Future Discussion (future + discussion)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

,Schools without walls?' Developments and challenges in dental outreach teaching , report of a recent symposium

K. A. Eaton
Abstract, During the 2004 annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research, the Education Research Group held a symposium on dental outreach teaching. After a brief introduction, which reviews relevant aspects of the relatively sparse literature, this paper summarises the proceedings, the themes and conclusions that emerged and the research issues that were identified. It aims to describe aspects of current practice around the world and to promote future discussion. Presenters gave details of outreach programmes for dental undergraduates in Australia, Finland, Malaysia (and Southeast Asia), the United Kingdom and the United States. From these presentations four themes emerged. They were: reasons for the introduction of outreach teaching, its perceived beneficial effects, organisational issues, educational issues. The reasons included a recognition of the need to educate dental undergraduates as members of ,care teams' in the environments and communities where they were ultimately like to work and the current shortage of both suitable patients and teachers (faculty) in many dental schools. A wide range of potential benefits and some disadvantages were identified. The organisational issues were, in the main, seen to relate to finance and administration. The educational issues included the need to train and monitor the performance of teachers at outreach clinics and to assess the performance of the undergraduates whilst at the outreach locations. It was concluded that new technology made it easier to teach at a distance and it was possible to create a dental ,school without walls'. It was recognised that few evaluations of dental outreach teaching have been carried out and that there were many research questions to be answered, including: whether it should be a voluntary or compulsory part of the undergraduate curriculum, how long it should last and what type of outcomes should be assessed. [source]

A Survey of International Studies Programs at Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities in the Midwest: Characteristics and Correlates

John Ishiyama
International studies majors have become increasingly popular at liberal arts colleges and universities in the Midwest. What are the features of various international studies programs, particularly regarding the degree of "structure" in the major? What factors appear to be related to whether a liberal arts college or university offers an international studies major in the first place? What explains the variations that exist that characterize international studies majors? This paper empirically investigates these questions by surveying sixty-six liberal arts and sciences colleges and universities in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. We find that although international studies majors are somewhat prevalent in the "heartland," there is considerable variation in how they are structured. Further, the results suggest that whether or not an institution has an international studies program is largely a function of whether an institution has a graduate program in a field that allows for a concentration in international affairs. We conclude with some observations that might promote future discussion on development of international studies majors. [source]

Proposed Changes in Lease Accounting and Private Business Bankers' Credit Decisions,

Sylvain Durocher
ABSTRACT This study contributes to the debate on lease accounting currently ongoing at the international level and to future discussions at the Canadian level for private enterprise standards following a potential revision of lease accounting in international financial reporting standards (IFRS). A user perspective is adopted to examine private business bankers' preferences on the issue of capitalizing all noncancelable lease contracts, including operating leases, as suggested by the G4+1. While bankers use both capital and operating lease information, they give significantly more consideration to the former when analyzing private business loan requests. Accordingly, operating lease information receives less attention than capital lease information in the credit-granting decision process. In addition, private business bankers consider a number of aspects of the current lease accounting standard to be inadequate and are in favor of the principles governing the approach suggested by the G4+1. They feel that the capitalization of operating leases would improve their ability to evaluate lessees' long-term financial commitments and increase their estimates of the risks involved in providing financing to lessees. This study also demonstrates that the capitalization of operating leases would have a significant impact on key financial indicators of a sample of Canadian private companies. Bankers perceive that these realistic changes in financial indicators would affect their assessment of borrowers' capital structure/solvency, liquidity, ability to repay, and risk rating. From a cost-benefit perspective, the findings provide standard-setters with an indication of the benefits of the G4+1 proposals to users. [source]

Evolution, origin and age of lineages in the Californian and Mediterranean floras

David D. Ackerly
Abstract This paper addresses some of the conceptual issues involved in the analysis of the age and origin of mediterranean-climate plant taxa, paying particular attention to three topics: (1) the importance of an explicit time frame in the definition of biogeographical origins, (2) the distinction between the age of traits and the age of taxa, and (3) the idea of mediterranean-type ecosystems as environmental islands. (1) In California, recent analyses demonstrate that the diversity of species derived from different biogeographical origins is significantly correlated with temperature and precipitation gradients. These patterns support the hypothesis that niche conservatism is an important factor structuring modern diversity gradients. However, depending on how far back in time one looks, a species may be assigned to different origins; future discussions of biogeographical origins need to address the appropriate time frame for analysis. (2) Past research has demonstrated distinctive trait syndromes among woody plants of the Mediterranean, Chile, California and Mexico, and proposed that the syndromes are associated with lineages of different age in these floras. Reanalysis of individual traits demonstrates greater variability among regions than previously reported. The classification of plants into ,old' and ,new' genera is re-evaluated, and it is suggested that greater attention be paid to the age of traits, rather than to the age of taxa, especially at an arbitrary rank such as genus. (3) The idea of mediterranean-climate regions as ,climatic islands' is examined. Space,time diagrams of climate enable one to view the emergence of distinctive climatic regions in a continental context. The terms ,synclimatic' and ,anticlimatic' are proposed, referring to migration routes that parallel climate contours in space and time versus those that cross contours (including the case of geographic stasis in the face of climate change), respectively. Mediterranean-climate regions have served as important case studies in plant ecology and evolution, and merit continued close examination in the light of continued advances in phylogenetics and palaeoecology. [source]