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St Leonards makes appointment under ground-breaking scheme

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 15th of February 2012

Pupils at St Leonards School are set to benefit from the insight of an academic with a truly rounded education.

The School has just appointed St Andrews University PhD student Philip Kao as its third Associate Researcher, a position which aims to provide sixth form pupils with a link to the research community at Scotland's oldest university.

Philip is in the fourth year of his Social Anthropology doctorate on the culture of care giving in nursing homes and, in a varied academic career, has also researched subjects including defence budgets; knowledge practices and the history of a US Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory; and miracle worship on the island of Gozo, Malta.

Philip said, 'My role will be to introduce the pupils to the world of research and get them excited about it by showing how research is linked to policy and, ultimately, solving the world's problems.'
Philip will give a number of lectures to the pupils as they seek to broaden their understanding of the nature of research and knowledge as part of the Theory of Knowledge course which they take within their International Baccalaureate Diploma studies.

'The theory of knowledge course looks at 'how do we know what we know, how do we evaluate knowledge?' he said.
'Pupils can come to me and say, 'I'm interested in this subject, what research projects and debates are out there?''
Philip also hopes to be able to bring St Leonards pupils into some university talks and seminars.

Professor Dina Iordanova, Provost of St Leonard's College and Dean of Graduate Studies at St Andrews University, is delighted to see such a partnership operating between the two institutions.
She said, 'I am truly pleased to see that we are establishing a tradition of collaboration which benefits both institutions.
'This is an exchange that undoubtedly contributes to the intellectual profile of the town.

'Such outstanding wealth of exposure to advanced research will be excellent preparation for university life.'

As part of the Associate Researcher scheme, the St Leonards pupils will also be learning about the research of two other shortlisted candidates, who will be returning to talk about research methodology from within the strands of international relations and psychology.
St Leonards Headmaster Dr Michael Carslaw said, 'I know Philip will bring a lot to the School and the pupils in the teaching of Theory of Knowledge in the International Baccalaureate and in forming a link between the pupils and the university, particularly those who are interested in an academic career.

'Nearly all of our leavers go on to university and Philip will give them an insight into what they can expect in this exciting phase of their lives.'
St Leonards makes appointment under ground-breaking scheme - Photo 1
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