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Yes to the New Education, but What Kind?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


Cathy N. Davidson's core claim in the new education is fundamentally important: the university system in the united states is undermining itself with a factory-production model that wasn't great in the twentieth century and is dysfunctional in the twenty-first. Whenever they come under political fire, nonelite colleges and universities proclaim their eagerness to Taylorize student learning—make it more efficient with tighter process control— through the more rigorous application of output measures like cost per unit and time to degree. hey regulate learning with grades and bell curves, which we now know do not neutrally measure learning but systematically favor some types of students over other types. Even worse, they apply stock forms of evaluation that not only mismeasure learning but actively reduce it. Whatever money standardization saves in the short run is lost many times over in the long run through limited learning and reduced creativity in the millions of graduates cranked out by this restricted and outdated system.

Theories and Methodologies
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2018

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