John Brewer, Eli and Edith Broad Professor of the Humanities emeritus, California Institute of Technology, and Associate at Harvard University Department of History
Cristiano Casalini, Associate Professor and Endowed Chair in Jesuit Pedagogy and Educational History and a Research Scholar with the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College
Anja-Silvia Goeing, Associate at Harvard University/Professor at University of Zurich, Early Modern History and History of Education.
Philipp Gonon, Professor of Vocational Education, Head of Department, Institute of Education, University of Zurich.
Myles Jackson, Professor of History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ.
Lynda Pickbourn, Assistant Professor of Economics and Chair, Five College African Studies Council, School of Critical Social Inquiry, Hampshire College
Travis E. Ross, PhD; Yale University, Department of History
Julie Reuben, Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education, Harvard University, Graduate School for Education
Manja Klemenčič, Lecturer in Sociology, Harvard University
Organizer: Anja-Silvia Goeing
What is or should be the relationship between a democratic polity and its educational institutions and places of higher learning? Contemporary discussions of curricula place great stress on utility, on the value of learning skills as they apply not just to the employability of students, but to the economic and political well-being of a state or nation. Older, more humanist notions of education as a process of self-fulfillment, of making a better moral person, have been challenged by such technocratic ideals and are often seen as outmoded. At the same time the question of what values inform democratic education raises the issue of who decides on what should be studied and how. How much autonomy should educators have, and to what extent should funders – whether the state and politicians, grant giving agencies, private gift-givers and donors or voters and ‘the public’, however defined – affect or influence university policy, academic curricula or research objectives. There is a tension at the heart of this issue, one between the public good of material well-being and the democratic value of free critical thinking, one that raises the question of how independent and autonomous educational institutions should or can be in a democratic society.
The roundtable brings together experts in higher education researching US-American, British, and Swiss ways and goals of broadening the range of institutions of higher education in recent years. They will discuss different forms of government involvement, sponsorship, and the value of developing non-traditional and applied course and degree offerings in higher education.
More information and questions: agoeing (at) fas.harvard.edu