Having spent more than two decades as a university professor of mathematics, I would say there is a great deal of truth in the notion that Dewey's philosophy has been severely undermined in many, if not most, colleges.
Why? A big question, but several main reasons:
1) The high schools are graduating students who expect training, not education.
2) Most high school teachers are not themselves well educated. [I speak of mathematics.]
3) Politicians want to please a largely ignorant populace, who want an inexpensive public college education for their children.
4) The PhD glut has weakened the professoriate.
Robert H. Lewis Fordham University
--- On Sat, 5/26/12, Richard Hake <email@example.com> wrote:
> From: Richard Hake <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Subject: [math-learn] U.S. Colleges Put Low Priority on Student Learning > To: email@example.com > Date: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 3:09 PM > Some subscribers to Math-Learn might > be interested in a recent > discussion-list post"U.S. Colleges Put Low Priority on > Student > Learning." > > Q. What this got to do with Math-Learn , which is primarily > > interested in middle-school education? > > A. Most middle-school teachers are products of colleges and > teach the > way they have been taught. > > The abstract reads: > > ********************************************** > ABSTRACT: Norman Stahl of the LrnAsst-L list pointed to > Julie Mack's > report <http://bit.ly/Jy1RT9> "U.S. colleges put low > priority on > student learning, say authors of 'We're Losing Our > Minds'." Mack > writes that Richard Hersh, co-author with Richard Keeling of > "We're > Losing Our Minds" <http://bit.ly/IOE8wU> commented at a > recent > Educational Writers Association convention: "Higher > education really > needs to question its priorities, rewards, structures, > principles and > values. Learning itself must become a primary touchstone for > > decision-making." > > Among other recent books critical of higher education are: > (a) > "Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and > Failing > Our Kids - and What We Can Do About It" (Hacker & > Dreifus, 2010) > <http://amzn.to/bunggt>; (b) "Academically Adrift: > Limited Learning > on College Campuses" (Arum & Roksa, 2011) <http://bit.ly/gPYBHj>, and > (c) "College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be" (Delbanco, > 2012) > <http://bit.ly/LzpMny>. > > Richard Wolin <http://bit.ly/LO1EAC>, in his > insightful review > <http://bit.ly/KMwcOb> of Delbanco's book, has this > to say about the > current state of higher education: > > "America's most prominent philosopher of democracy, John > Dewey, > devoted a considerable portion of his oeuvre to reflecting > on the > methods and goals of public education. . . . . In his view, > the > pedagogical key to cultivating the virtues of active > citizenship lay > with the antiauthoritarian, dialogic approach of the > Socratic method: > Dewey believed that democratic education, instead of > acquiescing to > the mind-numbing requirements of rote instruction, should > focus on > honing critical thinking, thereby nurturing autonomy. . . . > . > ..although contemporary educators might agree about the > indispensable > value of liberal learning, if directly challenged to define > its > content and purport, they become stricken with paralysis. . > . . THE > END RESULT HAS BEEN THE CONFUSED INTELLECTUAL SMORGASBORD > THAT > DEFINES UNDERGRADUATE STUDY TODAY. . .[My CAPS]. . . > Regrettably, one > of the major casualties of the restructuring of > undergraduate > education along vocational and pre-professional lines has > been > Dewey's ideal of liberal study as training for democratic > citizenship." > ********************************************** > > To access the complete 19 kB post please click on <http://bit.ly/KU0UEy>. > > Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana > University > <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Links to Articles: <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0> > Links to SDI Labs: <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M> > Blog: <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh> > Academia: <http://iub.academia.edu/RichardHake> > Twitter <https://twitter.com/#!/rrhake> > > "The academic area is one of the most difficult areas to > change in > our society. We continue to use the same methods of > instruction, > particularly lectures, that have been used for hundreds of > years. > Little scientific research is done to test new approaches, > and little > systematic attention is given to the development of new > methods. > Universities that study many aspects of the world ignore the > > educational function in which they are engaging and from > which a > large part of their revenues are earned." > - Richard M. Cyert, former president of Carnegie Mellon > University, > quoted in Tuma & Reif (1980): > > REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <http://bit.ly/> > and accessed on > 26 May 2012.] > Hake, R.R. 2012. "U.S. Colleges Put Low Priority on Student > > Learning," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at > <http://bit.ly/KU0UEy>. Post of 25 May 2012 > 16:57:20-0700 to AERA-L > and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are > also > being transmitted to several discussion lists and are on my > blog > "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/LBZX6l> with a provision > for > comments. > > Tuma, D.T. & F. Reif, eds. 1980. "Problem Solving and > Education: > Issues in Teaching and Research," Lawrence Erlbaum. > Amazon.com > information at <http://amzn.to/jcAK2d> > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed] > > > > ------------------------------------ > > Yahoo! Groups Links > > > email@example.com > >