ERIC Number: EJ990500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep-30
Reference Count: N/A
The Multi-Track Ph.D.
Chronicle of Higher Education, Sep 2012
The crisis in humanities graduate education is coming to an end. But academic jobs are still few and far between, and graduate education remains on shaky ground both institutionally and socially. Nevertheless, two generations of "crisis thinking" are finally giving way to the idea that graduate education is not in a crisis. Instead, it is confronting a new normal, and it has to adjust accordingly. The most recent sign of collective awakening is a white paper titled "The Future of the Humanities Ph.D. at Stanford." Written by Russell Berman, a professor of German studies and comparative literature (and immediate past president of the Modern Language Association) together with five other Stanford faculty members, the document presents the latest and best proposal for more-flexible doctoral instruction, with different tracks aimed at different career goals. In this article, the author argues that one should take a long look at Stanford's proposal to rethink the humanities doctorate. He discusses one model for alternative paths to the Ph.D. that involves dividing "scholars" from "teachers" by granting them separate versions of the doctorate. Balancing the practical appeal of dual Ph.D. tracks is the model's heavy reliance on binary thinking--the "us" and "them" problem.
Descriptors: Graduate Study, Humanities, Doctoral Programs, Doctoral Dissertations, Educational Change, Time to Degree, Track System (Education)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California