ERIC Number: ED426746
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reform in American Public Higher Education.
Robles, Harriett J.
This paper provides an overview of higher education reform movements in the United States. While some of the 18th and 19th century reforms in the country are described, the emphasis is on the 20th century. Early in this period, the debate over general education and the need for a required core curriculum was central. McCarthyism influenced higher education in the early 1950s, as did the social unrest and personal development movements of the 1960s. The economic downturn of the 1970s resulted in consolidation of the system, faculty unionization, and a concern over equity issues. Students became increasingly interested in career-oriented studies. The 1980s were a decade of reform. "A Nation at Risk," released in 1983, inspired the formation of blue-ribbon commissions in 33 states to examine educational policies. States became increasingly interested in accountability and student outcomes, and less concerned about equity and access. In the 1990s, five areas have been the target of debates: (1) educational purpose-the importance of vocational training and specialization; (2) diversity of learners-the debate between elitism and egalitarianism; (3) content-the increasing influence of external constituents on curriculum; (4) instructional process-the influence of technology; and (5) evaluation-the call for accountability. Contains 29 references. (CAK)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A