Cover image for Education without compromise : from chaos to coherence in higher education
Education without compromise : from chaos to coherence in higher education
Schaefer, William D. (William David)
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, 1990.
Physical Description:
xx, 155 pages ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
LA227.3 .S32 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Undergraduate programmes in colleges and universities are confused tangles of unrelated and specialized electives. Courses aimed at career preparation far outnumber those emphasizing intellectual development. As a result, our graduates are not prepared to enter a workplace where ability to change and flexibility to adapt are facts of life, nor can they become fully contributing members of a rapidly changing society. Drawing on his experience as a professor, chief academic officer, and association leader, Schaefer exposes the problems that cut across all of academia, such as student consumerism, overspecialization of disciplines, and a system that rewards esoteric publishing over good teaching. He suggests specific changes that must take place if the education of the young is to be really effective.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

According to the author, an English professoor at UCLA, an overlooked problem of contemporary education is ``mindlessly mixed vocational and educational courses without continuity or coherence or anything approaching a consensus as to what really should constitute an education.'' Calling for rediscovery of traditional academic disciplines at all levels, particularly in institutions of higher learning, he focuses on the need for definition of the ingredients and parameters of liberal education in our age of exploding knowledge. This is an intelligent, sobering examination of his milieu by a teacher who believes that student consumerism and inefficient teaching are the betes noires of the contemporary campus. In an easy-to-read narrative with personal and historical references, Schaefer speaks to all who are concerned about the education of our youth. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Another critique of what passes today for higher education in the US. If one is familiar with Bloom, Bennett, and Cheney, not much here is original. Perhaps an original perception is Schaefer's claim that the undergraduate curriculum is in disarray because colleges have failed in their attempt to simultaneously combine an academic education with career training. On more familiar ground, the author attacks the faculty culture of publish-or-perish, the over specialization of this research and its negative effect on undergraduate instruction, the decline in the art of teaching writing and foreign languages, etc. Drawing on his experience at University of California, Los Angeles, Schaefer calls for major revisions in educational requirements that would mandate all undergraduates take three two-year sequences--one dealing with science and technology, one with the social sciences, and one with the arts and humanities. Although this slim volume treads familiar ground, it adds a sane voice to the debate about higher education as it approaches the 21st century. A useful bibliography. Graduate students and general readers. -L. S. Zwerling, New York University