Essay On Education For All

Essay On Education For All-40
Reconstituting the Culture of Higher Education The current culture -- the shared norms, values, standards, expectations and priorities -- of teaching and learning in the academy is not powerful enough to support true higher learning.

Reconstituting the Culture of Higher Education The current culture -- the shared norms, values, standards, expectations and priorities -- of teaching and learning in the academy is not powerful enough to support true higher learning.

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A weak educational culture creates all the wrong opportunities.We mean the assumption that retention is just keeping students in school longer, without serious regard for the quality of their learning or their cumulative learning outcomes at graduation.We mean giving priority to intercollegiate sports programs while support for the success of the great majority of students who are not athletes suffers.We mean the kind of thinking that elevates “branding” and “marketing” in importance and priority above educational programs and academic quality as ways to attract students and secure robust enrollments.We mean the deplorable practice of building attractive new buildings while offering lackluster first- and second-year courses taught primarily by poorly paid and dispirited contingent faculty.We mean the enormous expenditures devoted purely to securing a “better ranking” in the magazine surveys.We mean the progressive reduction in academic, intellectual, and behavioral expectations that has undermined the culture, learning conditions, and civility of so many campus communities.The primary problem is that the current culture of colleges and universities no longer puts learning first -- and in most institutions, that culture perpetuates a fear of doing so.Isolated examples to the contrary exist, but are only the exceptions that prove the rule.Colleges focus too much on rankings and pushing students through, and too little on academic rigor and quality.Change -- and not a little -- is needed across higher education, Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh argue. Too many college graduates are not prepared to think critically and creatively, speak and write cogently and clearly, solve problems, comprehend complex issues, accept responsibility and accountability, take the perspective of others, or meet the expectations of employers. How can this be if American higher education is supposed to be the best in the world?

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