Shaping the Next Generation of Higher Education

Two recent articles on the profession of education worth consideration:

  1. In Search of Education Leaders, by Bob Herbert, NY Times Op-Ed, December 4, 2009
  2. The Ph.D. Problem: On the professionalization of faculty life, doctoral training, and the academy’s self-renewal, by Louis Menand, Harvard Magazine, November-December 2009.  HT: Miller.

Anyone willing to take a stab at why the educational system is so leaky and how we find/develop educational leaders which serve their department, discipline, campus, education in the United States/beyond?

Questions which come to mind with the Harvard degree program, topic of In Search of Education Leaders, “Will this program include the philosophy, purpose, and joy of education? Or are these unable to be expressed in the pragmatic, secular context of trying to keep up because we need to?”  With regard to ‘residency’ models, these already exist in education, e.g., the undergraduate student teacher model. Stronger cross-grade & inter-generational mentoring with the potential for long term relationships would profit the whole educational system.

HT:  Nick who responded to my Facebook musings by referring to Diane Rehm’s discussion of Women in Science with

  1. Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Morris Hertzein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Blackburn was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Carol Greider and Jack W. Szostak.
  2. Dr. Carol Greider, Daniel Nathans Professor of Molecular Biology & Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Greider was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, along with Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack W. Szostak.
  3. Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and special assistant to President Obama

Yes, higher education is leaky pipeline for women in the sciences.  Any responses by those part of the system?

According to Louis Menand in The Ph.D. Problem: On the professionalization of faculty life, doctoral training, and the academy’s self-renewal, the educational system is leaky in quite another way for the Humanities, but with a particular internal end in mind. Can/should higher education in the Humanities add practical skills and develop a specific graduation time line?  What about those who went through the system? Will they allow such changes (Note: Reminds me of the reduction of hours in medical training)?  Will the motivation for students in the Humanities become the pursuit and exploration of knowledge for the rich or those seeking direction later in life?  Even though the article seems focused upon the Humanities, especially English, does the article apply to all (or let’s say most) of higher education?

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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2 Comments

  • amywung@gmail.com'
    Amy commented on December 18, 2009 Reply

    Just wanted to say *thank you* for linking the NPR program interviewing Dr. Blackburn & Greider. I’d had it bookmarked for so long that I’d actually forgotten what it was. But since I’m going through my own job search right now, the words rang so true about the feeling of being “daunted” by the prospect of maintaining a career in science, and the effect that has on one’s life and family. How comforting to hear the same thoughts from a Nobel Prize winner!

  • Tom Grosh commented on December 18, 2009 Reply

    You’re welcome Amy. You might find http://blog.emergingscholars.org/2009/12/resource-for-scientists-seeking-alternative-careers/ of interest. … I haven’t had time to explore it, but a friend just passed along http://www.ocs.fas.harvard.edu/students/gsas/nonacademic.htm as another resource. Let me know your thoughts.

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