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IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 19, No. 1 (Spring 2017) - Whatever Happened to General Education? -
Many of my colleagues in the academy, especially those in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, argue that the greatest threat facing universities and colleges today is neoliberalism—an umbrella term for the financial and political forces that are remaking universities in the image of international corporations. The best of these accounts, such as those by Wendy Brown and Ned O’Gorman, describe neoliberalism not just as an economic agenda but as a pervasive rationality that cultivates and enforces market-oriented values to the exclusion of any others, reducing all goods to private, economic goods and transforming humans into objects for market-based investment.3

But critics of the “neoliberal” university don’t go far enough. The university is complicit in, not just a victim of, a broader cultural inability to imagine other reasons and ends for acting, thinking, and being together. Today’s universities operate in keeping with largely private economic ends. (How much will my degree earn me?) They lack a robust conception of the kind of goods that education and knowledge could be. And they have long institutionalized this failure, or refusal, in their undergraduate curricula.
...
We all love and relate to the world differently. To expect that we cease to be who we have become is both naive and wrong-headed. And yet we come to a common and historical institution, the university. We arrive with a shared commitment, however inarticulate and inchoate, to its purposes and virtues: the creation, discovery, curation, and transmission of knowledge. The modern research university has long embodied these ideals and maintained the scholarly practices and virtues necessary for their flourishing: a devotion to open discussion, a critical disposition, a commitment to rational argument based on evidence and exactitude, and a love of learning.32 Now, more than ever, we have to identify these practices and virtues and defend them. We must also acknowledge that the university will and should transform us all.

To do so, however, we also need to acknowledge that these practices, virtues, and ideals are, on their own, insufficient. Like any robust civic institution in a democracy, the university can’t merely tolerate differences. As even mainstream liberal theorists such as Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls have acknowledged, the university community needs to draw upon the same motivational resources provided by plural religions, traditions, and cultures that enable the members of the greater society not only to survive but to flourish.33 Our differences may well keep us from embracing a common, singular vision of the good, but they motivate us to commit to common projects, common purposes, and shared goods. We are, as the legal theorist John Inazu writes, “unlikely to agree upon the meaning of abstract notions” such as justice, truth, dignity, or the fundamental purposes of our lives and communities.34 But at least most of us in the university accept that these are fundamental concepts calling for passionate yet generous debate. Given its history and the continued strength of its ideals, the university may be the institution best equipped to sustain such an experiment in pluralism and democratic discourse.35
academe  university  neoliberalism  general_education  naval_science  via:ayjay 
10 days ago by jfbeatty
IASC: The Hedgehog Review - Volume 19, No. 1 (Spring 2017) - Whatever Happened to General Education? -
We all love and relate to the world differently. To expect that we cease to be who we have become is both naive and wrong-headed. And yet we come to a common and historical institution, the university. We arrive with a shared commitment, however inarticulate and inchoate, to its purposes and virtues: the creation, discovery, curation, and transmission of knowledge. The modern research university has long embodied these ideals and maintained the scholarly practices and virtues necessary for their flourishing: a devotion to open discussion, a critical disposition, a commitment to rational argument based on evidence and exactitude, and a love of learning.32 Now, more than ever, we have to identify these practices and virtues and defend them. We must also acknowledge that the university will and should transform us all.

To do so, however, we also need to acknowledge that these practices, virtues, and ideals are, on their own, insufficient. Like any robust civic institution in a democracy, the university can’t merely tolerate differences. As even mainstream liberal theorists such as Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls have acknowledged, the university community needs to draw upon the same motivational resources provided by plural religions, traditions, and cultures that enable the members of the greater society not only to survive but to flourish.33 Our differences may well keep us from embracing a common, singular vision of the good, but they motivate us to commit to common projects, common purposes, and shared goods. We are, as the legal theorist John Inazu writes, “unlikely to agree upon the meaning of abstract notions” such as justice, truth, dignity, or the fundamental purposes of our lives and communities.34 But at least most of us in the university accept that these are fundamental concepts calling for passionate yet generous debate. Given its history and the continued strength of its ideals, the university may be the institution best equipped to sustain such an experiment in pluralism and democratic discourse.35
academe  university 
10 days ago by ayjay
Free Inquiry on Campus: A Statement of Principles by a Collection of Middlebury Faculty | HeterodoxAcademy.org
These principles are as follows:

• Genuine higher learning is possible only where free, reasoned, and civil speech and discussion are respected.
• Only through the contest of clashing viewpoints do we have any hope of replacing mere opinion with knowledge.
• The incivility and coarseness that characterize so much of American politics and culture cannot justify a response of incivility and coarseness on the college campus.
• The impossibility of attaining a perfectly egalitarian sphere of free discourse can never justify efforts to silence speech and debate.
• Exposure to controversial points of view does not constitute violence.
• Students have the right to challenge and to protest non-disruptively the views of their professors and guest speakers.
• A protest that prevents campus speakers from communicating with their audience is a coercive act.
• No group of professors or students has the right to act as final arbiter of the opinions that students may entertain.
• No group of professors or students has the right to determine for the entire community that a question is closed for discussion.
• The purpose of college is not to make faculty or students comfortable in their opinions and prejudices.
• The purpose of education is not the promotion of any particular political or social agenda.
• The primary purpose of higher education is the cultivation of the mind, thus allowing for intelligence to do the hard work of assimilating and sorting information and drawing rational conclusions.
• A good education produces modesty with respect to our own intellectual powers and opinions as well as openness to considering contrary views.
• All our students possess the strength, in head and in heart, to consider and evaluate challenging opinions from every quarter.
• We are steadfast in our purpose to provide all current and future students an education on this model, and we encourage our colleagues at colleges across the country to do the same.
academentia  academe 
16 days ago by ayjay
Reading, Privacy, and Scholarly Networks – Planned Obsolescence
Sarah Bond published a column on Forbes.com this morning on the importance of not for profit scholarly networks. I’m thrilled that she mentioned not only my blog post but also the work we’re doing at Humanities Commons. But if she hasn’t convinced you that it’s time to #DeleteAcademiaEdu yet, maybe this will: Friday, the network launched a new “prime” feature that allows members to pay to see the identities of users who are reading the work they share. That is to say: if you are reading things on Academia.edu, the network may sell your user info.

That they’re offering to sell this info to the author of the work involved does not make it okay. This is a frightening violation of the privacy standards that — a key point of comparison — libraries have long maintained with respect to reader activity. And selling your data to authors may only be the beginning.

I don’t want to read too much into the fact that they launched this “feature” on inauguration day. But the coincidence really begs scholars to become even more vigilant about where they’re sharing their work, and what networks they’re supporting as they access the work of others.
academe  privacy  textpatterns 
8 weeks ago by ayjay
When Your Curriculum Has Been Tumblrized – tressiemc
"There is less emphasis on intellectual traditions in this discourse. The terms float like loose teeth on an old comb with great spaces between them from use."
tumblr  academe  sociology  academics  privilege  teaching 
11 weeks ago by brennen

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