Is higher education improving or going down hill?
Interview with: Barry Schwartz (Swarthmore)
Q4Colleges.com exclusive interview with Barry Schwartz.
We spoke with Barry Schwartz, who is a Professor at Swarthmore College, author of The Paradox of Choice and Practical Wisdom, and frequent TED speaker.
Q4Colleges: Barry, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. I would like to use Q4Colleges as a way of getting higher education back on track on track with regard to the narrative. The questions I had when taking my kids around visiting colleges were, “Who is running these places?” “What are these people like?” “What are they trying to do?” Continue reading “Colleges are Becoming Summer Camps with Libraries”
Are colleges doing research the right way?
By Jesse Schell (Carnegie Mellon)
This is a transcript of a presentation by Jesse on March 6, 2012 at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. It was part of a panel entitled Game Educators Rant.
Hi everybody. I have a special kind of rant today.
It is directed to a certain segment of the audience. I realize a number of you are here by mistake. There’s a certain percentage of the audience who wandered in here mistakenly reading the session title as “Game Educator Grants.” So this I dedicate to you. We’ll call it my G-Rant. Continue reading “The G-Rant: Please Stop Being Evil and Incompetent”
Do we need to pay for knowledge?
By Zick Rubin (Harvard, Brandeis)
Last month, as college students across the country prepared to head back to campuses, my fax machine coughed out my annual “Request for Permission” from the Copyright Clearance Center, the corporation that is one of the world’s largest brokers of licenses to copy other people’s work.
As in past years, the center asked me how much I wanted to charge to permit Middle Earth College to include a copy of Chapter 5 of my book, Liking and Loving: An Invitation to Social Psychology, in a course pack for the 18 students enrolled in Professor McClain’s Management 710 this fall. (I’ve changed the names of the college, the professor, and the course.)
If past experience were a guide, I could name Continue reading “Photocopy My Book Chapter? You Don’t Even Have to Ask”
What have you learned about life?
By Jon T. Coleman (Notre Dame)
To rise in academe and reach the high ground where review committees stop questioning your record and deans quit pondering your trajectory, where students applaud when you close out the semester with your lecture on the War of 1812 and Stephen Colbert invites you on his Report to plug your book, one must cultivate an entry-level superpower.
Save your supersonic speed, your laser-beam eyeballs, and your ability to communicate with sea life for emergencies and holiday parties. Instead concentrate on blocking projectiles. To get a job, to surmount third-year review, to receive tenure, to advance to full professorship, to merit a Wikipedia page that you didn’t write yourself, all you need to be is bulletproof. And if you want a Kevlar career, do as I say, not as I did. For while I excelled at thwarting some bullets, I had zero talent for dodging the countless shots I administered to myself.
As with most things scholastic, bulletproofing starts Continue reading “Not Quite Bulletproof”
What is your mission?
an Interview with Beth Adubato (Rutgers)
Q4Colleges: So what’s your personal mission and how did you come by it?
Beth: Well I was thinking about it and it sounds like a Miss America answer; I hate to say it but it’s really true. My personal mission is to make use of all the talents I was given, and try and help and inspire people to do the same. And to raise a child that has the same sense of caring about community. Continue reading “My Mission is to Use My Talents and Help Others do the Same”
Should “caveat emptor” be the operative philosophy when we market to students, or should we hold ourselves to a higher standard than, say, a car manufacturer?
by Brooke Allen (Q4Colleges.com)
Emory University confessed that for 11 years it has been fudging data it sent in for U. S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. The publisher said that, “Our preliminary calculations show that the misreported data would not have changed the school’s ranking in the past two years (No. 20) and would likely have had a small to negligible effect in the several years prior.” (Read the article here.)
This second confession by U. S. News only serves to prove that their ranking methodology is deeply flawed. Since integrity is such a major part of character, confessed cheating should drop you to Dead Last in the rankings, and a cover-up should get you barred altogether pending review by the accrediting authorities. Continue reading “Is Cheating by Colleges Just Another Clever Marketing Ploy?”
Where is higher education headed?
By Robert E. Martin (Centre College)
Surveys reveal that the public believes a college education is essential but too expensive. People feel squeezed between the cost and the necessity. At the same time, public colleges complain thatthey are being squeezed by declining state support and increasing pressure to educate larger numbers of less-prepared students.
Yet society has provided higher education with a river of new real revenues over the past several decades. Since nonprofit institutions of higher education follow a balanced-budget model, expenditures are capped by revenues. Therefore the real cost per student cannot increase without a corresponding increase in real revenues. So the problem has not been too little revenue.
Nevertheless, college affordability has Continue reading “Colleges Cost Too Much Because Faculty Lacks Power”
What should colleges teach?
By Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe (Swarthmore)
Look at what colleges state as their aims, and you’ll find a predictable list: Teach students how to think critically and analytically; teach them how to write and calculate; teach them the skills of their discipline. As important as such goals are, another fundamental goal is largely being neglected—developing the intellectual virtues they need to be good students, and good citizens.
Some academics may cringe at being charged with the task of developing virtue, believing that it’s a job for others—especially when there is so little agreement about what “virtue” even means in a pluralistic society like ours. They are mistaken. In fact, we often encourage such development—if a bit unreflectively. We would do much better to take the time to think through what the central intellectual virtues are, why they are so important, and how they should be integrated into our curricula: Continue reading “Colleges Should Teach Intellectual Virtues”
How can you become a better learner?
By Paula M. Krebs (Wheaton)
Humanities students should be more like computer-science students.
I decided that as I sat in on a colleague’s computer-science course during the beginning of this, my last, semester in the classroom. I am moving into administration full time, and I figured that this was my last chance to learn some of the cool new digital-humanities stuff I’ve been reading about. What eventually drove me out of the class (which I was enjoying tremendously) was the time commitment: The work of coding, I discovered, was an endless round of failure, failure, failure before eventual success. Computer-science students are used to failing. They do it all the time. It’s built into the process, and they take it in stride. Continue reading “Next Time, Fail Better”
How should higher education be funded?
By Joseph R. Urgo (St. Mary’s – Maryland)
I remember receiving my college financial-aid package in 1974, and among the grant and work-study information was a letter about my eligibility for a National Defense Student Loan. I don’t remember what the letter said, but I do remember stopping cold. What did my acceptance to a residential liberal-arts college have to do with national defense? Continue reading “There’s More Than One Way to Defend Your Country”