Download and read online Our Underachieving Colleges in PDF and EPUB Drawing on a large body of empirical evidence, former Harvard President Derek Bok examines how much progress college students actually make toward widely accepted goals of undergraduate education. His conclusions are sobering. Although most students make gains in many important respects, they improve much less than they should in such important areas as writing, critical thinking, quantitative skills, and moral reasoning. Large majorities of college seniors do not feel that they have made substantial progress in speaking a foreign language, acquiring cultural and aesthetic interests, or learning what they need to know to become active and informed citizens. Overall, despite their vastly increased resources, more powerful technology, and hundreds of new courses, colleges cannot be confident that students are learning more than they did fifty years ago. Looking further, Bok finds that many important college courses are left to the least experienced teachers and that most professors continue to teach in ways that have proven to be less effective than other available methods. In reviewing their educational programs, however, faculties typically ignore this evidence. Instead, they spend most of their time discussing what courses to require, although the lasting impact of college will almost certainly depend much more on how the courses are taught. In his final chapter, Bok describes the changes that faculties and academic leaders can make to help students accomplish more. Without ignoring the contributions that America's colleges have made, Bok delivers a powerful critique--one that educators will ignore at their peril.
Download and read online Our Underachieving Colleges in PDF and EPUB The author sets forth what is known about how much students learn in college, gives recommendations for how to improve undergraduate education, and describes how universities can develop a continuing process of enlightened trial and error that will enable them to improve their performance in the future.
Download and read online Our Underachieving Colleges in PDF and EPUB Shows that college students improve much less than they should in areas such as writing, critical thinking, moral reasoning, and quantitative skills, and describes the changes that can be made to help students learn more.
Download and read online Higher Education in America in PDF and EPUB Higher Education in America is a landmark work--a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of the current condition of our colleges and universities from former Harvard president Derek Bok, one of the nation's most respected education experts. Sweepingly ambitious in scope, this is a deeply informed and balanced assessment of the many strengths as well as the weaknesses of American higher education today. At a time when colleges and universities have never been more important to the lives and opportunities of students or to the progress and prosperity of the nation, Bok provides a thorough examination of the entire system, public and private, from community colleges and small liberal arts colleges to great universities with their research programs and their medical, law, and business schools. Drawing on the most reliable studies and data, he determines which criticisms of higher education are unfounded or exaggerated, which are issues of genuine concern, and what can be done to improve matters. Some of the subjects considered are long-standing, such as debates over the undergraduate curriculum and concerns over rising college costs. Others are more recent, such as the rise of for-profit institutions and massive open online courses (MOOCs). Additional topics include the quality of undergraduate education, the stagnating levels of college graduation, the problems of university governance, the strengths and weaknesses of graduate and professional education, the environment for research, and the benefits and drawbacks of the pervasive competition among American colleges and universities. Offering a rare survey and evaluation of American higher education as a whole, this book provides a solid basis for a fresh public discussion about what the system is doing right, what it needs to do better, and how the next quarter century could be made a period of progress rather than decline.
Download and read online Universities in the Marketplace in PDF and EPUB Is everything in a university for sale if the price is right? In this book, one of America's leading educators cautions that the answer is all too often "yes." Taking the first comprehensive look at the growing commercialization of our academic institutions, Derek Bok probes the efforts on campus to profit financially not only from athletics but increasingly, from education and research as well. He shows how such ventures are undermining core academic values and what universities can do to limit the damage. Commercialization has many causes, but it could never have grown to its present state had it not been for the recent, rapid growth of money-making opportunities in a more technologically complex, knowledge-based economy. A brave new world has now emerged in which university presidents, enterprising professors, and even administrative staff can all find seductive opportunities to turn specialized knowledge into profit. Bok argues that universities, faced with these temptations, are jeopardizing their fundamental mission in their eagerness to make money by agreeing to more and more compromises with basic academic values. He discusses the dangers posed by increased secrecy in corporate-funded research, for-profit Internet companies funded by venture capitalists, industry-subsidized educational programs for physicians, conflicts of interest in research on human subjects, and other questionable activities. While entrepreneurial universities may occasionally succeed in the short term, reasons Bok, only those institutions that vigorously uphold academic values, even at the cost of a few lucrative ventures, will win public trust and retain the respect of faculty and students. Candid, evenhanded, and eminently readable, Universities in the Marketplace will be widely debated by all those concerned with the future of higher education in America and beyond.
Download and read online The Politics of Happiness in PDF and EPUB During the past forty years, thousands of studies have been carried out on the subject of happiness. Some have explored the levels of happiness or dissatisfaction associated with typical daily activities, such as working, seeing friends, or doing household chores. Others have tried to determine the extent to which income, family, religion, and other factors are associated with the satisfaction people feel about their lives. The Gallup organization has begun conducting global surveys of happiness, and several countries are considering publishing periodic reports on the growth or decline of happiness among their people. One nation, tiny Bhutan, has actually made "Gross National Happiness" the central aim of its domestic policy. How might happiness research affect government policy in the United States--and beyond? In The Politics of Happiness, former Harvard president Derek Bok examines how governments could use the rapidly growing research data on what makes people happy--in a variety of policy areas to increase well-being and improve the quality of life for all their citizens. Bok first describes the principal findings of happiness researchers. He considers how reliable the results appear to be and whether they deserve to be taken into account in devising government policies. Recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of happiness research, Bok looks at the policy implications for economic growth, equality, retirement, unemployment, health care, mental health, family programs, education, and government quality, among other subjects. Timely and incisive, The Politics of Happiness sheds new light on what makes people happy and how government policy could foster greater satisfaction for all.
Download and read online Academically Adrift in PDF and EPUB In spite of soaring tuition costs, more and more students go to college every year. A bachelor’s degree is now required for entry into a growing number of professions. And some parents begin planning for the expense of sending their kids to college when they’re born. Almost everyone strives to go, but almost no one asks the fundamental question posed by Academically Adrift: are undergraduates really learning anything once they get there? For a large proportion of students, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s answer to that question is a definitive no. Their extensive research draws on survey responses, transcript data, and, for the first time, the state-of-the-art Collegiate Learning Assessment, a standardized test administered to students in their first semester and then again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at twenty-four institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college. As troubling as their findings are, Arum and Roksa argue that for many faculty and administrators they will come as no surprise—instead, they are the expected result of a student body distracted by socializing or working and an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning close to the bottom of the priority list. Academically Adrift holds sobering lessons for students, faculty, administrators, policy makers, and parents—all of whom are implicated in promoting or at least ignoring contemporary campus culture. Higher education faces crises on a number of fronts, but Arum and Roksa’s report that colleges are failing at their most basic mission will demand the attention of us all.
Download and read online College Drinking in PDF and EPUB Drinking is recognized as one of the most important problems confronting students on campus today, with major impacts on health and safety. This book answers crucial questions about why students drink, examines its complex links to campus crime and sexual assault, and offers new insights on how to address the issue. It differs from other studies of college drinking by dispelling the myth that the problem is universal. Dowdall’s research reveals that the incidence of alcohol abuse varies enormously between colleges, and in doing so identifies interventions and policies that have been effective, and those that have failed. His study is also unique in looking “upstream” at the broader cultural, organizational and social forces that shape this behavior, where most studies focus only on “downstream” behaviors, well after students have selected their college and have started drinking. Students and parents can take action to lower the risk of binge drinking by following the book’s recommendations, and consulting the data it provides about alcohol violations and crime at thousands of colleges. For administrators and student affairs personnel, it both defines and illuminates the issue, and outlines effective interventions.
Download and read online Bright Minds Poor Grades in PDF and EPUB For any parent who has ever been told, "your child isn't performing up to his or her potential," this book has the answer. Renowned clinical psychologist Michael Whitley, Ph.D. offers a proven ten-step program to motivate underachieving children. This easy-to follow book identifies the six types of underachievers from the procrastinator to the hidden perfectionist to the con artist, and it presents the ten steps to help children succeed in school-and ultimately, in life.
Download and read online The Gatekeepers in PDF and EPUB In the fall of 1999, New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg was given an unprecedented opportunity to observe the admissions process at prestigious Wesleyan University. Over the course of nearly a year, Steinberg accompanied admissions officer Ralph Figueroa on a tour to assess and recruit the most promising students in the country. The Gatekeepers follows a diverse group of prospective students as they compete for places in the nation's most elite colleges. The first book to reveal the college admission process in such behind-the-scenes detail, The Gatekeepers will be required reading for every parent of a high school-age child and for every student facing the arduous and anxious task of applying to college. "[The Gatekeepers] provides the deep insight that is missing from the myriad how-to books on admissions that try to identify the formula for getting into the best colleges...I really didn't want the book to end." —The New York Times
Download and read online Developing Faculty Learning Communities at Two Year Colleges in PDF and EPUB This book introduces community college faculty and faculty developers to the use of faculty learning communities (FLCs) as a means for faculty themselves to investigate and surmount student learning problems they encounter in their classrooms, and as an effective and low-cost strategy for faculty developers working with few resources to stimulate innovative teaching that leads to student persistence and improved learning outcomes. Two-year college instructors face the unique challenge of teaching a mix of learners, from the developmental to high-achievers, that requires using a variety of instructional strategies and techniques. Even the most experienced teachers can find this diversity demanding. Faculty developers at many two-year colleges still rely solely on the one-day workshop model that, while useful, rarely results in sustained student-centered changes in pedagogy or the curriculum, and may not be practicable for the growing cohort of part-time faculty members. By linking work in the classroom with scholarship and reflection, FLCs provide participants with a sense of renewed engagement and stimulate collegial exploration of ways to achieve educational excellence. FLCs are usually faculty-instigated and cross-disciplinary, and comprise groups of six to fifteen faculty that work collaboratively through regular meetings over an extended period of time to promote research and an exchange of experiences, foster community, and develop the scholarship of teaching. FLCs alleviate burnout and isolation, promote the development, testing, and peer review of new classroom strategies or technologies, and lead to the reenergizing and professionalization of teachers. This book introduces the reader to FLCs and to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, offering examples of application in two-year colleges. Individual chapters describe, among others, an FLC set up to support course redesign; an “Adjunct Connectivity FLC” to integrate part-time faculty within a department and collaborate on the curriculum; a cross-disciplinary FLC to promote student self-regulated learning, and improve academic performance and persistence; a critical thinking FLC that sought to define critical thinking in separate disciplines, examine interdisciplinary cross-over of critical thinking, and measure critical thinking more accurately; an FLC that researched the transfer of learning and developed strategies to promote students’ application of their learning across courses and beyond the classroom. Each chapter describes the formation of its FLC, the processes it engaged in, what worked and did not, and the outcomes achieved. Just as when college faculty fail to remain current in their fields, the failure to engage in continuing development of teaching skills, will equally lead teaching and learning to suffer. When two-year college administrators restrain scholarship and reflection as inappropriate for the real work of the institution they are in fact hindering the professionalization of their teaching force that is essential to institutional mission and student success. When FLCs are supported by leaders and administrators, and faculty learn that collaboration and peer review are valued and even expected as part of being a teaching professional, they become intrinsically motivated and committed to collaboratively solving problems, setting the institution on a path to becoming a learning organization that is proactive and adept at navigating change.
Download and read online Save the World on Your Own Time in PDF and EPUB What should be the role of our institutions of higher education? To promote good moral character? To bring an end to racism, sexism, economic oppression, and other social ills? To foster diversity and democracy and produce responsible citizens? In Save the World On Your Own Time, Stanley Fish argues that, however laudable these goals might be, there is but one proper role for the academe in society: to advance bodies of knowledge and to equip students for doing the same. When teachers offer themselves as moralists, political activists, or agents of social change rather than as credentialed experts in a particular subject and the methods used to analyze it, they abdicate their true purpose. And yet professors now routinely bring their political views into the classroom and seek to influence the political views of their students. Those who do this will often invoke academic freedom, but Fish suggests that academic freedom, correctly understood, is the freedom to do the academic job, not the freedom to do any job that the professor so chooses. Fish insists that a professor's only obligation is "to present the material in the syllabus and introduce students to state-of-the-art methods of analysis. Not to practice politics, but to study it; not to proselytize for or against religious doctrines, but to describe them; not to affirm or condemn Intelligent Design, but to explain what it is and analyze its appeal." Given that hot-button issues such as Holocaust denial, free speech, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are regularly debated in classrooms across the nation, Save the World On Your Own Time is certain to spark fresh debate--and to incense both liberals and conservatives alike--about the true purpose of higher education in America.
Download and read online Beyond Reason and Tolerance in PDF and EPUB Beyond Reason and Tolerance argues that to prepare students to engage political, ethnic, and religious differences, higher education must adopt a developmental model for a formative and liberal undergraduate education.
Download and read online Facilitating Seven Ways of Learning in PDF and EPUB For teachers in higher education who haven’t been able to catch up with developments in teaching and learning, James Davis and Bridget Arend offer an introduction that focuses on seven coherent and proven evidence-based strategies. The underlying rationale is to provide a framework to match teaching goals to distinct ways of learning, based on well-established theories of learning. The authors present approaches that readers can readily and safely experiment with to achieve desired learning outcomes, and build confidence in changing their methods of teaching. Research on learning clearly demonstrates that learning is not one thing, but many. The learning associated with developing a skill is different from the learning associated with understanding and remembering information, which in turn is different from thinking critically and creatively, solving problems, making decisions, or change paradigms in the light of evidence. Differing outcomes involve different ways of learning and teaching strategies. The authors provide the reader with a conceptual approach for selecting appropriate teaching strategies for different types of content, and for achieving specific learning objectives. They demonstrate through examples how a focused and purposeful selection of activities improves student performance, and in the process makes for a more effective and satisfying teaching experience. The core of the book presents a chapter on each of the seven ways of learning. Each chapter offers a full description of the process, illustrates its application with examples from different academic fields and types of institutions, clearly describes the teacher’s facilitation role, and covers assessment and online use. The seven ways of learning are: Behavioral Learning; Cognitive Learning; Learning through Inquiry; Learning with Mental Models; Learning through Groups and Teams; Learning through Virtual Realities; and Experiential Learning. Along the way, the authors provide the reader with a basis for evaluating other approaches to teaching and other learning methodologies so that she or he can confidently go beyond the “seven ways” to adapt or adopt further strategies. This is the ideal companion for teachers who are beginning to explore new ways of teaching, and want to do some serious independent thinking about learning. The book can also be used to prepare graduate students for teaching, and will be welcomed by centers for teaching and learning to help continuing faculty re-examine a particular aspect of their teaching.
Download and read online Student Learning Abroad in PDF and EPUB A central purpose of this book is to question the claims commonly made about the educational benefits of study abroad. Traditional metrics of enrollment increases and student self-report, and practices of structural immersion, are being questioned as educators voice growing uncertainty about what students are or are not in fact learning abroad. This book looks into whether these criticisms are justified—and what can be done if they are. The contributors to this book offer a counter-narrative to common views that learning takes place simply through students studying elsewhere, or through their enrolling in programs that take steps structurally to “immerse” them in the experience abroad. Student Learning Abroad reviews the dominant paradigms of study abroad; marshals rigorous research findings, with emphasis on recent studies that offer convincing evidence about what undergraduates are or are not learning; brings to bear the latest knowledge about human learning and development that raises questions about the very foundations of current theory and practice; and presents six examples of study abroad courses or programs whose interventions apply this knowledge. This book provokes readers to reconsider long-held assumptions, beliefs and practices about teaching and learning in study abroad and to reexamine the design and delivery of their programs. In doing so, it provides a new foundation for responding to the question that may faculty and staff are now asking: What do I need to know, and what do I need to be able to do, to help my students learn and develop more effectively abroad? Contributors: Laura Bathurst Milton Bennett Gabriele Weber Bosley John Engle Lilli Engle Tara Harvey Mitchell Hammer David Kolb Bruce La Brack Kris Hemming Lou Kate McCleary Catherine Menyhart R. Michael Paige Angela Passarelli Adriana Medina-López Portillo Meghan Quinn Jennifer Meta Robinson Riikka Salonen Victor Savicki Douglas Stuart Michael Vande Berg James Zull While the authors who have contributed to Student Learning Abroad are all known for their work in advancing the field of education abroad, a number have recently been honored by leading international education associations. Bruce La Brack received NAFSA’s 2012 Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Award for Innovative Research and Scholarship. Michael Paige (2007) and Michael Vande Berg (2012) are recipients of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Peter A. Wollitzer Award.