April 27, 2009

Do you all remember a week or so ago when I said: "In the future schools will be four big rooms, well staffed, stocked, and funded: a gym, library, laboratory, and a studio." I said that. Then I felt shy about it and took it down. Because its such a radical idea and because I felt it was a pipe dream, anyway. Who was I kidding, right? The flexible, interdisciplinary, cooperative, graceful, creative, and generous model of homeschool could never translate to industrial academia, right? Well, check out this article in the New York Times today:


End The University As We Know It By MARK C. TAYLOR April 27, 2009 Op-Ed favorite quotes:

"Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market"

"Unfortunately this mass-production university model has led to separation where there ought to be collaboration and to ever-increasing specialization."

"Each academic becomes the trustee not of a branch of the sciences, but of limited knowledge that all too often is irrelevant for genuinely important problems.

"The emphasis on narrow scholarship also encourages an educational system that has become a process of cloning."

"The long process to make higher learning more agile, adaptive and imaginative can begin with six major steps"

"Restructure the curriculum...with a curriculum structured like a web or complex adaptive network. Responsible teaching and scholarship must become cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural."

"Abolish permanent departments...It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water.

"beliefs shape practices as much as practices shape beliefs."

"...bring together people in the humanities, arts, social and natural sciences with representatives from professional schools like medicine, law, business, engineering, social work, theology and architecture. Through the intersection of multiple perspectives and approaches, new theoretical insights will develop and unexpected practical solutions will emerge."

"The exposure to new approaches and different cultures and the consideration of real-life issues will prepare students for jobs at businesses and nonprofit organizations."

"For many years, I have told students, “Do not do what I do; rather, take whatever I have to offer and do with it what I could never imagine doing and then come back and tell me about it.” My hope is that colleges and universities will be shaken out of their complacency and will open academia to a future we cannot conceive"

Mark C. Taylor, the chairman of the religion department at Columbia, is the author of the forthcoming “Field Notes From Elsewhere: Reflections on Dying and Living.”Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

6 comments:

MOM #1 said...

Wow! You called it before they ever knew what was hitting them!

Sarah said...

I was wondering what happened to that post. I thought it was good. Like I do for many of your posts I typed up a reply and then closed out the window before I hit reply - I, too, get shy. :)

Katherine said...

Sarah, you get too shy? With me? But I'm one of the biggest dumbasses that walks this planet. You can say ANYTHING to me. I make an ass of myself all-the-time. :o)

rae said...

Mark C. Taylor....I like that man. He gets it. Now one of us should go pick him up for coffee when he gets ridden out of town on a rail. :)

Cecelia (CC) said...

Tim keeps promising me we do not need huge college accounts for our kids, that education will be on-line and they will get college degrees if they choose without massive debt in a dying system. Oh yes, he believes in homeschooling (unschooling) all the way through. I have stopped short at "but we will go to college". I have to finish reading the article, but had to drop in his vote: of course that system is dead.

Katherine said...

Cecelia, MIT has already posted their ENTIRE program online. Every class, lecture, all of it. If you want the degree, you pay. If you want the information, its all there. Pretty amazing, huh?