Tough questions for higher education

709dd1e362bf72044a92deb46b694f21

In 2008 and 2009, the John L. and Sue Ann Weinberg Foundation sponsored a series of seminars on higher education. Led by Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, the former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the panel of speakers represented some of the most respected higher education experts in the country.

The group noticed a theme emerging in their sessions: Almost every presenter felt Americans were loosing sight of the core values of higher education in pursuit of its economic benefits.

This month Lagemann, along with co-editor Harry Lewis, are releasing a book based on this quandary, featuring essays by a number of presenters from the Weinberg panel: “What Is College For? The Public Purpose of Higher Education.”

“I feel we’re suffering from a national myopia over a very limited kind of success when it comes to higher education. We seem to be obsessed with the economic impact,” says Lewis, a professor at Harvard and the author of numerous other books, including “Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Arts Education Have a Future?” “I think the education world has to take some responsibility for allowing this myopia to develop without fostering a discussion about how we’re going to preserve education for the long haul.” 

But “What Is College For?” is a hopeful critique. In each of its six chapters, the authors seek to inspire readers to ask more of institutions and students alike.

“Right now there’s a lot being written about the failures of higher education. This volume is not designed to say that higher education is a failure or success,” says Lewis. “We’re trying to stimulate a discussion about what its purposes are, so you can have a reasonable conversation. There isn’t much value in that argument if you can’t agree on the basic purpose of education.” 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.