose I don't really care, then - it's sounding like they're just going to be offering several current courses under one name in the future. A bit like how natural sciences is really chemistry, physics, biology, geology, materials, etc. So the Tripos isn't really going to be 'abolished', it's just going to be merged with something else. On the other hand, if they are scrapping material, well... I guess they know better than us how feasible keeping the course on is, but I disapprove.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Oh. I suppose I don't really care, then - it's sounding like they're just going to be offering several current courses under one name in the future. A bit like how natural sciences is really chemistry, physics, biology, geology, materials, etc. So the Tripos isn't really going to be 'abolished', it's just going to be merged with something else. On the other hand, if they are scrapping material, well... I guess they know better than us how feasible keeping the course on is, but I disapprove.
    Well you are right that it is not going to be abolished in that a limited number of papers relating to Education will still be available at undergraduate level. However, a separate tripos specifically for those interested in Education will no longer be available, so I think it is being abolished to a certain extent, and this is the rhetoric the departments use too. Under the SST, Education will still be available, but with a severely reduced number/variety of papers, and only in Part II.


    Doesn't mean I don't support this though. I'm quite keen on the SST.
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    (Original post by tony_ron)
    Under the SST, Education will still be available, but with a severely reduced number/variety of papers, and only in Part II.
    Ah, then I definitely disapprove. Why are you in favour of this, out of interest? I don't think you've said so far.
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    I am taking a paper from the Education faculty this year, and I'm really hating it. The content taught in the lectures is very simplistic, and some of the lecturers have been discouraging towards critical thinking. In the first week of lectures for that paper, two other SPS students in my year walked out and switched papers because they 'weren't at A level anymore'.
    I think that the study of education policy as an academic pursuit is very important and extremely interesting (the same as I think studying other significant institutions in society such as the state, the family, the economy etc etc are very interesting and important) but I was very sorely disappointed by this paper once I took it. tony_ron may be right that they try to teach students Education through the subjects of philosophy, history, psychology and sociology, but the sociology included in the third year education paper I'm on is alot more simplistic than anything I studied in first year, and from supervisions and lectures they don't give the impression that they expect students to go beyond that.
    Some of the Educational research papers I've read have been very good. I'm glad to see that things are being changed. I just think that if they do bring it into my department, they should concentrate and improve the material and appoint good teachers. In fairness I'm just going from my experience of one paper that the department offers, and I'm sure that every department in the University has a sub par paper here or there.

    Nonetheless I do think that this change will be a big improvement. At the very least, future students will have had to have taken a common social science Part I which would have been alot more work and alot more conceptually challenging than the paper I'm doing right now. The result will be that all the students taking the paper will already be more critical and will problematise the relevant issues to a stronger degree which will hopefully raise the expectations of the department and also the depth at which its taught.

    (Original post by tony_ron)
    My views on this are mixed. As a student on a different degree subject (History), I don't feel I am particularly biased either way. I do however support this motion. I think the Social Sciences are often so interdisciplinary, that studying them all, at least during Part I of a tripos, will prove broadly beneficial. Students who then wish to study Education papers in Part II of the degree will have a thorough grounding in the various related Social Sciences.
    I agree with this. Part of the difficulty I find with the paper is that on its own, Education Studies is really nothing but the history of particular Educational policies and research about their outcomes. All of the relevant issues that make Education interesting are already very well covered by the disciplines of Psychology and Sociology. I can't really see why it merits its own Tripos, and to me it looks like they've been teaching watered down summaries of various other disciplines on the Tripos instead of simply giving students a stimulating and thorough training in those actual subject areas and then providing them with a short, intense, very full and stimulating Part II paper about the history of Education Policy.

    I do apologise to all Education students reading this. I know from experience that its very annoying to have people rubbish your subject. I hope I've made it clear that I don't think that there's anything inherent about Education Studies that is 'unacademic' or whatever, but I do have specific criticisms borne out of my own disappointment with a paper this year, and think that the subject could be alot better than it is currently.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Ah, then I definitely disapprove. Why are you in favour of this, out of interest? I don't think you've said so far.
    My reasons are similar to craghyrax's above. I don't have a 'problem' with Education Studies existing as it is. However, I do think a broad, interdisciplinary social science introduction in part I would lead to a more developed understanding of educational issues available to study in the Part II.

    One of the Committees further reasons, which I too agree with, is that merging the courses will lead to a higher quality intake (because it will come from the applicants for the SST). Administration and bureaucracy can also be consolidated and reduced, and that keeps costs down too.
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    (Original post by tony_ron)
    From 2012, it has been proposed that no more intakes will be made for the University's undergraduate course in Education Studies. Education-related papers will instead be offered as options in the Part II of the newly proposed Social Sciences tripos. What are your thoughts on this?

    My views on this are mixed. As a student on a different degree subject (History), I don't feel I am particularly biased either way. I do however support this motion. I think the Social Sciences are often so interdisciplinary, that studying them all, at least during Part I of a tripos, will prove broadly beneficial. Students who then wish to study Education papers in Part II of the degree will have a thorough grounding in the various related Social Sciences.

    IMPORTANT TO NOTE: The Education Studies tripos is NOT a teaching degree, and does NOT include a practical teaching element. It is the academic study of Education and its policy.

    I do not agree with the notion that the current Education Studies tripos is any less academic than other triposes [this has not been suggested by any official bodies or departments, but is an argument misguidedly used by some students]. This should therefore not be used as an argument for its abolition. The tripos currently comprises the study of Education through the disciplines of History, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. To say the tripos is unacademic therefore suggests the that other University courses in these subjects are also unacademic. This includes triposes such as PPS, Philosophy, and History.

    One might argue that it is presently less academic than other subjects because students become a 'jack of all trades but master of none'. This argument also does not stand up to scrutiny. Education students still do a considerable level of study into each discipline. Furthermore, the skills required to do well in these are often broadly similar, although there are of course also some differences (but not ones which cannot be overcome). If one still maintains that studying a subject through various disciplines instead of one is less academic, then I expect them to claim the same regarding, for example, the Geography, NatSci, and ASNAC triposes. The argument that Education Studies is not academic therefore appears void to me.


    Related to the subject's abolition is the statistical fact that Education Studies students have the lowest number of UCAS points, on average, of any tripos in the university. Though this may be true, I think it still important to remember that almost all Education students are required to get AAA, and for the next two years, A*AA. This is still an achievement and does not bar success in Cambridge examinations.

    However, as I stated above, I broadly agree with the motion that the Social Sciences should be more integrated, and I believe the Education Studies tripos should be included in this.

    What are your thoughts?

    Where did you find this out? I have an offer for History, but as its for Homerton I wonder what would happen to the education faculty etc?
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    Ugh. No.


    Fewer moves towards american system please.
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    (Original post by cheesymunchkin)
    Where did you find this out? I have an offer for History, but as its for Homerton I wonder what would happen to the education faculty etc?
    I do presently study History at Homerton. It won't affect you in the slightest. Straight History students obviously have no contact with the Education Faculty or its teaching. (Unless you're doing History & Education of course, but I don't *think* you are.)


    As for what will happen to the Education Faculty - not much will change. It will still exist. It is merely the structure of undergraduate teaching that will alter. The Faculty will still be involved with large numbers of PGCE, Masters, and PhD students.

    Homerton and the Education Faculty aren't really connected any more, so as a History student at Homerton, it simply won't impact on you. The only connection now is that they share some property for practical reasons. Though Homerton takes a hefty proportion of Education students, these make up a very small number of the overall intake each year (we have over 200 students per year - the College also has higher student numbers even than Trinity, which often sees itself as the largest College).
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    (Original post by cheesymunchkin)
    Where did you find this out? I have an offer for History, but as its for Homerton I wonder what would happen to the education faculty etc?
    http://www.varsity.co.uk/
    Read for yourself. And I'm sure the Education Faculty will continue to be used, even if only as the site for all of the postgraduate social research particular to Education.
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    I recently graduated from the Education Studies degree, and I think amalgamating Education with Social Sciences is a great and much needed idea. I loved aspects of the sociology and psychology, but I was desperate for broader perspectives and deeper challenges.

    Education Studies is best understood and most fascinating when placed in the wider contexts of society and culture, and I think the Faculty itself could really benefit from working alongside sociology and anthropology in particular.

    Furthermore, I always felt the Faculty, when I was there, was quite insular: academic staff - whilst supportive of students and respected in their fields - often seemed not to have much of an awareness of what was happening in social science more generally; both in the university and nationally. Education Studies needs to be a subject which has a genuine grasp of its and learning institutions' place in society, culture, and politics on national and international levels; instead of, as I experienced it, focussing intensely on the minutiae of British curriculums and policy. I think making available to its students the real depths of Social Sciences through cooperation with other departments is exactly what the Faculty needs.
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    good to see that the university is active in continually improving things.
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    (Original post by Span87)
    I recently graduated from the Education Studies degree, and I think amalgamating Education with Social Sciences is a great and much needed idea. I loved aspects of the sociology and psychology, but I was desperate for broader perspectives and deeper challenges.

    Education Studies is best understood and most fascinating when placed in the wider contexts of society and culture, and I think the Faculty itself could really benefit from working alongside sociology and anthropology in particular.

    Furthermore, I always felt the Faculty, when I was there, was quite insular: academic staff - whilst supportive of students and respected in their fields - often seemed not to have much of an awareness of what was happening in social science more generally; both in the university and nationally. Education Studies needs to be a subject which has a genuine grasp of its and learning institutions' place in society, culture, and politics on national and international levels; instead of, as I experienced it, focussing intensely on the minutiae of British curriculums and policy. I think making available to its students the real depths of Social Sciences through cooperation with other departments is exactly what the Faculty needs.
    You have said exactly what I could not quite express
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    I have to say that I completely love my tripos and the idea of scrapping it is quite horrific to me.

    Also this means that there'll not longer be an avenue for students with a broadly (or completely for that matter) scientific background to continue to pursue their scientific interests and their interests in the social sciences.

    Whilst there would be diversity within the new social sciences tripos, I can't help but think that it would be to the same level that we educationalists love (well certainly my course friends and I do).

    Whilst I take Craggy's point on the depth, it is the case that for the 1st 2 years only 1/10th of time is spent on each of the foundation disciplines, where as the pure sociologists have spent 1/4 of first year and then a whole year after that.

    Also I'm concerned as to whether there would be a psychology option in the social sciences. One would expect that there would be but with it looking like they'll be a new department for psychology I wonder if that would be the case. The study of education without being able to study psychology is certainly not an appealing one.

    In my experience I've found the course diverse, stimulating and exciting, and would hate to see it go in it's current form.
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    I'm going to have to ask about the claim that the Education tripos is the only tripos not undersubscribed. This is quite clearly false, isn't it?
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    (Original post by around)
    I'm going to have to ask about the claim that the Education tripos is the only tripos not undersubscribed. This is quite clearly false, isn't it?
    To my knowledge, and from the coverage that's been flying about lately, it seems that the Education Studies tripos is the only course which IS considerably underscubscribed. As in, I believe I read they ideally wanted 90 students per year, but at the moment are only taking in about 50.
 
 
 
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