Citizenship and Higher Education: The Role of Universities by James Arthur, Karen Bohlin

By James Arthur, Karen Bohlin

What are the tasks of the collage to society and its groups? What are the virtues of college schooling? What are the university's moral obligations to its scholars? The position of citizenship and civic accountability in larger schooling is a hugely contested but an important component of any attention of the position of collage in society.This booklet bargains considerate insights into this position, outlining the highbrow and functional tensions and pressures which come to undergo upon better schooling associations. huge ranging in scope, it bargains views from British, ecu, Canadian and North American academic environments. Citizenship and better schooling will end up stimulating interpreting for someone fascinated about the ethics of schooling and the university's position in society - together with educationalists, researchers, sociologists and policy-makers.

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One of the early forms of government involvement was the recognition of degrees granted by certain universities, which gave them a monopoly position. Since government was, with the Church, the major employer of university graduates, this was a major but indirect form of support. 6 The autonomy of universities is, arguably, more in question today, now that most—in Europe at least—derive their financial support primarily from government. This has led a British historian to insist that ‘it has become necessary to reassert the medieval idea of liberties, to argue that Universities have their own independent sphere of judgement, in which the State should not meddle’7 Financial dependence did not develop overnight, of course; Nisbet traces the elaboration of a theory of academic freedom to the growing role of the German states in relation to their universities.

Jan De Groof and Paul Mahieu, De school komt tot haar recht, Leuven (Belgium): Garant, 1993, 28–29. GLENN Schools that do not rest upon such a shared sense of mission are blown about by every wind. It would be bad enough if government made one set of demands, the economy another, parents a third, and teachers had their own goals and ways of understanding their responsibilities. But it is worse than that, since government gives a divided and conflicting message, the economy (in its varied sectors) is constantly sending different signals about what it wants, and parents and teachers vary enormously in their ways of thinking about education.

It is not surprising that, by all accounts, the majority of this army of faculty members pursue no significant research interests beyond their often pro forma dissertations or the receipt of tenure and have only the most conventional opinions within their own fields. We must not exaggerate; there are of course tens of thousands of university faculty, in the United States as in Europe, who manage to combine lively intellectual pursuits with engaging and useful teaching—indeed, the latter is unlikely to be sustained for long with-out the former.

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