Future of Social Sciences and Humanities in Corporate Universities: Curricula, Exclusions, Inclusions, and Voice
16 Pages Posted: 26 May 2011
Date Written: October 24, 2001
During three preceding sessions of the Institute for European Studies (IES) Topical Seminar, three themes were discussed: (1) The university as a corporation, focusing on faculty involvement and partnership with the corporation and the corporate world beyond the university, (2) the students as inheritors of culture and the university as the means of perpetuating cultural norms, and (3) the economic base of higher education. In my focus on the curriculum, I am basically looking at the philosophical, ethical, and pedagogical dynamics of all the above elements when mapping and disseminating knowledge. I am also looking at how knowledge itself, a main asset of the university, is manipulated between research, teaching, and learning by the old and new guard of academia. Though the three essays (Barazangi, 1993; hooks, 1994, Middleton, 1993) being analyzed under the curriculum theme were written for different cases and from different worldviews, they share the same historical context. A time when the New Right movements were back lashing at the different cultural groups, including women, as these groups voiced their concerns about curricular inclusions and exclusions, these reactions were manifested in the multicultural vs. mainstream curricula, in the affirmative action admission and testing practices, and in social welfare policies. The contemporary context consists, in addition, in recent emphases by funding agencies on educational components in research proposals even by NSF, especially in K-12. Residential learning among college students, is replacing ethnic-based dorms or language houses. Yet, the old philosophy of dichotomized subject matters and fields of studies still prevails in recent discussions of liberal arts curricula. A recent report by the Curriculum Committee of the Cornell College of Arts and Sciences still classifies reasoning skills into quantitative and qualitative, with an add-on of moral reasoning. Furthermore, engagement in learning is mainly still treated as a practical skill for the arts and sciences and not part of their main mission, and so on.
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