Marie Eaton, Fairhaven College & Western Washington University
The common structure of higher education socializes students to restate information, rather than synthesize new and creative knowledge. The mechanistic model of higher education is no longer suitable to prepare graduates for the world of work.
Change is necessary for a number of interrelated reasons:
- To accommodate societal demands for more practical, grounded educational outcomes and to be increasingly accountable for achieving these outcomes
- To address the range of learning styles and needs in today’s highly diverse student body
- To enhance learning
- To improve economic efficiency in an era of skyrocketing educational costs
- To make higher learning available to students in venues beyond the traditional campus
The new role of faculty members includes: Acting as designer of learning environments, rather than simply deliverer of information; working with students to develop and realize individual learning plans; conduct collaborative research with students; helping students become more reflective learners; and creating community-based partnerships.