The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, operating in Australia under the National Health Act 1953, provides citizens equal access to subsidised pharmaceuticals. With ever-increasing costs of medicines and global financial pressure on all commodities, the sustainability of the PBS is of crucial importance on many social and political fronts. Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription medicines is fast expanding, as pharmaceutical companies recognise and reinforce marketing potentials not only in healthcare professionals but also in consumers. DTCA is currently prohibited in Australia, but pharmaceutical (...) companies continuously lobby for the ban to be lifted. There is evidence that such marketing strategies influence consumer behaviour and concerns have been raised about whether DTCA could affect government expenditure on the PBS in Australia. This pharmacy-based study explored Australian consumer attitudes towards DTCA and whether consumer attitudes regarding DTCA differ based on socioeconomic status, measured in terms of income and education. Consumers from different socioeconomic areas in Sydney were asked to respond to a survey about an advertisement created specifically for the promotion of a mock prescription medicine. Their views about the intent, value and reliability of the advertisement were explored. The study found that consumers of lower socioeconomic status were more likely to perceive DTCA as a source of valuable and reliable medical information, and that they were more likely to request an advertised medication from their physician. If DTCA of prescription medicines was to be introduced in Australia, an increase in government expenditure on the PBS would be anticipated. Findings of this study also expose a deficit in respect for patients’ right to autonomy and informed consent which should be based on evidence-based, unbiased, information rather than advertisements. (shrink)
This study explores the impact of teachers? perception of trust in colleagues on their sense of empowerment in Mainland China, with a particular focus on the mediating role of teacher efficacy. The results of a survey of 1646 teachers indicate that although teachers scored positively on trust in colleagues, efficacy and empowerment, they had relatively lower scores on general teaching efficacy (GTE) and participation in decision-making. Trust in colleagues was a significant predictor of teacher empowerment. In addition, personal teaching efficacy (...) had a significant mediation effect on the relationship between trust in colleagues and teacher empowerment, while GTE had not. These findings lead to some implications for understanding the nature of GTE and the relationship between trust and teacher empowerment. (shrink)
We argue that there are mutually beneficial connections to be made between ideas in argumentation theory and the philosophy of mathematics, and that these connections can be suggested via the process of producing computational models of theories in these domains. We discuss Lakatos’s work (Proofs and Refutations, 1976) in which he championed the informal nature of mathematics, and our computational representation of his theory. In particular, we outline our representation of Cauchy’s proof of Euler’s conjecture, in which we use work (...) by Haggith on argumentation structures, and identify connections between these structures and Lakatos’s methods. (shrink)
Theories of diagrams and diagrammatic reasoning typically seek to account for either the formal semantics of diagrams, or for the advantages which diagrammatic representations hold for the reasoner over other forms of representation. Regrettably, almost no theory exists which accounts for both of these issues together, nor how they affect one another. We do not attempt to provide such an account here. We do, however, seek to lay out larger context than is generally used for examining the processes of using (...) diagrams in reasoning or communication. A context in which detailed studies of sub-problems, such as the formal semantics or cognitive impact of specific diagrammatic systems, may be embedded.Accounts of the embedding of sentential logics in the computational processes of reasoners and communicators are relatively well developed from several decades of research in AI. Analogies between the sentential and the graphical cases are quite revealing about both similarities and differences. To provide a structure for the 'grand context' of diagrammatic representation and reasoning, and to clarify the relations between its component problems, we examine carefully these analogies and the decomposition they provide of subproblems for analysing diagrammatic reasoning. (shrink)
HMI and Ofsted modes of school inpection are described and compared. The links between these modes are stressed. The information gathering capacity of Ofsted enables it to formulate specific and authoritative advice on good curriculum and pedagogic practice and thus to influence the direction of education policy and steer the system generally.