Given the intensity of interest regarding the “problems in higher education,” Harward notes how the systemic sources of those problems are infrequently addressed and even rarer is the offering of solutions or suggestions for positive actions. Harward and his colleagues see the achievement of this book as doing both—understanding the problems and offering solutions.
The book assembles the voices of leaders, scholars, practitioners, critics and others committed to higher education; collectively they combine theoretical considerations with analyses of fundamental issues related to learning and liberal education. The resulting arguments, theories, and evidence are sufficient to encourage significant—transformative—changes in higher education. Contributors offer examples of campus initiatives that document such changes, from directional nudges to major shifts of emphases and resources—from theoretical arguments to case studies and practices that suggest and guide constructive steps in efforts at change.
Psychology students often have only vague notions about the career experiences and personal lives of academic psychologists. The autobiographies in this book open special windows onto the lives of psychologists in academic settings. The contributions range from a description of experiences at a two-year community college through discussions of the demands at high powered doctoral-level research institutions. The authors offer intimate glimpses of experiences in their lives that paved the way to academia.
Although this book is, in a sense, about career planning in academic settings, there is no pretense about it being a career planning guide. The editor's goal was to give readers some sense of what motivates academic psychologists and what their personal as well as professional lives are like. The editor also makes clear his belief that there is no single pathway to a successful academic career in psychology. Although each contributor describes what most would see as a successful career, the academic paths taken and the personal and professional rewards received are often quite different. This book will provide encouragement to students contemplating a career in academia as well as interesting reading for psychologists curious about what makes their academic colleagues tick.
Muscatine begins with the observation that the mediocre undergraduate curriculum offered by most colleges and universities today is based on outdated ideas of what should be taught and what constitutes good teaching. Although Muscatine is himself a well-established research scholar, he contends that the publish-or-perish "research religion" of college and university faculties has seriously damaged undergraduate education. He offers a clear distinction between publishable research and the scholarship necessary for good teaching. Furthermore, he recommends major changes in the education of professors, including reconsidering both the requirement of the book-length dissertation and the current organization of graduate departments.
Fixing College Education predicts new roles for students and faculty, redefines educational breadth and depth, and calls for deeper assessment of learning and teaching. Muscatine highlights the outstanding colleges and universities, including Harvard, Boston University’s University Professor’s Program, Evergreen State College, and Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, that have already remade their curricula successfully or adopted features like the ones he proposes. Muscatine argues that the new curriculum is better able than the old to produce good scholars and good citizens for the twenty-first century.