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All the Essential Half-Truths about Higher Education by George Dennis O'Brien

By George Dennis O'Brien

During this fresh and unique exploration, George Dennis O'Brien appears at larger schooling in the US. O'Brien argues that to discuss intelligently the way forward for schooling we needs to cease targeting its beliefs and glance in its place at its associations. He does this by way of addressing 9 half-truths, equivalent to no matter if "low price public schooling advantages the least advantaged in society," and is going directly to research how effectively they replicate the real country of upper schooling. the result's a thought-provoking dialogue of the current demanding situations and destiny customers of yank better schooling.

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The president proclaiming reform needs to persuade a suspicious faculty, a restive alumni body, a bottom-line board of trustees, and a transient population of adolescents. The president tries to solve the problem and salve the proletariat at the same time. This is an inherently contradictory task, and so ringing calls for reform often prove to be little more than the sounding off of the brass and the tingling of symbols. Decision rights are an institutional issue. The paradigm medieval universitus was in one sense the creature of the faculty union: universitas professorurn.

The concept of academic-freedom-andtenure is a focal point for understanding the character of faculty in the modern research institution. Tenure is highly controversial, is subject to great pressure for change, and conceptually enshrines the most important central issue for higher education reform: the nature and role of faculties. Like almost all the terminological absolutes that define contemporary American higher education, “tenure” is a modern invention. As a historical reality, it stems from the formation of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 32 CHAPTER THREE 1915.

Socrates’ mocking recommendation sealed his fate, and ever since, the shade of Socrates has been evoked when battling with forces of parochialism and oppression. I would be the last one to counter that heroic exemplar, but the lessons of Socrates are never free from irony. Consider the image of Socrates, successful in his plea, sitting with the Olympic wrestlers, munching out his years as the licensed gadfly of Athens. There is something faintly comic about an authorized prophet. If Associate Professor Socrates with tenure seems odd, his qualifications would appear absolutely outlandish to the AAUP and any academic tenure committee.

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