Possibilities of a Professor: An Academic in the Twenty-First Century
22 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 11, 2018
University as an institution has shown structural and functional uniformity across historical periods and cultures, despite distinct evolution in response to local needs. Historically, social norms, political stability and economic concerns, were the variables that determined objectives of higher education. Today, normative concerns about higher education are exclusively guided by economic rationale. The transformative potential of higher education in cultivating responsive and responsible individuals are ignored. In this context, this paper examines the possibilities that a professor has, as a transformative agent in a university. The author models a professor in four principal roles- as a scholar and public intellectual, and as a reducer of rent seeking and information asymmetry. The normative concerns that build this model have been drawn from historical roles of teachers in universities and experimental models in early education. While the professor as a scholar and public intellectual are traditional roles that need to be revisited in the modern context, reducing rent seeking and information asymmetry are phenomena of a market society that should be countered. By performing these roles, a professor not only creates and disseminates knowledge, but also encourages students to make decisions that are socially productive as well as individually gratifying.
Keywords: Higher education, Professor, University, History, Philosophy of education, Experimental models
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