A leading educational thinker argues that the American university is stuck in the past -- and shows how we can revolutionize it for our era of constant change
Our current system of higher education dates to the period from 1865 to 1925. It was in those decades that the nation's new universities created grades and departments, majors and minors, all in an attempt to prepare young people for a world transformed by the telegraph and the Model T.
As Cathy N. Davidson argues in The New Education, this approach to education is wholly unsuited to the era of the gig economy. From the Ivy League to community colleges, she introduces us to innovators who are remaking college for our own time by emphasizing student-centered learning that values creativity in the face of change above all. The New Education ultimately shows how we can teach students not only to survive but to thrive amid the challenges to come.
About the Author
Cathy N. Davidson directs the Futures Initiative at CUNY. She is the author of many books, including Now You See It, and has written for the Wall Street Journal and Fast Company, among others. Davidson lives in New York, NY.
"The New Education" is an inspiring, well-researched, and compellingly written manifesto for a revolution in learning and teaching. It is a book for everyone who wants to understand why and how universities need to be reimagined for the twenty-first century--those who have been 'educated' and those who aspire to be. It is the most important book I have read in many years."—Tony Wagner, Harvard University i-lab expert in residence and author of The Global Achievement Gap and Creating Innovators
"Davidson is one of the most thoughtful voices from within academia calling for a more student-centered university. The New Education is a welcome collection of stories detailing how professors, administrators and students are designing paths through higher education that are relevant to our changing culture and society... At her best, Davidson writes in the tradition of Du Bois and Dewey, a pragmatist tradition that puts inquiry first and sees learning through the potential of the full, complex human beings students can become."—Washington Post
"Davidson argues persuasively that student-centered, active learning can transform classrooms and even online courses... [her] enthusiasm and her examples should inspire creativity from a lot more college teachers."—New York Times Book Review
"An engaging, anecdotal, wide-ranging look at educational innovation... a persuasive plea for creative learning."—Kirkus Reviews
"The fact that Davidson is able to bridge her narrative on the history and future of higher education across a popular and academic audience is a testimony to her skills as a scholar, an educator, and a writer. Davidson knows her stuff, has something to say, and has clearly worked very hard in crafting a book that should be discussed by everyone who cares about higher education... Powerfully argued, beautifully written, and doggedly grounded in research and examples."—Technology & Learning, Inside Higher Education
"The New Education compels us to equip our students with creative new tactics for navigating the volatile present. Grounded in a deep understanding of both historical and current crises in education, Davidson challenges us to reinvigorate and reconsider our approach to reform."—Danah Boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
"The New Education takes a good hard look at the old education, and finds it sorely wanting. Are colleges and universities failing an entire generation of young people? Yes, argues Cathy N. Davidson, a renowned literary scholar and a leader in higher education reform. This is an important and illuminating book whose argument is driven by a deep knowledge of the past and an even deeper commitment to the future."—Jill Lepore, David Woods Kemper '42 Professor of American History, Harvard University
"The New Education offers valuable reflections on ways educators can reexamine approaches to preparing young women and men for a rapidly evolving modern world. Grounded in decades of classroom experience and scholarly inquiry, Cathy N. Davidson makes a compelling case for educators to interrogate traditional structures in higher education, and help students seek, in her words, 'a sustained and productive life.'"—John J. DeGioia, president Georgetown University
"Cathy N. Davidson offers us an inspiring and lucid explanation of how we got the educational system we have and how to build the one our students and our country needs and deserves. A must-read for those interested in higher education."—Diana Taylor, president, Modern Language Association, and university professor, New York University