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Topic: Re: How Universities Can Help to Create a Wiser World: Response to
Schremmer

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GS Chandy

Posts: 7,057
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: How Universities Can Help to Create a Wiser World: Response to
Schremmer

Posted: Jan 16, 2014 6:15 AM
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Responding to Richard Hake's post dt. Jan 10, 2014 10:35 AM, http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2615080 (pasted below my signature for ready reference):

(I've read a fair number - not all, by any means - of the references and linkages provided at Professor Hake's post and at others referred therein).

Not only do I agree wholeheartedly that "Univerities can help to create a 'wiser' world" - but I claim, further, that:

Universities MUST take the lead role in moving our societal systems towards a wiser (and hopefully, better) world.

If the universities do NOT *effectively* take up this lead role, then Alain Schremmer's claim that "the the show is pretty much all over" will surely come about.

Thus far, universities have shown little ability or inclination to take up any such ambitious 'Mission'.

I also agree that "intellectual production and pedagogy" (should be regarded) as 'core missions' of higher education", as suggested in the Ginsberg reference.

However, it is also necessary that the educational system as a whole has to learn how to *integrate* whatever wisdom may be offered by other stakeholders (including the 'lowly' administrators!) In fact, the system needs to learn to do more, MUCH more: It has to learn how to *integrate* the wisdom (if any) available with ALL of its stakeholders - including students, parents - and even politicians!

There are simple practical 'system tools' available that can help stakeholders *integrate* their good ideas (which are available in plenty) - AND can help to throw out their bad ideas (which are also floating around all over in great profusion. We have, right here at Math-teach, seen a sizable number of good ideas - along with quite a few bad ideas. The difficulty lies in *integrating* the available ideas to develop effective Action Planning.

My post heading the thread "Democracy: how to achieve it?" (http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536) briefly describes practical tools that can help us accomplish the needed *integration* of worthy ideas.

I agree entirely with Ginsberg suggestion that Hake has quoted, as copied below.

>"In order to make progress towards a better world we need to learn how to do it. And for that we need institutions of learning rationally designed and devoted to helping us solve our global problems, make progress towards a better world. It is just this that we lack at present. Our universities pursue knowledge. They are neither designed nor devoted to helping humanity learn how to tackle global problems -- problems of living -- in more intelligent, humane and effective ways. That, this book argues, is the key disaster of our times, the crisis behind all the others: our failure to have developed our institutions of learning so that they are rationally organized to help us solve our problems of living -- above all, our global problems. Having universities devoted almost exclusively to the pursuit of knowledge is a recipe for disaster. Scientific knowledge and technological know-how have unquestionably brought great benefits to humanity. But they have also made possible -- ev!
en caused -- our current global crises, above all the impending crisis of global warming. In this lucid and provocative book, Nicholas Maxwell argues convincingly that WE NEED URGENTLY TO BRING ABOUT A REVOLUTION IN UNIVERSITIES ROUND THE WORLD SO THAT THEIR BASIC AIM BECOMES WISDOM, AND NOT JUST KNOWLEDGE. . . . . [Richard Hake's CAPS.]] . . . . . . ."

I have not read Nicholas Maxwell's "History of Philosophy of Science" (in which the above appears). However, I do suggest that the underlying issue is:

HOW to get all this done, in practice, on the ground?

I claim that the wise folk in 'academia' (including Professor Maxwell himself) have not yet discovered how to accomplish the above.

The answers to that could be developed by stakeholders in the education system, should they ever learn how to discuss such complex issues 'actionably' - learning how to *integrate* their good ideas AND get rid of their bad ideas.

GSC

Richard Hake posted Jan 10, 2014 10:35 AM (http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2615080):
> Some subscribers to Math-Teach might be interested in
> a post "Re: How Universities Can Help to Create a
> Wiser World: Response to Schremmer."
>
> The abstract reads:
>
> **********************************************
>
> ABSTRACT: In response to my post "How Universities
> Can Help to Create a Wiser World" at
> <http://bit.ly/1du3KNZ>, Alain Schremmer of the
> MathEdCC list wrote at <http://bit.ly/1lY8yzF>: ?I
> think that the show is pretty much all over. See
> "The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the
> All-Administrative University and Why It Matters."
> And it is not only universities. At my school,
> , Community College of Philadelphia, mutatis
> mutandis, things are exactly as described by
> Ginsberg."
>
> The reference is Ginsberg (2013) at
> t <http://amzn.to/K8KqxR>. The book description reads
> in part: "Until very recently, American universities
> were led mainly by their faculties, which viewed
> intellectual production and pedagogy as the core
> missions of higher education. Today, as Benjamin
> Ginsberg warns in this eye-opening, controversial
> book, 'deanlets'-- administrators and staffers often
> without serious academic backgrounds or experience --
> are setting the educational agenda."
>
> **********************************************
>
> To access the complete 53 kB post please click on
> n <http://bit.ly/K9oToO>. The abstract and link to
> the complete post are being transmitted to various
> discussion lists and are on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff"
> at <http://bit.ly/1dAnejR>.
>
>
>
> Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana
> University; LINKS TO: Academia
> <http://bit.ly/a8ixxm>; Articles
> <http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>; Blog <http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>;
> Facebook <http://on.fb.me/XI7EKm>; GooglePlus
> <http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE>; Google Scholar
> <http://bit.ly/Wz2FP3>; Linked In
> n <http://linkd.in/14uycpW>; Research Gate
> <http://bit.ly/1fJiSwB>; Socratic Dialogue Inducing
> (SDI) Labs <http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>; Twitter
> <http://bit.ly/juvd52>.




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