Habits of Mind: Fostering Access and Excellence in Higher Education

Transaction Publishers - 249 Seiten

"...a compelling synthesis that clears away much of the intellectual clutter in strategic planning and offers a creative, if somewhat elitist, theory that fuses the strengths of the university with the context and challenges of the 21st century."--Choice

Habits of Mind maintains that the fact that almost everyone now goes to college need not be seen as an obstacle to excellence in education. Some critics have insisted that college is not for everyone, but William B. Allen and Carol Allen assert that the college diploma has rightly become as much the norm in this century as the high school diploma was during the twentieth century. Accordingly, it is essential that higher education remains true to its deepest purpose: the cultivation of proficient humanity. The authors see the key to this goal as the development of judgment, or "habits of mind." Habits of mind are far and away the most influential determinants of human conduct, and nowhere are they more profoundly shaped than in institutions of higher education. Furthermore, liberal education has proven most effective in this undertaking.

The authors elaborate on the purpose of higher education and identify the chief obstacles to achieving its aim. They demonstrate the critical role of academic leaders in achieving the aim of higher education and posit that excellence in judgment is the primary characteristic of the academic leaders who fulfill this role. They examine three aspects of access to higher education: academic readiness, the cost and funding of higher education, and the capacity of the physical plant. Finally, they use policies developed in Virginia to demonstrate realistic approaches to achieving the aims of access and quality discussed throughout the book.

The authors draw on their years of experience as practitioners in both private and public institutions, liberal arts colleges, and research universities to develop their material. This volume will be of interest to faculty and students in higher education programs, nation and state public policymakers, legislative and academic leaders, and a general public concerned about the cost and value of a college education.

William B. Allen is professor of political science and director of the program in public policy and administration at Michigan State University. He is author of The Federalist Papers: A Commentary and Let the Advice be Good: A Defense of Madison's Democratic Nationalism.

Carol M. Allen is a research specialist in the Department of Political Science, Michigan State University and a free-lance editor. She has published articles on literacy, cooperative collection development, and library systems implementation.

"The goal of higher education as described by Allen and Allen is based on a curriculum of study for a proficient humanity characterized by excellence in judgement.... The authors have presented a refreshing treatise on the values of education, respect for working toward a more civilized society, acknowledgement of human diginity and the need for more moral and fair treatment within our society. Higher education is positioned to contribute to these lofty ideals and is described very well in this book."--Alton L. Taylor, University of Virginia

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Ausgewählte Seiten


An Idea of the University
Excellence in Judgment
Access to Higher Education
Evaluating Higher Education Waiting for Change
Managing Higher Education Lessons from Virginia
Epilogue The Rhetoric of Higher Education

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Seite 196 - For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every man according to his several ability ; and straightway took his journey.
Seite 204 - The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire.
Seite 206 - ... avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear.
Seite 50 - ... the man who has learned to think and to reason and to compare and to discriminate and to analyze, who has refined his taste, and formed his judgment, and sharpened his mental vision, will not indeed at once be a lawyer, or a pleader, or an orator, or a statesman, or a physician, or a good landlord, or a man of business, or a soldier, or an engineer, or a chemist, or a geologist, or an antiquarian, but he will be placed in that state of intellect in which he can take up any one of the sciences...
Seite 210 - Juvenal period of life, when friendships are formed, and habits established, that will stick by one ; the youth or young men from different parts of the United States would be assembled together, and would by degrees discover that there was not that cause for those jealousies and prejudices which one part of the Union had imbibed against another part : — of course, sentiments of more liberality in the general policy of the country would result from it.
Seite 63 - ... to form the statesmen, legislators and judges, on whom public prosperity, and individual happiness are so much to depend: To expound the principles and structure of government, the laws which regulate the intercourse of nations, those formed municipally for our own government, and a sound spirit of legislation...
Seite 150 - To me it appears no unjust simile to compare the affairs of this great continent to the mechanism of a clock, each state representing some one or other of the...
Seite 196 - And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one ; to every man according to his several ability ; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

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