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ERIC Number: ED271167
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of the Community College.
Oromaner, Mark
The dichotomy between Insiders (for whom the community college sector provides a primary reference) and Outsiders (for whom organizations other than those within the community college world constitute a primary reference) provides a meaningful way of understanding claims about the role of the community college as an institution. Reactions of community college Insiders to the criticisms of Outsiders have been variously characterized as paranoid, suspicious, defensive, hostile, and emotional. These kinds of negative responses might be modified through a sociology of knowledge approach, which would highlight the differences in the education and work socialization experiences of community college Insiders and research university Outsiders. Each side's experiences suggest different questions and different foci of interest. Insiders point to the contributions the community college has made to the lives of students, while Outsiders are critical of its role in reproducing the American class structure. Insiders have a greater awareness of individual student mobility, while Outsiders look at group mobility and structural levels. Outcome measurements also differ, with Insiders pointing to employment rates and basic skills, and Outsiders focusing on graduation rates. To take advantage of the possibility of Insider/Outsider communication, a number of modifications in the academic reward/research/publication system may be necessary. These could include Insiders and Outsiders using one another as trusted assessors and informal collaborators, publishing in each other's journals, and inviting each other to join their editorial boards. Given the right conditions, Insiders and Outsiders will strive to prevent stagnation and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the community college. (EJV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A