The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning

The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning

The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning

The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning

Synopsis

"Americans can't get a good education for love or money. So argues Stanley Aronowitz in this look at the structure and curriculum of higher education. Universities have made bottom-line management, fund-raising, and private partnerships with corporations priorities over their obligations to educate students. And as Aronowitz clearly shows, when universities do get around to the task of teaching, they approach students as customers who need credentials." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Although I have been accused of being chronically gregarious, I have always loved learning new things, an activity that periodically takes me away from the social world and into books, articles, and libraries. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to discover some idea that knocks me on my rear end. But in the course of a fairly long life, I am occasionally at pains to remind myself to be cautious about rejecting the "new," particularly when it challenges what I have taken for granted. The more violent my response, the more certain I am that eventually I will embrace the strange and often despised idea(s), at least for a time. For this reason I have tended to be suspicious of received wisdom. Perhaps this is the reason I have never trusted institutionalized knowledge.

I come to write this book out of personal engagement, not alone as a result of the intellectual curiosity that sometimes inspires in me dispassionate inquiry. I teach sociology and cultural studies, but I have also found time to try various types of educational innovation, both within the system of public secondary and higher education and outside of it. From 1970 to 1972, I was a planner and director of the first experimental New York City public high school in the post—World War Two era. By May 1999, I had completed more than twenty-six years as a teacher in four American institutions of postsecondary education—a community college, a leading public research university, an Ivy League school, and finally the graduate school of the largest urban university in the country. But, I must confess that although I am in the academy, I am not of the academy. Like many who have completed various stages of their education, I was never sure why I was there. My unorthodox professorial career began in 1972 when I was appointed assistant professor in the experimental school of Staten Island Community College. I was thirty-nine years old and possessed only a bachelor's degree from the New School, a credential I obtained in circumstances virtually unimaginable today.

Until I graduated high school, the most memorable experience of my schooling was in the sixth grade under the tutelage of Dr. Helen Harris, whose degree was in languages. Later, my mother told me PS in the Bronx had been designated a "progressive" experiment by the Board of Education. The experiment consisted in a transdisciplinary curriculum in which, excepting math, all of our subjects were integrated. We learned something of the geography, culture, and history of Italy, Mexico, and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.