• Article: Belasco, A. S., Trivette, M. J., & Webber, K. L. (2014). Advanced degrees of debt: Analyzing the patterns and determinants of graduate student borrowing. The Review of Higher Education, 37(4), […]

  • Hi Michelle,
    I agree that in the US we see an important gap between high school and higher education, for example in terms of standards (meaning, the academic standards one must meet in order to graduate from high school are not necessarily the standards one needs for starting credit courses in college). I think that one of the reasons for this…[Read more]

  • Hi Ben.
    I find the notion of educational citizenship appealing, and I have a comment I didn’t have the time to make in class today…. Considering that one of the often mentioned purposes of higher education is to prepare students for living in a democracy (i.e., advocating for democratic values, participating in political life, etc.), how do…[Read more]

  • Article: Amsler, S. S., & Bolsmann, C. (2012). University ranking as social exclusion. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33(2), 283-301.

    This article conveys a radical critique of the university […]

    • Fascinating! Reminds me how controversial Arizona State University was at first, when President Michael Crow suggested that they be judged by who they include, not who they exclude. You might want to take a look at his concept of “the New American University.”

  • Hi Joe,

    There is a 2006 book by Anna Neumann (“Professing to Learn: Creating Tenured Lives and Careers in the American Research University”) that delves exactly in how and why university professors keep learning in their workplaces after they have received tenure (although is only about professors in major research universities, thus is not…[Read more]

  • Article: Kezar, A. (2012). Spanning the great divide between tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 44(6), 6-13.

    This article describes several of the institutional […]

    • I wonder about this disconnect between adjuncts and tenure track faculty a lot. It always seemed very strange that full timers and administrators do not often extend and encourage department and college-wide participation–especially when so many of them are teaching those freshmen intro courses, and who have the potential to effect retention and completion rates. At CUNY however, adjuncts are represented (by elected adjunct reps) to the College Counsel and do share in some governance (although minimally). I imagine the reps participation and power would depend on their knowledge, voice, commitment, and fearlessness (which does not come easy when you are contingent).

      Also, the Union (PSC) has prioritized their demands in favor of full time faculty needs, who are employed under contract and who the union is mainly concerned with. If the union was more aggressive about demanding more protections for adjuncts, we might see the alliance between full and part time faculty strengthen, reducing worries on both sides, and essentially accumulate more power as a university workforce.

      The questions I have are: how much real power does something like a College Counsel even have? Are these elected faculty players truly able to enact or veto changes from the top? Why are adjuncts (and full time faculty) left out of many of the conversations that effect the teaching and learning of the institution? And what does the school gain by maintaining the gentle tensions between full time and part time faculty?

    • I wonder about this as well. Why wouldn’t institutions try to facilitate more growth and resources to adjuncts in hopes of turning them into loyal tenured faculty? Could that be potentially cheaper than recruiting and hiring someone who wasn’t already indoctrinated in the campus’ culture?

      As an aside, corporatization of the classroom has already been underway. Check out this article from NYTimes this week where a teacher uses her popularity to get sponsorships for classroom materials and free clothes!

    • So many feelings about this article.

      First, the US is one of the countries who spends the most per student, seeing the least return compared to the ones who rank better internationally. Countries like Finland and South Korea’s education systems lead internationally without overdoing tech in classrooms and spending more per student. Is it really necessary when it comes down to transforming classrooms into mock malls and airports. But it is Silicon Valley after all… much pander to the majority.

      Second, it’s infortunate that teachers, on top of their already tight schedules and expertise, need to find external means to support their pedagogical visions/methods and activity in the field. I have friends who actively participate in “Donors Choose” (a sort of Gofundme for the edu system), in order to provide resources (like computers, books, supplies, etc.) to their students.

  • This situation is also happening inside the higher education institutions, with what is called non-tenure-track or adjunct faculty members. These -as well as the workers described by the piece above- are generally part-time, contingent, with short-term contracts (thus unstable), without benefits or office space, and underpaid. A recent source…[Read more]

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