Monday, October 17, 2011

New Book: What Is College For?

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, former dean at HGSE and now professor at Bard College, included me in  a series of fascinating roundtable discussions about higher education. A number of the participants in that roundtable have written essays about higher education and the collection is being published by Teacher's College Press. The book is entitled What is College For? The Public Purpose of Higher Education. It is now available for pre-ordering from Amazon (click on the title to go to Amazon). Book will not be published for a few more weeks but when it is, the paperback will be available immediately, for $20.43 from Amazon.

The lead essay is by Ellen and me, and it is on the subject of civic education (something I wrote about in my contribution to another recently published edited volume, Teaching America: The Case for Civic Education). I really like our essay; it presents an interesting historical analysis of civic education, going all the way back to the Massachusetts Constitution and before, and all the way up to the present day. Instead of moaning it makes some concrete proposals, grounded in our analysis of the realities.

The other essays are also worth reading, of course! Here is the full set of author bios.

Paul Attewell is a professor of sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research interests focus on issues of education and social inequality. His most recent book (coauthored with David Lavin) is entitled Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? He has also published about the effects of remedial coursework on college students and on the impact of requiring a more de- manding high school curriculum upon college success. His current research examines the causes behind high dropout rates among college students. 
Elaine Tuttle Hansen served as president of Bates College from 2002 until 2011, and is now executive director of the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University. Previously she was professor of English and provost at Haverford College and authored three books: The Solomon Complex: Reading Wisdom in Old English Poetry, Chaucer and the Fictions of Gender, and Mother Without Child: Contemporary Women Writers and the Crisis of Motherhood. 
Ellen Condliffe Lagemann is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College, a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute, and a senior fel- low at the Bard Prison Initiative. She has served as the Charles Warren Pro- fessor of the History of American Education at Harvard University and as dean of the Graduate School of Education there, as well as president of the Spencer Foundation. She is the author of many books and articles, includ- ing An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research (2000), and chaired the National Research Council committee that produced Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (2010). 
David E. Lavin is professor of sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and also at Lehman College. He is author and co- author of several books, including Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations (with Paul Attewell), Changing the Odds: Open Admissions and the Life Chances of the Disadvantaged (coauthor), and Right Versus Privilege: The Open Admissions Experiment at the City University of New York (coauthor).

Harry Lewis is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of Harvard University and is a fac- ulty associate of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He has served as dean of Harvard College and is the author of Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future (2007) and coauthor of Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (2008).
Catharine R. Stimpson is university professor and dean emerita of the Gradu- ate School of Arts and Science at New York University. She is past president of the Modern Language Association and of the Association of Graduate Schools. She has written widely on literature, women and gender, and educa- tion. Her books include Where the Meanings Are and Class Notes, and she was the founding editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
William M. Sullivan is senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Ad- vancement of Teaching, where he has directed studies of professional educa- tion in law, engineering, preparation of the clergy, nurses, and doctors as well as research on liberal education for undergraduate business students. He has authored or coauthored a number of books in these areas, including Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America, 2nd edition, 2005
Douglas Taylor is professor and chair of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is an evolutionary biologist who specializes in how conflict and cooperation arise and are resolved in the natural world. He has published more than 50 scientific papers on these and related topics.

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