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J.L. Black

In the debates surrounding the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway was used as a model. This article traces how eyewitness accounts of Canadian settlement patterns were used by Russian entrepreneurs to argue the case for the financing and organisation of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Given the tense international political climate at the end of the 19th century, the Trans-Siberian also became a focus for imperial rivalry. This article gives a good overview of comparative colonial enterprise in two great continental colonies.

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Phil Wood, Paul Warwick, and Derek Cox

Consideration of the physical environment in which learning takes place has become a growing area of academic interest over the past decade. This study focuses on the experiences and perceptions of academic staff and students who used three refurbished, and innovative, learning spaces at the University of Leicester. The results suggest that the physical environment can have an impact on the emotional and motivational experiences of students and staff. However, there is some suggestion that learning space development should not be at the expense of approaches to pedagogy which do not foreground the use of technologies.

The analysis of the users' experiences leads to the proposition of a theoretical model for the apt design of future learning spaces in Higher Education. The DEEP learning space framework outlines the need for careful consideration being given to dynamic, engaging, ecological and participatory (DEEP) dimensions within the twenty-first century learning space.

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(No) Time to Learn

Learning Effectiveness Temporalities in Norwegian First-Grade Classrooms

Kristian Garthus-Niegel and Brit Oppedal

This article examines the temporalizing effects of Tidlig Innsats—Early Years (TIEY), a literacy instruction program building on the school effectiveness pedagogic model. Ethnographic descriptions from several Norwegian first-grade classrooms document how the program's rigid and meticulous pedagogic standards shaped the social timing of TIEY lessons. In sum, the interaction dynamics in the classrooms were forced into patterns that we call 'learning effectiveness temporalities'. Several effects were observed beyond those officially intended, most notably an increased emphasis on producing orderly and disciplined behavioral norms. As TIEY implementation was politically driven, the learning effectiveness temporalities that it generated have been analyzed as state effects. Their intensity was found to fluctuate with seasonal activity cycles and administrative surveillance patterns.

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William W. Darrow

Public health in the United States has lost its edge. It made a significant impact on human well-being, capacities, and potential in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Now it takes a backseat to biomedical research and therapeutic medicine. Population health with its traditional emphasis on preventing harm has been displaced by an exorbitantly expensive and continually expanding medical care system devoted almost exclusively to restoring or rehabilitating the health of patients – no matter the cost. The failure to control the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States can be attributed to adherence to an inadequate biomedical model that ignores the social. Social quality theory, designed to further social justice, solidarity, equal value, and human dignity, can contribute to identifying and correcting deficiencies in biomedical approaches to HIV prevention and other public health problems that continue to plague the people of the United States.

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Susanne Højlund

Based on fieldwork in Danish children's homes, this article examines how the idea of 'home' has emerged and become integrated in institutional practices. The ideal of hominess serves as a positive model for sociality in the institution, but at the same time it also produces dilemmas, paradoxes, and contradictions for both children and social workers. These dilemmas stem from the conflicting values of institution and home. Nevertheless, the two spheres should not be seen as spaces with incompatible logics; rather, they should be viewed as mutually dependent but competing ideas (and practices) that are inherent in the institutional value hierarchy. The article argues that the ideal of authenticity plays a central role in the way that hominess is perceived as a positive value in children's homes—and perhaps in institutions in general.

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European Models, Domestic Hesitance

The Renewal of the Italian Road Network in the 1920s

Massimo Moraglio

Looking beyond motorways plans, this essay focuses on the role of the Italian "road" lobby in the 1920s in shaping the national transport policy. Contractors like Puricelli were the driving forces of surface transport modernization, with visionary plans but also facing a lack of sympathy by the automobile industry. Those programs were nevertheless carried out with the strong support of the Touring Club and provincial councils. In this context, it seems that the fascist dictatorship, with its hesitance, slowed—rather than hastened—road modernization. Only in 1928, feeding off the ideas of Puricelli and others, did the Mussolini government develop a proper road renewal program. Finally, framing the Italian experience in the European contexts, it emerges that despite the extreme success of American car culture, England is depicted as a more suitable model.

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From Bell Curve to Power Law

Distributional Models between National and World Society

Keith Hart

Statistical patterns can be found in nature and society. Their distribution may conform to mathematical models. Thus, if two unbiased dice are rolled a thousand times, the number seven will occur with six times the frequency of two or twelve. The resulting histogram will be symmetrical with one peak where the mean, median and mode coincide. Or take a large sample of adult human beings and measure their height. Most cases will fall between five and six feet with very few less than four or more than seven feet. Because this is a continuous variable, the results can be plotted on a graph to which a curve may be fitted. It too will have a single peak with fantails on the high and low ends. We call this the ‘normal’ distribution or popularly the ‘bell curve.’ For more than a century, statistical inference has largely been based on this curve with its parameters of mean and standard deviation.

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High School Graduation Ceremonies

Intergenerational Relations and Models of Social Order

Edna Lomsky-Feder

The aim of this study is to draw out the structural logic of high school graduation ceremonies in general-and in Israel in particular-in order to understand their cultural meaning. The article analyzes 55 accounts of ceremonies held at Israeli-Jewish secondary schools just before the students' conscription into the army. Analysis shows that these events are organized around competing intergenerational models of the social order. Each generational unit locates itself differently vis-à-vis the state order, suspending familial loyalties in the face of loyalty to generational interests. The adults position themselves as representatives of the hegemonic order, while the students demonstrate its arbitrariness and the possibility of resisting it. Thus, the graduation ceremony structurally regulates the intergenerational encounter and the basic conflict between the family and the state on the eve of the students' enlistment.

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Kinga Pozniak

This article examines memories of socialism among different generations in Nowa Huta, Poland. Initially built as an industrial “model socialist town“, since 1989 Nowa Huta experienced economic decline and marginalization. Its socialist legacy is now being reinterpreted in ways that reflect changed political, economic, and social conditions. This article describes contemporary public representations of the town's history and considers how they resonate with the experiences and understandings of different generations of residents, from the town's builders to the youngest generation, who have no firsthand memories of the socialist period. It demonstrates how generational categories are both reflected and constructed through different accounts of the past, while also revealing overlaps between them. Throughout, specific attention is paid to the relationship between narratives of the past, present, and future, and present-day political and economic realities.

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Seeing Yourself in the Past

The Role of Situational (Dis)continuity and Conceptual Metaphor in the Understanding of Complex Cases of Character Perception

Maarten Coëgnarts, Miklós Kiss, Peter Kravanja, and Steven Willemsen

viewer comprehends particular scenes characterized by such discrepancies. To address this issue, we draw on two influential theories of discourse comprehension of the 1980s and 1990s, namely (1) the theory of situation model or mental model construction