ERIC Number: EJ1180140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr-3
Academic Disciplines: Synthesis or Demise?
New England Journal of Higher Education, Apr 2018
Author George McCully, historian, former professor, and faculty dean at higher education institutions in the Northeast, begins this article by discussing an article he wrote 45 years ago for the "Journal of Higher Education" entitled "Multiversity and University." It contrasted the two models of scholarship, and maintained that, whereas multiversity academic disciplines are each internally rigorous as scholarship, taken together as a putative whole, the multiversity had never been defended as scholarship and could not be so defended, because it is not scholarship. McCully concluded that the disciplines arose and came together by historical accidents, not by intentional, systematic, scholarly or philosophical design. He stated in the article that Multiversity and University arose in the early modern period of Western history--the 15th to 18th centuries, with the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, Absolutism and Enlightenment and calls it the first "Age of Paradigm Shifts" in every field, significantly driven by Gutenberg's IT revolution in printing. While the article's fundamental critique raised no noticeable dust 45 years ago, McCully asserts that because his claims still ring true, it should not be surprising that again today we are compelled to return to the subject by a new set of historical circumstances and trends in this second Age of Paradigm Shifts, also propelled by an IT revolution, driven this time by computers and the internet. McCully recaps the history of how and why the tradition of university or universal learning has been superseded. He analyzes the increasingly dysfunctional business model of higher education today. He also names and discusses the six powerful factors that he sees as fundamentally challenging today's multiversity structure of academic scholarship.
Descriptors: Intellectual Disciplines, Higher Education, Scholarship, Educational History, Universities, Educational Change, Educational Trends, Information Technology, Computer Uses in Education, Internet, Educational Development, Data Collection, Educational Researchers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A