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Higher Education Reconceived

A Geography of Change

Sherrie Reynolds and Toni Craven

Publication Year: 2009

In Higher Education Reconceived: A Geography of Change, authors Sherrie Reynolds and Toni Craven examine the process of change in higher education as they engage the reader in conversation in both how we relate to ourselves and to one another. They draw on modern and post-modern elements of higher education as well as personal narratives to address personal change, emergent change, and changing ideas about learning, curriculum, and communities of learning. The traditional view in higher education is that teaching causes learning. However, from the perspective of a new sciences view of chaos and complexity, they assess how, as our ideas of student learning, research, and disciplines have developed, our understanding of teaching has evolved as well. Throughout, the authors intimate a sense of the spiritual in the processes of teaching and learning. This impressively holistic volume, which engages the reader in dialogue with the authors while encouraging meditation on the multidimensional journey of teaching and learning, sheds new light on current paradigms of education as well as present ways of living together in a pluralistic and globally connected world. Opening each chapter with a labyrinth illustration to depict the winding and porous nature of the topic, this volume should find a place on every educator’s bookshelf. As teacher-scholars together discover a new understanding of higher education fit for our times, they should never forget that—as Sherrie put it—“Being a university professor is a sacred trust.”

Published by: TCU Press


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Introduction. Labyrinths

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pp. ix-xv

The labyrinth on the cover is patterned after that at Chartres, France, which was laid into the floor of the central body of the cathedral in front of the main altar sometime between 1194 and 1220.1 In 1995, an outdoor terrazzo replica of this most famous labyrinth was constructed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. As Canon for Special Ministries, Lauren Artress first reintroduced this meditative tool in 1991 as a floor canvas in Grace's nave. Her aim as a priest and psychotherapist...

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Chapter One. Personal Change

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pp. 2-7

True change is a complex and difficult psychological process. This is especially true of change in teaching because teaching rests on closely held beliefs that arise from our deepest sense of our world, our selves, and others. My friend Howard Polanz calls these “baby elephant beliefs.” He tells how circus elephant trainers restrain a baby elephant with a rope tied to a stake in the ground. If it tries to escape...

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Chapter Two. Emergent Change

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pp. 9-14

The American psychologists Paul Watzlowick, John Weakland, and Richard Fisch write about the difference between what they call first and second order change in their book Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution.1 First order change is actually a way of trying to substitute minor change for a deeper kind of change. This is what most of us do in our initial response to a need for change. The former smokers whom I2 interviewed talked about changing...

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Chapter Three. Changing Ideas about Consciousness

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pp. 15-27

Like peeling an onion, uncovering deeply held assumptions reveals layer after layer. Assumptions held in common often appear to be reality. Common assumptions are inhaled with the air people breathe so that often they seem natural and real. These assumptions can constrain us like invisible ropes and keep us making first order substitutions instead of second order transformations...

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Chapter Four. Changing Ideas about Learning

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pp. 29-42

Many of us have experienced academic learning as what one student called cram and release. You may remember making flash cards before an exam in college. We reviewed them every day. Usually, by the night before the exam we had it down to eight to ten cards that we answered incorrectly. By the morning of the exam we had two or three cards left. We took those to the exam, read them...

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Chapter Five. Changing Ideas about Curriculum

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pp. 43-55

The teacher-scholar model guarantees that we who teach are also among those who extend the reach of knowledge into the darkness.We know the flaws and limitations of human knowledge, which is always, by its nature, incomplete and partial. We know the flaws and inadequacies of the work that has been done and, on a good day, we know that it is useful anyway. Early in our teaching we assumed that our students...

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Chapter Six. Changing Ideas about Communities of Learning

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pp. 57-71

In healthy families adults assume a teaching role within the context of the family relationships, making these adults the first and arguably the most important teachers that the child experiences. Certainly, a child learns a great deal in a relatively brief period of time. This relationship is rooted in what Nel Noddings argues is the fundamental ontological relationship, in which 'we recognize that human encounter...


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pp. 72-83

List of Works Cited

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pp. 84-90


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pp. 90-97

About the Authors

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p. 98


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p. 99

E-ISBN-13: 9780875654768
E-ISBN-10: 0875654762
Print-ISBN-13: 9780875653914
Print-ISBN-10: 0875654762

Page Count: 128
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 794701378
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Higher Education Reconceived

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Subject Headings

  • Educational change -- United States.
  • Education, Higher -- Aims and objectives -- United States.
  • Education, Higher -- United States -- Philosophy.
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