The Reforming of General Education: The Columbia Experience in Its National Setting

The Reforming of General Education: The Columbia Experience in Its National Setting

by Daniel Bell
     
 

This comprehensive examination of general education by Daniel Bell scrutinizes the experiences of Columbia College, Harvard, and The College of the University of Chicago. These three basic models of general education in the country are set against a background of social change which includes a detailed analysis of structural changes in American society, the

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Overview

This comprehensive examination of general education by Daniel Bell scrutinizes the experiences of Columbia College, Harvard, and The College of the University of Chicago. These three basic models of general education in the country are set against a background of social change which includes a detailed analysis of structural changes in American society, the universities and the secondary schools and what Bell has called the emerging "postindustrial" society.

Bell attacks the distinction between general education and specialism. He holds that one must embody and exemplify general education through disciplines and extend the context of specialism by setting it within the methodological grounds of knowledge. The common link between the two is the emphasis on conceptual inquiry. By emphasizing modes of conceptualization—"how one knows, rather than what one knows"—Bell insists that colleges can have a new, vivifying function between the pressures of the secondary and graduate schools.

In his proposals for a new curriculum, Bell sets forth a scheme that imagines the first year as an acquisition of necessary historical and humanistic knowledge, the next two years as training in a discipline, and the last year, "the third-tier"—the most radical innovation—as a new kind of general education course which would "brake" specialization and apply disciplined knowledge to broad intellectual and policy questions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an eloquent, thoughtful, and thought-provoking book and succeeds admirably in describing the university in its present socio-political setting.” –Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists “It remains the deepest, most thoughfult work that I have ever read on that difficult and impossible subject.” –Derek Bok, former President of Harvard University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412811132
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
12/29/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
346
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Bell (1919-2011) was professor emeritus of sociology at Harvard University and is best known for his work and contributions to post-industrialism. He had been editor of the publications The New Leader, Fortune, and The Public Interest. He is the author of The End of Ideology, The Winding Passage: Sociological Essays and Journeys, and The Social Sciences since the Second World War. Daniel Bell (1919-2011) was professor emeritus of sociology at Harvard University and is best known for his work and contributions to post-industrialism. He had been editor of the publications The New Leader, Fortune, and The Public Interest. He is the author of The End of Ideology, The Winding Passage: Sociological Essays and Journeys, and The Social Sciences since the Second World War. David B. Truman was dean and provost/vice president of Columbia College. He is the author of The Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion and The American Assembly, the Congress and America’s Future.

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