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This book hopes to change the nature of the conversation about higher education from critiques to focusing on efforts of systematic improvement in undergraduate education. Changing the Conversation about Higher Education establishes a culture of experimentation and evidence for undergraduate education through undertaking teaching and learning experiments at 13 universities. This book discusses the contributions and findings from these experiments and is intended for academic administrators, faculty, and graduate students who are interested in improving undergraduate teaching and learning. The experiments are directed at two core aims of a liberal education: critical thinking and writing. The book is structured to address the issues of vision, structure, and cultural transformation that are of specific interest to academic administrators and the promising practices and issues of identity and support that are concerns of faculty and graduate students.
Through their interviews with faculty and administrators (from department chairs and deans to provosts and presidents) from a sample of eight public universities in the Northeast and their own experiences in both worlds, the authors provide a unique window into the life experiences and identities of those who struggle to make universities work. The book examines the culture of academic institutions and attempts to understand why change in public higher education is so difficult to accomplish. Many faculty believe that one of their own who becomes an administrator has gone over to "the dark side." One provost recalled going for a beer with a faculty colleague and hearing the colleague complain about the latest memo "from the administration." He had to remind his friend of many years that he was the author of the offending document. Now he was "the administration." He realized that former colleagues now appeared in his office wearing suits and ties and referring to him by his title rather than his first name. The disciplines serve as the tribes into which individual scholars are organized; the discipline is where a faculty member finds his community and identity. Administrators, on the other hand, identify with each other in trying to get the tribes to work together. Though most administrators came from the faculty ranks, their career paths take a different shape, especially in terms of mobility to another institution. It's not surprising that the two groups talk past each other. A chapter is devoted to chairs of departments, who occupy an interesting middle ground. To their faculty, they can come across as a nurturing parent or a petty bureaucrat. The authors recommend training for chairs and administrative internships offered by the American Council on Education and other organizations. The men and women on the campuses of the public universities described in the book make clear the challenges that universities face in terms of budgets, legislative politics, collective bargaining, rankings, and control of academic programs. If public institutions are truly to serve a public purpose, faculty and administrators must find ways to engage each other in shared conversation and management and find ways of engaging the university with the community.
This dialogue between two of the most prominent thinkers on social change in the twentieth century was certainly a meeting of giants. Throughout their highly personal conversations recorded here, Horton and Freire discuss the nature of social change and empowerment and their individual literacy campaigns.
American higher education is at a crossroads. Technological innovations and disruptive market forces are buffeting colleges and universities at the very time their financial structure grows increasingly fragile. Disinvestment by states has driven up tuition prices at public colleges, and student debt has reached a startling record-high of one trillion dollars. Cost-minded students and their families--and the public at large--are questioning the worth of a college education, even as study after study shows how important it is to economic and social mobility. And as elite institutions trim financial aid and change other business practices in search of more sustainable business models, racial and economic stratification in American higher education is only growing. In American Higher Education in Crisis?: What Everyone Needs to Know, Goldie Blumenstyk, who has been reporting on higher education trends for 25 years, guides readers through the forces and trends that have brought the education system to this point, and highlights some of the ways they will reshape America's colleges in the years to come. Blumenstyk hones in on debates over the value of post-secondary education, problems of affordability, and concerns about the growing economic divide. Fewer and fewer people can afford the constantly increasing tuition price of college, Blumenstyk shows, and yet college graduates in the United States now earn on average twice as much as those with only a high-school education. She also discusses faculty tenure and growing administrative bureaucracies on campuses; considers new demands for accountability such as those reflected in the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard; and questions how the money chase in big-time college athletics, revelations about colleges falsifying rankings data, and corporate-style presidential salaries have soured public perception. Higher education is facing a serious set of challenges, but solutions have also begun to emerge. Blumenstyk highlights how institutions are responding to the rise of alternative-educational opportunities and the new academic and business models that are appearing, and considers how the Obama administration and public organizations are working to address questions of affordability, diversity, and academic integrity. She addresses some of the advances in technology colleges are employing to attract and retain students; outlines emerging competency-based programs that are reshaping conceptions of a college degree, and offers readers a look at promising innovations that could alter the higher education landscape in the near future. An extremely timely and focused look at this embattled and evolving arena, this primer emphasizes how open-ended the conversation about higher education's future remains, and illuminates how big the stakes are for students, colleges, and the nation.
This volume provides informed arguments, theory and practical examples based on research about what it looks like when educators, policy makers, and even students, try to rethink and change their practices by engaging in evidence-based conversations to challenge and inform their work. It allows the reader to experience these conversations. Each story reveals the depth of thinking that change requires, showing that change requires new learning and new learning is hard.
An acclaimed education writer examines revolutionary technological changes happening in today's college systems that are transforming the ways in which higher learning will be offered and achieved in the near future.
Much of everyday work is done through talk between practitioner and client. Conversation Analysis is the close inspection of people's use of language in interaction. The work reported in this collection shows how CA can be used to identify, and improve, communicative practices at work.

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