Essay About School Curriculum

None of this makes for higher learning, nor does it adequately prepare students for employment or citizenship.We need to rethink the ends and means of higher education.We have reduced K-12 schooling to basic skill acquisition that effectively leaves most students underprepared for college-level learning.

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The primary problem is that the current culture of colleges and universities no longer puts learning first -- and in most institutions, that culture perpetuates a fear of doing so.

Isolated examples to the contrary exist, but are only the exceptions that prove the rule.

Resolving the learning crisis will therefore require fundamental, thoroughgoing changes in our colleges and universities.

There must be real change -- change beyond simplistic answers such as reducing costs and improving efficiency -- to improve value.

The academy has adopted an increasingly consumer-based ethic that has produced costly and dangerous effects: the expectations and standards of a rigorous liberal education have been displaced by thinly disguised professional or job training curriculums; teaching and learning have been devalued, deprioritized, and replaced by an emphasis on magazine rankings; and increased enrollment, winning teams, bigger and better facilities, more revenue from sideline businesses, and more research grants have replaced learning as the primary touchstone for decision-making.

Teaching is increasingly left to contingent faculty; tenure-track professors have few incentives to spend time with undergraduates, improve their teaching, or measure what their students are learning.

We mean the enormous expenditures devoted purely to securing a “better ranking” in the magazine surveys.

We mean the progressive reduction in academic, intellectual, and behavioral expectations that has undermined the culture, learning conditions, and civility of so many campus communities.

Reconstituting the Culture of Higher Education The current culture -- the shared norms, values, standards, expectations and priorities -- of teaching and learning in the academy is not powerful enough to support true higher learning.

As a result, students do not experience the kind of integrated, holistic, developmental, rigorous undergraduate education that must exist as an absolute condition for truly transformative higher learning to occur.

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