6 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2021
    1. It’s not an accident or a misfortune that great-books pedagogy is an antibody in the “knowledge factory” of the research university, in other words. It was intended as an antibody. The disciplinary structure of the modern university came first; the great-books courses came after.

      It seems at odds to use Charles W. Eliot as an example here as his writings described by Cathy Davidson in The New Education indicates that Eliot was specifically attempting to create standards in education that are counter to Menand's argument here.

    2. It will probably not improve their spirits to point out that professors have been making the same complaints ever since the American research university came into being, in the late nineteenth century. “Rescuing Socrates” and “The Lives of Literature” can be placed on a long shelf that contains books such as Hiram Corson’s “The Aims of Literary Study” (1894), Irving Babbitt’s “Literature and the American College” (1908), Robert Maynard Hutchins’s “The Higher Learning in America” (1936), Allan Bloom’s “The Closing of the American Mind” (1987), William Deresiewicz’s “Excellent Sheep” (2014), and dozens of other impassioned and sometimes eloquent works explaining that higher education has lost its soul. It’s a song that never ends.

      A list of books about how higher education has lost its soul.

      Are these just complaining or do any of them work on a solution for making things better?

  2. Nov 2021
    1. You might also appreciate Nobel laureate Carl Weiman's work on trying to transform STEM teaching in large research universities. Cautionary tale for how hard it is to change existing institutions IMO. Some notes I took on it here: https://yusufa.notion.site/Improving-how-universities-teach-science-a3b3df69e10b48829e96e9ec70b3fdca

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>ysf</span> in 📚-reading (<time class='dt-published'>11/01/2021 20:55:11</time>)</cite></small>

    1. What Christine Ortiz is doing is legit tho (its the example she mentions next to Crow). I'm on the Admissions Committee for the uni she's building (currently only offers a summer fellowship program): https://www.station1.org/ -- might be worth looking into if you're exploring equitable innovations in higher ed

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>ysf</span> in 📚-reading (<time class='dt-published'>11/01/2021 20:55:11</time>)</cite></small>

    1. Once it was not just okay but admirable that Chua and Rubenfeld had law-school students over to their house for gatherings. That moment has passed. So, too, has the time when a student could discuss her personal problems with her professor, or when an employee could gossip with his employer. Conversations between people who have different statuses—employer-employee, professor-student—can now focus only on professional matters, or strictly neutral topics. Anything sexual, even in an academic context—for example, a conversation about the laws of rape—is now risky.

      Is it simply the stratification of power and roles that is causing these problems? Is it that some of this has changed and that communication between people of different power levels is the difficulty in these cases?

      I have noticed a movement in pedagogy spaces that puts the teacher as a participant rather than as a leader thus erasing the power structures that previously existed. This exists within Cathy Davidson's The New Education where teachers indicate that they're learning as much as their students.

  3. Oct 2021
    1. There’s a telling episode about a quarter of the way into Now You See It, Cathy N. Davidson’s impassioned manifesto on the way digital tools should transform how we learn and work.

      These were written at a time when the tech industry generally had a rose colored view of their effects on the world. By 2021, we've now got a much more sober and nuanced view. Even Cathy Davidson says as much in her recent book The New Education.

      For more on this topic with respect to education, see specifically Audrey Watters.