University of Stirling

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News Archive

February

“Look at Me When I'm Talking to You”

University Squad Face Tough Challenge

Value of Education Through Sport

Warm Welcome for International Students

European Year of Education Through Sport

Stirling University’s Queen of the Jungle

Learning to Learn

Student Referee Kicks Career into Touch

Musical Recitals in the MacRobert

MEP Question Time

 

“Look at Me When I'm Talking to You”

Date released: Wednesday 4 February


Teachers and parents should not assume a child is not paying attention if they look away when asked a question. New research carried out by the University of Stirling’s department of psychology has revealed that gaze aversion actually helps children to think of the answer.

Psychologist Dr Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon and her colleagues have carried out several studies to investigate how children react when they are asked a question thanks to two grants of £65,955 & £42,093 from the Economic and Social Research Council.

Dr Doherty–Sneddon said: “Many cultures encourage children to ‘look at me while I’m speaking to you’, and interpret looking away as a sign of disinterest or disengagement. However, we found that primary-school aged children used gaze aversion to help them concentrate on difficult material. It is something to be encouraged rather than discouraged.”

“Gaze aversion in response to difficult questions is a skill that develops with age, rather than being an innate behavioural response. When remembering information, thinking of an answer to a question, planning what we are going to say or speaking, we often close our eyes, look up at the sky, or look away from the person we are speaking to, especially when the task in hand is difficult,” added Dr Doherty-Sneddon.

The findings of the study are potentially important for the way children are seen to engage in learning situations.

Dr Doherty-Sneddon said: “Children’s patterns of gaze promise to yield important clues to their thinking, concentration and mental processing that will be useful to parents, teachers, psychologists and others engaged in assessing children’s knowledge and development.”
The team is looking to continue their research with a study into whether or not children who do look away answer more accurately, and whether teachers actually use these cues.

Lesley Pollock
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Dr Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone Tel: + 44 (0)1786 467653

University Squad Face Tough Challenge

Date released: Thursday 5 February

The University of Stirling’s tennis squad are back home after a successful trip to Texas and Arkansas.

The team played six matches against some of the best collegiate teams in the US, including no 1 ranked Junior College, Tyler, no 18 ranked Texas Christian University and no 39 ranked University of Arkansas.

Although they lost the series of matches 5-1, the stiff opposition encountered challenged the students to raise their game.

The trip was the perfect build up to the British Universities Sports Association premier league play-off stages. The team won their semi-final against London Metropolitan University after they came home and will meet Loughborough University in the final.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
+ 44 (0) 1786 467058
lesley.pollock@stir.ac.uk


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Raleigh Gowrie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466906

Value of Education Through Sport

Date released: Thursday 5 February


The Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils (SALSC) is holding its 27th national seminar in Renfrew this weekend, entitled “Education through Sport: Partnerships in Action.”

The University of Stirling’s Head of Sport Studies, Professor Grant Jarvie and Sports Participation Manager, Judith Ramsay will deliver the conference’s keynote opening address in which they will make the case for ‘Education through Sport’.

Professor Jarvie said: “There are some who believe that we should not have to justify the educational worth of sports activities in order to lend credibility or status to physical ability. The argument for sport for sports sake is still popular. This argument, however, refuses to recognise that educational values are inherent in sport.”

Professor Jarvie and Miss Ramsay will argue that education through sport can make a contribution to tackling problems of obesity, health and inactivity; can increase knowledge and skills; can help formulate critical debate; can help provide further opportunities for lifelong learning and can help provide a better balance to school life.

“An ideal scenario may be to create a healthy, poverty free and active nation who understand and have the opportunity to access the benefits of physical activity and sports participation,” Said Professor Jarvie.

The University of Stirling has run an International Sports Scholarship scheme for the past 22 years, allowing talented sports people the opportunity to combine performance sport and educational attainment.
Miss Ramsay said: “This scheme offers invaluable support for talented sports performers. Designed for those with an excellent record in national level competition, the scheme involves financial help, top level coaching and an extra year within a degree programme to allow crucial time for concentrating on competition. The University has invested £1.3 million in this scheme since its inception.”

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Frank McAveety will attend the conference on Sunday to make an announcement about a major new sports initiative involving SALSC, the University of Stirling and European partners.

Lesley Pollock
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Professor Grant Jarvie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466490

Warm Welcome for International Students

Date released: Tuesday 10 February

One hundred international students will be officially welcomed to Stirling by Provost Colin O’Brien at a special civic reception on Wednesday 11th February.

The unique event, being held at the Municipal Buildings, is aimed at making new students feel a part of the local community.

Provost O’Brien said: “It can be a daunting experience, starting university life thousands of miles from home, friends and family. But it helps, when the location is as attractive as Stirling. As our guests in Stirling, I do hope our international friends take full advantage of their new environment and enjoy all that Stirling City and the surrounding countryside has to offer.”

Students from across the globe – including Australia, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, India, China and a range of EU countries – will visit the council offices as part of their first week welcome and induction programme at the University of Stirling.

Head of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the University of Stirling, Mr Ian Cockbain said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Stirling Council on this new initiative. We are sure it will prove a huge success with International students during their first few days in Scotland.”

The event will commence at 4.30pm with a welcome speech by Provost Colin O’Brien.


Lesley Pollock
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Iain Cockbain

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467046

European Year of Education Through Sport

Date released: Wednesday 11 February

The University of Stirling is pleased to announce its participation in a new community project being run to mark the European Year of Education through Sport 2004 (EYES 2004).

Together with 16 European partners the University will participate in the development of the European Academy for Sport Leaders.

The University of Stirling's Head of Sports Studies, Professor Grant Jarvie welcomed Stirling's involvement in this European initiative, while delivering the opening address at the Scottish Association of Local Sports Councils (SALSC) National Conference at the weekend. President of the International Sport and Culture Association, Anders Bulow and Sports Minister, Frank McAveety joined Professor Jarvie at the conference.

Professor Jarvie said: "I am delighted that European education and sports organisations have recognised both Stirling University and SALSC's international contribution to research and sports provision involving the voluntary sports sector. It is remarkable that 25% of the projects involving UK Universities announced so far through the European Year of Education through Sport have involved the University of Stirling's Department of Sports Studies."

Endorsing the European Year of Education through Sport, Frank McAveety said: "EYES will provide an excellent opportunity for the Scottish sporting community to become more integrated with Europe."

The European Academy of Sport Leaders is a new community-wide initiative of the International and Sport and Culture Association (ISCA).   The Academy will serve the European Community by providing innovative non-formal educational opportunities for NGO-sector sport leaders.

Scotland and Europe will benefit from this initiative by:

  • Understanding how different parts of Europe support and develop the voluntary sports sector;
  • Having an improved evidence base by which to inform sports policy in Scotland;
  • Being able to access training and education programmes based upon best practice from throughout Europe.

The creation of the European Academy for Sport Leaders has been selected by the European Commission to receive 225.000 Euro in support from the European Year of Education through Sport 2004 (EYES 2004).

Lesley Pollock

Media Relations Manager

+ 44 (0) 1786 467058

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Professor Grant Jarvie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466490 or 07729500769

Stirling University’s Queen of the Jungle

Date released: Monday 16 February

Amy CraiganUniversity of Stirling student Amy Craigen will return to the rainforests of Belize this April to support a project to release Mexican Black Howler Monkeys back into the wild.

Amy’s trip has been made possible thanks to a £600 grant from the Alumni Projects Fund, which will cover her travel expenses.

Before starting her degree in Environmental Science at Stirling University two years ago, Amy who is now 20 spent six months in Belize doing voluntary conservation work. During this time, she spent two months working in a wildlife care centre that specialises in the care and re-release of Black Howler monkeys. Amy has been asked back by the centre to help with a release programme this spring.

Amy said: “Whilst working at the centre, I helped build a pre-release enclosure for the monkeys. The enclosure helps the monkeys re-acclimatise to their natural surroundings and the sounds of the rainforest which they are no longer used to. When I go back this time, I will be directly involved in the release programme which will include camping at the release site and tracking the monkeys after they have been released. I will record data such as their direction of travel, where they find their food and how they interact with one another. This first hand experience of conservation practice will support the theoretical aspect of my degree.”

Amy will also be working at the wildlife care centre during her stay, caring for baby monkeys who are too young to be released.

Lesley Pollock
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(01786) 467058


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Amy Craigen

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: 07730575695


Learning to Learn


Date released: Tuesday 17 February

Representatives from the University of Stirling, Clackmannan College, Cumbernauld College and Falkirk College will travel to the USA next month to share their experiences of using learning technology in their work with adult learners.

The consortium of educational institutions, which also includes Lauder College, runs a project entitled Learning to Learn (L2L) which supports adults returning to further education and those making the transition from further to higher education.

L2L co-ordinator for the University of Stirling, Kevin Brosnan said: “The purpose of L2L is to develop and evaluate learning resources that will help smooth the transition for adult learners between further and higher education and therefore improve achievement and retention among these students. This trip to the USA will afford us an opportunity to share our experiences of working with adult learners as well as learn about innovative practices in the USA.”

During the group’s week-long visit (March 6-13), they will visit the University of Minnesota, which is recognised as a leader in supporting adults gain entry to higher education. They will also attend the National Association of Developmental Education’s (NADE’s) annual conference in St Louis, Missouri. Mr Brosnan will give a paper on the use of digital learning resources by learning support tutors working directly with students to help them improve their learning and study skills.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Kevin Brosnan

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 466143


Student Referee Kicks Career into Touch

Date released: Thursday 19 February

University of Stirling Sports Studies student Andrew MacPherson will kick his refereeing career into touch with a stint at the Under 19s World Cup in South Africa this April.

The 21-year-old from Ayr is the youngest ever referee to be selected by the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) for a World Championship.

Andrew said: “It is an honour to be chosen. Rugby has always been a big part of my life. I began playing when I was nine, but had to give up when I was 17 because of a knee injury. I still wanted to be involved in the sport, so I got into refereeing. This will be my fourth season of refereeing for the SRU.”

Andrew, who is vice-president of the University’s Sports Union, has been granted an extension to his final year dissertation on The Impact of Professionalism in Rugby Refereeing to attend the event.

“I will get the opportunity to interview professional referees and members of the International Rugby Board assessors panel when I am in South Africa, which will add credibility to my dissertation,” said Andrew.

Andrew hopes to convert his degree into a professional refereeing career when he graduates this summer.

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


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Andrew MacPherson

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: 07900908038


Musical Recitals in the MacRobert

Date released: Monday 23 February

The University of Stirling has launched a series of informal musical recitals in the MacRobert Foyer under the banner of The Principal’s Music.

The following events are open to the public and are free of charge:

Wednesday 10th March 2004 1.10-1.50pm
Computing Science lecturer Dr Carron Shankland and her musical partner Martin Davies perform a classical repertoire for clarinet and piano including Five Bagatelles by Gerald Finzi and the Sonatina by Joseph Horovitz.

Wednesday 14th April 1.10-1.50pm
Dollar Academy Young Musicians with a programme including music by Corelli and Haydn.

Wednesday 12th May 1.10-1.50pm
Professor Leslie Smith’s Jazz Band play mainstream tunes.


Lesley Pollock
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(01786) 467058

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External Relations

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467055

email Email: c&d@stir.ac.uk

MEP Question Time

Date released: Wednesday 25 February

Staff, students and members of the public will be able to quiz Members of the European Parliament at a special Question Time session being held at the University of Stirling on Friday March 5.

The event, which is being hosted by the Department of Politics in cooperation with the European Parliament, will take place at 12.45-2.15pm in Room LT 2A93, Cottrell Building.

Speakers will include:

Elspeth Attwooll of the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform Party

Ian Hudghton of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Bill Miller of the European Socialists Party

Struan Stevenson of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats

Lesley Pollock
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Department of Politics

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

telephone

Tel: + 44 (0) 1786 467568

email Email: graham.timmins@stir.ac.uk