Bernard Bull on eTale blog provides the list of books which challenged him with conflicting viewpoints. The list includes
Arum, R., & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically adrift: Limited learning on college campuses. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
What are undergraduates learning in college? This book points to research indicating that the answer may well be “not much.”
Kirp, D. L. (2003). Shakespeare, Einstein, and the bottom line: The marketing of higher education. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Almost a decade old, I contend that the ideas in this book are more relevant today than they were when the book was first published.
The 15 books
Brian M Lucey critiques an article in the Irish Times about education and academic research practices in Ireland, reflecting that students as consumers and the notion of value chains are outdated.
The notion of students as a consumer is a flawed metaphor : it is at best incomplete as the ‘consumption’ of higher education gives utility for decades. Asking students partway through their degree to critically evaluate its benefits is akin to asking someone if they enjoyed their meal after the bread rolls have arrived. There are much much richer metaphors for education : the one we like is that of an orchestra, where together the students and lecturers co-create a work which reverberates then and later. The world of music is full of examples where new work is rapturously approved on first iteration but thereafter is seen as shallow, derivative, and falls into disuse. It is also full of slow burners where audiences and critics react with a ‘huh’ or worse a “WHAT” but over time the beauty and utility of the work is seen by the community. Note that in either case the orchestra etc needs to be technically proficient and willing to work hard and the conductor know where they all are going…