Higher education is being deeply challenged by the coronavirus. The immediate threats of the coronavirus come at the heels of an existing panoply of problems that already threaten higher education as we know it. These include, of course, the looming enrollment crisis, the high cost of higher education, intractable student debt, the corporatization of education, limited learning on campus, and a general loss of faith in higher education among many sectors of the nation. How are colleges and universities to respond to these challenges? This paper calls upon colleges and universities to consider the need for structural transformation in order to adapt to the multiple crises facing higher education. Toward this end, using the coronavirus crisis as a point of entry, I propose a model of transformative problem-solving to support the dynamic adaptation of higher education. The model calls for deep reflexivity about basic assumptions, goals, values and practices that structure teaching and learning in the academy, and proposes ways to evaluate and transform complex and entrenched institutional systems in a time of extended crisis. I illustrate the approach with a description of how a single college program is preparing for structural changes brought forth by the coronavirus. Turning attention to the broader crises facing the academy, I call for a need to reflect upon, rethink and consider the fate of goals, values and practices have been long been considered sacred in higher education.
Mascolo, M. (2020). Transforming Higher Education: Responding to the Coronavirus and other looming crises. Pedagogy and the Human Sciences, 7 (1). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.merrimack.edu/phs/vol7/iss1/2
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