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The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences Cover

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The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences

Ian Shapiro

In this captivating yet troubling book, Ian Shapiro offers a searing indictment of many influential practices in the social sciences and humanities today. Perhaps best known for his critique of rational choice theory, Shapiro expands his purview here. In discipline after discipline, he argues, scholars have fallen prey to inward-looking myopia that results from--and perpetuates--a flight from reality.

In the method-driven academic culture we inhabit, argues Shapiro, researchers too often make display and refinement of their techniques the principal scholarly activity. The result is that they lose sight of the objects of their study. Pet theories and methodological blinders lead unwelcome facts to be ignored, sometimes not even perceived. The targets of Shapiro's critique include the law and economics movement, overzealous formal and statistical modeling, various reductive theories of human behavior, misguided conceptual analysis in political theory, and the Cambridge school of intellectual history.

As an alternative to all of these, Shapiro makes a compelling case for problem-driven social research, rooted in a realist philosophy of science and an antireductionist view of social explanation. In the lucid--if biting--prose for which Shapiro is renowned, he explains why this requires greater critical attention to how problems are specified than is usually undertaken. He illustrates what is at stake for the study of power, democracy, law, and ideology, as well as in normative debates over rights, justice, freedom, virtue, and community. Shapiro answers many critics of his views along the way, securing his position as one of the distinctive social and political theorists of our time.

Footprints in Aggieland Cover

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Footprints in Aggieland

Remembrances of a Veteran Fundraiser

Robert L. Walker

The “dean” of development officers in Texas, if not the entire nation, Bob Walker has been instrumental in raising hundreds of millions of dollars for Texas A&M University, including many of the largest gifts in the university’s history.  He provides through this book many instructive and sometimes amusing vignettes of his encounters with a wide range of benefactors to Texas A&M.

“Bob Walker is much more than a fundraiser.  He devotes all of his time to making and keeping friends for the university.  I have never met anyone with as much capacity to help Aggies as he has.”—Former Texas A&M President Ray M. Bowen

“Bob Walker contributed significantly in creating the culture of stewardship that has helped make Texas A&M one of the nation’s truly great land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant universities.”—Mark A. Hussey, Interim President, Texas A&M University

Fordham Cover

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Fordham

A History and Memoir, Revised Edition

Raymond Schroth

Fordham University is the quintessential American-Catholic institution-and one now looked upon as among the best Catholic universities in the country. Its story is also the story of New York, especially the Bronx, andFordham's commitment to the city during its rise, fall, and rebirth. It's a story of Jesuits, soldiers, alumni who fought in World Wars, chaplains, teachers, and administrators who made bold moves and big mistakes, ofpresidents who thought small and those who had vision. And of the first women, students and faculty, who helped bring Fordham into the 20th century. Finally it's the story of an institution's attempt to keep its Jesuitand Catholic identity as it strives for leadership in a competitive world. Combining authoritative history and fascinating anecdotes, Schroth offers an engaging account of Fordham's one hundred thirrty-seven years-here, updated, revised, and expanded to cover the new presidency of Joseph M. McShane, S.J., and the challenges Fordham faces in the new century.

Freedom Through Education Cover

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Freedom Through Education

Lotus Coffman

Freedom Through Education was first published in 1939. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.February 15, 1939To the People of Minnesota:Knowing President Coffman as well as I did, I know he would have deprecated any elaborate eulogy of his work in and for the University of Minnesota. I know also that he welcomed always any opportunity to present his though about it and his reflections on the changing world that conditioned the flexible and forward-looking policy he thought the University should pursue. In the pages here published by the University are embodied some of his last and most suggestive thinking about the problems that concerned him always. They were prepared in large part in the year he used to rebuild his health and to formulate his ideas, free from the discursive and unending tasks of a university presidency. Of that year he in his last public address said:“. . . I am almost convinced that it would be a good thing if the administrative officers of the university, certainly the president, were compelled to take a leave of absence once every fife years. Their strength would be renewed and they would have ample opportunity, free from the restraints and responsibilities of office, to read, to reflect on education, and to visit other educational institutions . . .”Here were give voice to his thinking in the full faith that the works of men who are really builders are the reflection of their thinking.This booklet is also a memorial tribute that he would not deny us the right to pay to him and the work he did as an educator. His labors at Minnesota were so conceived and so carried on that they have a significance beyond the boundaries of the state and beyond the days of their doing.It is with profound appreciation of the importance of the contributions that Lotus Delta Coffman made to the University of Minnesota, and with deep admiration for the extent of his influence, that the Regents of the University of Minnesota issue Freedom Through Education as a tribute to him.Guy Stanton Ford,President

From Black Power to Black Studies Cover

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From Black Power to Black Studies

How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline

Fabio Rojas

The black power movement helped redefine African Americans' identity and establish a new racial consciousness in the 1960s. As an influential political force, this movement in turn spawned the academic discipline known as Black Studies. Today there are more than a hundred Black Studies degree programs in the United States, many of them located in America’s elite research institutions. In From Black Power to Black Studies, Fabio Rojas explores how this radical social movement evolved into a recognized academic discipline. Rojas traces the evolution of Black Studies over more than three decades, beginning with its origins in black nationalist politics. His account includes the 1968 Third World Strike at San Francisco State College, the Ford Foundation’s attempts to shape the field, and a description of Black Studies programs at various American universities. His statistical analyses of protest data illuminate how violent and nonviolent protests influenced the establishment of Black Studies programs. Integrating personal interviews and newly discovered archival material, Rojas documents how social activism can bring about organizational change. Shedding light on the black power movement, Black Studies programs, and American higher education, this historical analysis reveals how radical politics are assimilated into the university system.

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The Future of Baptist Higher Education

Donald Schmeltekopf and Dianna M. Vitanza, editors

The Future of Baptist Higher Education investigates four key issues that inform Baptist efforts at higher education: the denominational conflict that has afflicted Baptists since the 1980s, the secularization of higher education in America, the dominance of the market-driven tendencies in American higher education today, and the meaning of Christian higher education, but more specifically, the meaning of Baptist higher education. This volume clearly illustrates that the meaning of Baptist and Christian higher education, as with the Christian life itself, is far more complex than any one imperial interpretation.

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The Game of Life

College Sports and Educational Values

James L. Shulman

The President of Williams College faces a firestorm for not allowing the women's lacrosse team to postpone exams to attend the playoffs. The University of Michigan loses $2.8 million on athletics despite averaging 110,000 fans at each home football game. Schools across the country struggle with the tradeoffs involved with recruiting athletes and updating facilities for dozens of varsity sports. Does increasing intensification of college sports support or detract from higher education's core mission?

James Shulman and William Bowen introduce facts into a terrain overrun by emotions and enduring myths. Using the same database that informed The Shape of the River, the authors analyze data on 90,000 students who attended thirty selective colleges and universities in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1990s. Drawing also on historical research and new information on giving and spending, the authors demonstrate how athletics influence the class composition and campus ethos of selective schools, as well as the messages that these institutions send to prospective students, their parents, and society at large.

Shulman and Bowen show that athletic programs raise even more difficult questions of educational policy for small private colleges and highly selective universities than they do for big-time scholarship-granting schools. They discover that today's athletes, more so than their predecessors, enter college less academically well-prepared and with different goals and values than their classmates--differences that lead to different lives. They reveal that gender equity efforts have wrought large, sometimes unanticipated changes. And they show that the alumni appetite for winning teams is not--as schools often assume--insatiable. If a culprit emerges, it is the unquestioned spread of a changed athletic culture through the emulation of highly publicized teams by low-profile sports, of men's programs by women's, and of athletic powerhouses by small colleges.

Shulman and Bowen celebrate the benefits of collegiate sports, while identifying the subtle ways in which athletic intensification can pull even prestigious institutions from their missions. By examining how athletes and other graduates view The Game of Life--and how colleges shape society's view of what its rules should be--Bowen and Shulman go far beyond sports. They tell us about higher education today: the ways in which colleges set policies, reinforce or neglect their core mission, and send signals about what matters.

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Gap Year

How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs

Joseph O'Shea

With some of the most prestigious universities in America now urging students to defer admissions so they can experience the world, the idea of the gap year has taken hold in America. Since its development in Britain nearly fifty years ago, taking time off between secondary school and college has allowed students the opportunity to travel, develop crucial life skills, and grow up, all while doing volunteer work in much needed parts of the developing world. Until now, there has been no systematic study of how the gap year helps students develop as young scholars and citizens. Joseph O’Shea has produced the first empirically based analysis of how the gap year influences student development. He also establishes a context for better understanding this personal development and suggests concrete ways universities and educators can develop effective gap year programs.

Gendered Futures in Higher Education Cover

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Gendered Futures in Higher Education

Critical Perspectives for Change

This volume addresses the ways in which gender takes shape in and is shaped by higher education environments. Focusing on historical knowledge and contemporary experience, the contributors identify several key gender issues affecting students, faculty, and leaders in higher education. They examine such diverse topics as what lessons women’s colleges have to offer, violence on campus, women faculty and part-time employment, and intersecting identities of race and gender, and they apply critical perspectives to suggest needed change. While they may not agree on the necessary strategies to improve higher education environments, they do agree that those environments are currently deeply and problematically gendered.

Genuine Intellectuals. Academic and Social Responsibilities of Universities in Africa Cover

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Genuine Intellectuals. Academic and Social Responsibilities of Universities in Africa

Academic and Social Responsibilities of Universities in Africa

This book, slim as it looks, took Bernard Nsokika Fonlon the best part of five laborious years to write 1965-9 inclusive. He writes: "I was penning away as students in France were up in arms against the academic Establishment, and their fury almost toppled a powerful, prestigious, political giant like General de Gaulle. In America students, arms in hand, besieged and stormed the buildings of the University Administration, others blew up lecture halls in Canada - the student revolt, a very saeva indignatio, was in paroxysm. But in England (save in the London School of Economics where students rioted for the lame reason that the College gate looked like that of a jail-house) all was calm..." Fonlon drew on these events to define the role of university education in this precious treasure of a book, which he dedicates to every African freshman and freshwoman. The book details his reflections and vision on the scientific and philosophical Nature, End and Purpose of university studies. He calls on African students to harness the Scientific Method in their quest for Truth, and to put the specialised knowledge they acquire to the benefit of the commonwealth first, then, to themselves. To do this effectively, universities must jealously protect academic freedom from all non-academic interferences. For any university that does not teach a student to think critically and in total freedom has taught him or her nothing of genuine worth. Universities are and must remain sacred places and spaces for the forging of genuine intellectuals imbued with skills and zeal to assume and promote social responsibilities with self abnegation.

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