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ERIC Number: EJ830067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan-23
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Wake Up and Smell the New Epistemology
Clydesdale, Tim
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n20 pB7 Jan 2009
For decades, professors and administrators espoused notions like "knowledge for knowledge's sake" and "the transformative power of the liberal arts," paying little heed as the American populace shifted from widespread respect for the academy to considerable skepticism of it. Today's students occupy the leading edge of that popular shift, with little interest in perceived elitist notions that professors and administrators appear to readily consume. While students often report satisfaction with their institution and its faculty, after interviewing some 400 students on 34 campuses nationwide, the author found few in awe of their institutions or faculty, many averse to lectures, and most ambivalent about anyone's knowledge claims other than their own. Short of fame or a lottery win, today's students recognize that a college degree is the minimum credential they will need to attain their desired standard of living (and hence "happiness"). So this new epistemology produces a student who appears polite and dutiful, but cares little about course work, the larger questions it raises, or the value of living an examined life. The author offers suggestions on what professors can do to reverse this tide of skepticism among students.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Social Survey