ERIC Number: EJ914140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 11
Democratizing Academic Professionalism Inside and Out
Dzur, Albert W.
New Directions for Higher Education, n152 p75-82 Win 2010
American higher education is afflicted by a condition of successful failure. In terms of academic knowledge production, America's colleges and universities are success stories, yet there is a disturbing neglect of the civic life eroding all around Americans. At a time of widespread public distrust of politics, institutions, and officials, a time of wicked policy problems such as overincarceration, costly health care, ineffective kindergarten through twelfth-grade education, and environmental endangerment, colleges and universities offer complacent gestures such as service-learning and civic engagement courses. They have failed more fundamentally to align organizational resources to what must be the next great academic mission: restoring American democracy. In this chapter, the author prescribes a general course of treatment for the underlying disorder: the currently inadequate connection between the culture of academic professionalism and the culture of lay citizen participation. The author's diagnosis and treatment plan involve a complicated combination of greater self-consciousness and a more explicitly democratic commitment on and off campus. First, one needs to be sober about the hidden curriculum--the technocratic administrative cultures, ineffectual institutional governance habits, and social distance between faculty and students that prevent the university from modeling a democratic way of life. Second, one should advocate university-facilitated democratic work off campus that is non-condescending, politically efficacious, yet also congruent with the university's socially unique function as a place where traditions of inquiry and creative achievement are studied, revered, and challenged.
Descriptors: Hidden Curriculum, Democracy, Citizen Participation, Academic Achievement, Governance, College Faculty, Higher Education, College Students, Teacher Student Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A