At Least I'm Not Bored!

I am up to my neck in coursework, annual appraisals, parents' evenings and open days, in one of those months that make up for the long lazy holidays. So it is nice to know that teachers are the least bored workers in the country, according to a three year old survey I just found (note to the TDA - your press releases are not getting much attention!).

While researchers are in sixth place in the boredom stakes and engineers only marginally better in eighth, teachers report the lowest amounts of boredom of all graduate professions.

The full list from the Training & Development Agency for Schools' Boredom Index:
  1. Administrative/secretarial (10 out of 10)
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Sales
  4. Marketing/advertising
  5. IT/telecommunications
  6. Science research/development
  7. Media
  8. Law
  9. Engineering
  10. Banking/finance
  11. Human resources
  12. Accountancy
  13. Hospitality/travel
  14. Healthcare
  15. Teaching (4 out of 10)
The press release adds:
When asked why they find their job interesting, 81 per cent of teachers questioned said it is the challenge of the role, 81 per cent because no two days are the same, and 86 per cent said they enjoy the interaction with people. Sixty-four per cent also rate the opportunity to use their creativity.

Employees surveyed say they are mainly bored because of the lack of challenge in their jobs (61 per cent), whilst not using their skills or their knowledge makes life tedious for 60 per cent. And boredom through doing the same things every day (50 per cent) is also to blame.
You might ask yourself how I found myself browsing through three year old press releases when I'm so busy …

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Two Cultures in New Science Map

Students can find it hard to know what areas of science are actively researched, especially since much of what is taught is so ancient and established (But Physics A Level now has a token Quantum Physics section, and that's less than a hundred years old!). A new study may help.

The PLoS ONE online journal has a paper presenting a map constructed from over a billion user interactions logged by journals' web portals (so-called clickstream data). The result is a beautiful whirlpool shaped image, showing the links between different research areas throughout the sciences, humanities and social sciences.

click to go to a large versionClick to go to the larger version.

There is a worryingly large gap between the sciences and the humanities; Snow's Two Cultures are alive and well worldwide, and not just in Britain, since the data used is global. The Royal Institution is holding a lecture this week entitled CP Snow's 'Two cultures': 50 years of debate. Bath psychologist Professor Helen Hast will “explore the paradoxes of "value freedom" within such a highly morally-charged perception of both the pursuit and purposes of science - and some resistances to it.”

The RI page for the talk says that the is good availability for tickets. Quite so.

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