tv Cathy Davidson The New Education CSPAN December 27, 2017 9:28pm-10:36pm EST
>> good evening everyone and welcome. i am the director of the research library and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the library we are pleased to have cathy davidson with us this evening, the author of the critically important book of the new education how to revolutionize the university to prepare students for a world in flux. the distinguished professor at the city university of new york at the director of the futures initiative program prior to joining the faculty sh she felt they shared a professorship at the vice president for
disciplinary studies at duke university. serving on the corporation the developer as you probably know on the firefox web browser and the underwriter of a community of open source developers appointed by president obama through the national council on the humanities and was the 2016 recipient of the award for significant contributions to higher education. all of that you probably know it in any case you can read it in the program should you wish to refresh your memory. it's important to understand as the grange and its measure, its consequence.
it has been emptied of meaning by frequent misuse speaking to my grandson about the robust trucks to turn to dinosaurs or when i'm refusing to take him to a michael bay movie come as close to religion as i get. [laughter] i note this bias to underscore the intensity of my admiration for the work when i described it as transformative. here i use the term in its literal sense writing the change is the way we think, ce and believe. work that alters the perception of the subject in a lasting and fundamental session. she is i would contend in the rich tradition of american pragmatism a cast of mine whose roots extend as emerson run through dewey and james in the
way of stephenson and what they have in common is a distrust of the settled belief truth for them is what happens to an idea and the dialectic driver in the process. certainly, the new education of the book falls within that rubric. it's a book that just resizes the current state of higher education. the landscape is the emerging plate of innovation and imagines a future ground di it in but if. but the descriptive resolution of the word for the rise of the novel and the field study in the way that only a small handful of books 36 years as an account of her experience and teaching in japan changed the way that we imagined the cross-cultural
encounters and mysteries and opportunities for self invention. closing the life and death of an american factory taught us to see the tragedy and the comments, both of the future thinking and now you see it in their very different ways change the way we think about how we lived, worked and learned in the digital age. in short, and essential and indispensable mind, squalor that has demanded attention and gratitude and accounted a privilege and joy to be in conversation this evening about the new education. she and i will converse for 45 minutes or so depending upon how selfish i feel and then open up the floor to questions. at the conclusion of the program, kathy will be signing books outside the room and i recommend them to you with a great enthusiasm, so let me move over to sit next to cathy.
[applause] and i didn't fall. good evening. thank you so much for being with us. >> it is so hard to hear that about one's self but it's lovely to hear it from somebody i admire. thank you. let me begin with where you begin in this wonderful book by aligning college with all great quests. we have a long runway to the text and you make the alignment on databases in college and all an obstacle to overcome that the students first going to college then graduates leaving to enter the world work force.
are they the same that the friends in the room experienced? >> i think it is a little of both. they are big enough going from being dependent to feeling you can support yourself and being a productive and responsible citizen in the world. it is a challenge for all of us. i don't know about all of you here but it is a formidable challenge and i think for people today it is even more formidable than most of us when we went to school. they have become the regime's of standardized testing and i think the stress we put kids under at
an early age we have to tell them to prepare for the very best schools or else their life is over if they don't get into the top schools they are not going to be prepared and we exceed this as an ever growing part of the budget on health care and medical care and mental health care for younger people who are anxious and worried and sure that there will be failures in the world. if you are complaining about the tuition having to pay for your child now and especially in public education or voting did that to this world they had gifts given to us as a public good in the society that our children don't have a.
you have to make different choices about how you study and then if you feel like you are graduating debt-free there's a lot of different burdens we've put on kids today. kids have been given a raw deal and we have to change that. >> what we use youbut use your e amplify what you said. they want to learn enough about the world to lead it and address the major problems. you ask questions about them and say how can they accomplish the goals and succeed in the world that changes so fast that no one can predict what will happen next. in some ways is that not the
heart of the book trying to imagine and education that does better by its students to prepare them to deal with the drive that you just described. >> some of them are just not commonsensical. there was a time when i talk about one of the great journalists saying the massive online education. they believe the technology can solve all the problems in the world. i am a technology person with a misunderstanding of both learning and technology or thinking we have to get rid of the thrills and education and only focus on skills to make sure every child is interested.
for some kids it is great. science, technology and engineering it's great for others it is a nightmare. what an impoverished way to think of science. to all of the aspects that allow it to be adopted or as we know the climate deniers. take a step back before we talk about the kind of solutions that lead them to deal with this. one of the things that appeals to me the most of the book i alluded to in the introduction is the capacity to store his eyes and recognize education and
as a culture not nature. when some think o of how your education is somehow timeless and connected what have you got what you argue is the modern research in which those of us and education lives or have lived is a relatively new organization that arises in the united states and in berlin and it arises in the 1860s. can you tell us about the american higher education and the elements that we take for granted about it that are innovations that come to us in the late 19th century or early 20th century?
>> higher education hasn't changed, therefore it cannot change and what i love about the detail looking at the archives to find out about the young president of harvard that went on to rule a i pretty powerful t it's so great i had a long laundry list of things that didn't exist and then they did basically between 1865 and 1925 from the graduate schools, professional schools, elected. before that you were thought to have a trust fund set if you talk at harvard you were wealthy
enough you didn't need your salary or omissions exam so it's a long list of things to. they are still ranked and it's basically harbored so even though the united states famously doesn't have a national system of education is a major research universities. they still put an infrastructure in place in every colleges ranked and that makes sense each university in each college has a different kind of student an obligation.
they all compete with a shadow of the great university that has an endowment so big that it would be the 18th largest in the world. part of those are in the students field now and they are being told only if they go to harvard or mit or stanford there are so many ways to succeed in the world. >> to drive the universities if in fact being at the top of the table was the impetus for the university or arriving at some of the highest places so
distorts the way the college operateoperates into this and tn impossible to think about the ways of education outside of that. you pick the title of your book written in 69 called the new education and he is a kind of double figure in this book. on the one hand he is an author of a system that you find instructive for students and faculty for the life and mind of the united states and on the other, there is a strong admiration for his ability to change the system and a dramatic way. why did you choose to name the book after this 1869 essay that drove him in the atlantic? >> it would be dishonest to say that i had it in the book there
were 20 different titles, but that one struck me because i do believe we need a new education for the world we're living in now and what he did that i admired very much, he was a college professor teaching at harvard as a theoretical chemist. he didn't want to be a practical chemist, and his father lost everything in the panic at 67, the first big global financial crisis and eliot thought he would have to go into business and then the grandfather died and he got a little of the trust fund and was able to use that to go to europe and decided to study the european system and many people in 1857 saw the plane on the american education. they said that america lead the world morris code was transmitting information faster than anyone could handle what was going on economically and
they said americans were naïve and have become technocrats, giddy with their own power but have an educational system that trained them to be a minister. he believed that it went to find out how the european education changed and came back to the united states and really tried to figure out what would work in america at the time. now i don't exactly look for the people that were his models that there were the most important theorists of the time, so in the standardized testing, the cousin of darwin he also believed and invented the bell curve and that they should be paid and those sterilized and many of the founders believed it. they called this moving forward the tyranny.
they saved the meritocracy but a deeply rooted in the race and class assumption on who is entitled to run the country. [inaudible] that is still the question and it's more valid now because many of the methods that were x. bearman told become frozen also for the typical seminar method where we know that in fact who
speaks in the seminar room replicates the hierarchy in society that so many believe in a more progressive act of outlooks and others and one of the things i advocate is a method of learning where every student as a researcher and is pushed to be serious to follow their ideas and to think about how the new knowledge comes together rather than a professionalized way that was perfect in 1890 because there were not proficient in the same way. >> another point you make about the model in education in the late 19th century is that he's training students not to be ministers, but preparing them to take positions in management. you outlined this with charles taylor and you talk about education as a kind of conspicuous consumption and so
forth. what's different about training students for jobs in a technological world that then training them for jobs in a world that is still primarily agricultural and industrial. what's different about education and what it needs to do for students now. almost all of those in the last 25 years by technology so they were sure they could never be automated and they are being turned upside down and education
simply prepares you for a career and it might get you a first job that might be obsolete from now. >> in any taxi in new york without somebody talking about what it's done or it's not just technology that the rearrangement of human labor has changed. others cannot be automated that are terribly resourced.
it's terribly important and terribly underpaid. teaching, social work, healthcare. those are probabl horribly underresearched professions and that's not an educational problem, that is a social problem we have a society students need not only to learn how to think but how to think critically about the society that they are entering. >> let me ask a more practical question. but first job depends on which kind of survey you read that
anywhere from seven to 11 jobs. how do we train people for the future when we don't know what the future looks like? if we don't know what the student is going to do. a lot of what your argument addresses is preparing students to succeed in the workplace. can you talk about how we should be preparing students for this world of constant change >> one thing our educational system does a poore a poor job s giving thethat isgiving them tht for imitating or apprenticing but understanding the process by which you become an expert yourself and that is the process not just of learning, but learning how to learn and how to solve problems with any situation and even to have the
kind of pedagogical term how you know just content but why something is counted as content and what makes a good argument and a good way of responding to any situation whether it is in technology or as a taxi driver. how do i take my own confidence and ability to learn and use that to apply to something else so some people talk about this as lifelong learning and in some ways it is a lifelong unlearning to because it is being able to take a look at one's own habits and own assumptions and think about what has to change in order to move forward. that's not easy and we are in an educational system to standardize as waythatstandardig
that makes it even harder. what in the real world that gives you the choice is to come up with a best possible answer? no one lives their life that way. none of the above. most of us live in the world of none of the above like oh my goodness what do i do now? so am i allowed to say we taught a class together quick >> we certainly can. i am proud of that. when they hired me at the graduate center and it was in his research year and i said i know you're writing a book and that is important but how would you like to teach the craziest class anyone has taught and a former president of the graduate center, such a hero and the graduate center at the university was willing to do this and what we are going to do is walk into class on the first day and say i am cathy davidson. i just moved here from another
university and i was brought here to start this program and i am the president emeritus of the university we will be back in 45 minutes to design a class that will change your life. >> one of the students was in that class we came back 45 minutes later and it's like go away. what happens now? they go away and we came back five minutes later and we are kind of sitting there and what he had them do is put post notes with a schedule because nobody should have their schedule on the fly so they set up their schedule and designed an incredible class. i think that the process of learning how you take hardly any anyone who'd known each other and with a class of mapping the future of higher education on everything from computer sciences to speech and ideology to criminal justice.
so it was a wide range of students. what they figured out is how to work together as a group and divided up into teams of four and come up with important topics to do and what we did in that class when you were a graduate student you are also bo teaching out and one of the undergraduate campuses. they came up with experiments in learning and the graduate class every week and then they tried them out with their undergraduate and got feedback about what these methods were so the students at 14 campuses and they all talked to each other about what was working or not working and it was an incredible experience and i don't think you forget that. i don't think that you forget in a situation where you have to darn powerful people in the room and they gave up the power and gave it to you and let you create a class and created
probably one of the best classes i've ever been in. >> as a devil's advocate of everything she said is so, it's a life-changing experience, but in the time in which expertise is being challenged on everything from climate change to date news and the media and so forth at one point you talk about the faculty learning from students and being a pub amateur. are you at all concerned about the power of the podium or the kind of level of expertise that is implicit in the pedagogy that you described leads to a kind of relativism that disavows the expertise and says it certainly didn't happen in the class you were describing that one argument i gets made about the student centered learning is
that it turns experts and amateurs and because a positive value and is a fairly froth position. >> i won't say that every professor i interviewed that have some form of active learning deep-seated problem, but certainly everyone i talked to in the course of writing the book and my own experience of turning my class upside down the last ten years is that students when they are charged with that responsibility of making the classes work more vigorous and demanding, more determined to get it right then a normal situation where you have the answers they also know a lot about content and how poor we are at retaining content. i will not say the name of the university but one of the top
five wealthiest and most prestigious prep schools in the country three years ago did kind of a horrible thing to its students. in september 1 year they gave every student at the school exactly the final exam that those students had taken in may. succumb if you took the geology exam in may, use your solve, not to spread out but you individually took the exact same geology test that you took an may. one of the top five schools in the country. the average grade on the final exam in may, a- or b+ depending, 90%, 92. the average grade in september can anyone guess? all low f's.
if i were at school the schoold say the biggest lesson learned is that if you have a challenge, when they have a challenge, they are a-students. .. >> the person who has this is 10% better but with many factors woven in. but as learners we take what we want to know, build on the have become more experts at some strand or thread through our
learning. to take that thread and make it into some nodded, have a strong wrote that you can climb up on. the rest of your life. >> how that works him little too old enlarged to think about it. maybe we should take a pause and describe what student centered learning is. it's the argument of this book and i'm not sure that it would not benefit us to unpack that term. what do you mean? >> student centered boiler, the opposite might be credential or professor centered learning. the object of the class is the final exam that leads to a final exam. that is traditional. but student centered learning is
preparing students not just for the final exam but they take all that they learn whether it's in the everyday life the focal point is what can it do for the student. it also means selectivity could be the top 4% is my friend gail says, i have a much harder job, i have to select the top 100. and when you think about that, her job is to take any student from where they are and say have a gun everybody, the person that's homeless, the person that dropped out of school and has three kids and is coming back to school. how do i take them wherever they are.
and take them to a level where they can be a productive member of society. so community colleges are one of the big heroes. going back to elliott, a professor at a research university never learned anything about learning, their job was to learn their specialization. i never had a gap i would say there's only a handful of us who really studied the science of learning. even though what we do in our lives is teach. because you're teaching the top 100% you have to know what's effective. >> not what to teach, but how and what we know, grades are not how you learn, you have a
2-year-old you don't say two steps today, b+. what a way to kill motivation and learning. if you're learning tennis or yoga, you learning by constant formative feedback and what you are doing. not an end of grade tests and that it's over. come back in september. we now know that your failure again. the whole point of student centered learning is your constantly test. people say you're against testing, no. for example, a mathematician who teaches at arizona state is the
director of the programming and arts, engineering and new media. he takes his first year students and gives them a tough problem to solve. one year it was what will life be like when there is no more water. that's a question of ecology, hydraulic science. of class, race, culture. it's how we live, it's everything. so students worked together to figure out how to solve complex problems but also problems about their life. if you're living in phoenix right now you're probably thinking about that. because you're close to that. >> the example that you have offered leads me to ask a different kind of question. one thing about this book is
rather than offering how to change education it offers examples. to paraphrase george bush, 1000 points of life. various teachers and schools of it runs from elite institutions and everything in between. each chapter talks about some of these examples. my question scalability. many of the examples you provide are from the interdisciplinary studies, programs that don't hire their own faculty that exist in some marginalized way at universities. colleges like going college, the program a case state what is
your thinking about how these examples of student centered learning and far better outcomes, how does that become scalable had a time when higher education and 83% of the students attend college at public universities. they're all under massive stress, more than half are teaching or part-time instructors, this is a crisis written about and discussed by everybody for the last 30 years. how do you move to scale these particular examples up? how does that work in your view? >> i took pains to make sure my examples were not just from the
media lab many are from universities that are incredibly so the big picture is that we have to start reinvesting in higher education. there's a group called california's promise that every middle-class person in california paid $39 more a year in taxes that money was dedicated to the university of california system we could be returning to the 1980s levels of support which would be almost free tuition. so it's a small investment for a massive social good. they're really simple, one of the few situations i've been in where haven't done a think care
share i teach pedagogy in the class and i did this once was 6000 international baccalaureate teachers. just to show how simple exercise that allows every person to have a voice in the room already changes so you not just hearing but processing. one of my friends uses this exit ticket. instead of taken role, or giving pop quizzes, at the end of every classiest students write on an index card and sign their name what was the one thing we talked about in this class that will keep you up tonight?
where was the question i should have asked that will keep you up. students write it down and it's great. it's like a pop quiz but until students you not just a body in this room, your human who happens to be a student. then he puts out the 600 cards and figures out what his lecture has to be. he refers to what has been contributed. that's a very low-cost way of changing with the paradigm is. we could've done that easily here today. people can paraben talk about three things they will do to actually change your classroom in the next six months. i may people promise to e-mail each other.
the simple things that seem kinda trivial but we have the research to change the way this represents in the classroom. people of color, immigrant students, students whose english is not good. shy people, these are messages that say every person in this room deserves to be there, the top 100% of you deserve to be here and you are all going to get an education. i believe it also contributes to different part of citizenship in the world, not i'm get mine. >> but let me follow on that, the first part of what you said
had to do with underfunding of education particularly on the public side, increasing level of debt among students, economic inequality all of the things we think about all of the time. if in fact the goal is not simply to change individual teaching techniques and provide that level of respect but to think about the ways in which we return to thinking about education as a private good, you talk about the g.i. bill, times this country mentioned education as an investment in its future but in the larger civic good of the united states, we've lost our way with that, and education
becomes a matter of private investment. you'll benefit with a higher salary so you should be paying tuition. is consistent with an aging population and changing priorities on a systematic defunding that public education. we know this but was the line of argument we make? live this famous singer they say in michigan was a state university and it became a state-supported university. then estate located university. jim always got a laugh out of that but it made a compelling
point. part of what this book does is a manifesto for change. everything from changing teaching technique in classroom to the way they organize itself. how do we make that case? how does it get sounded in a way that is more effective? >> one reason i always do student centered activists pedagogy is good as i feel like people need to win. they feel so beaten down by the system that you need something that makes you feel powerful again. there also about having a voice in your society. so it's an old-fashioned community organizing method of
how to stand up when you have no power to have a collective voice. were seeing this in america all over fighting for healthcare and other things were people are saying the system might not be working for me right now so how can i work with other people to have a voice in the system so that's one thing. they think were starting to see that we need to be reinvesting in education again. the book came out on the september 5, i don't go in our without hearing from a student, faculty member, parent, college professor that says how can we be part of this. i think we all feel like we have to do something different, this is not working.
not just her students future, these young people will be taking care of us as were aging and we have some big world problems to solve. or more people are feeling were added to pinpoint and are finding ways to make change happen. it is hard to be an optimist sometimes but we been in a downward tran-04 40 years. university of colorado gets 3% of its financing from the state, that's ridiculous that's not public education anymore. california has almost flipped its prison system in the amount of money, that's a street three strikes world, it's a horribly racist penal system, we can change the is it easy?
no. to have the will to change them i think part of it is to empower not just students at the faculty that teach them one of the great gifts of the book is it is hard-hitting but relentlessly optimistic it cheered me up. it's terrible but i have about 30 more questions but i'm going to save them for lunch. >> the book does end with ten ways that any student can still find a way to have a great education and that they can change their classrooms tomorrow. i do think feeling some sense of power in the world helps you get a sense of power in the world. one of those autocratic regimes
is to make you feel powerful. we all deserve to feel more powerful inner world word temperatures in the ocean are rising in democracy is being hacked all over the place. and then we need to use that power. >> so, you are it duke and then at -- and they seem like very difference institutions, what you think they can from each other. >> the end of the book sort of does that. talks about the things my students tell me with other students at duke or -- who is
now teaching and is a mentor is a huge here on the book. stephanie made a video of her classmates a wide you go to college and the reason, nobody says i go to college to make more money, they say to lead a better life, to contribute, to make my country proud, to make a contribution to society, to lead a better a fuller life. when i asked students it duke i get the same kinds of answers, think there is something about it the idea of college as being a passage. at any age, i'm talking about returning students in their 40s. here's the thing college is
voluntary. no one says you have to go to college. no one says you have to stay in college. it's voluntary. if you are voluntarily giving your time, money, and attention to something that is hard, that's true whether your student at duke or laguardia. you make in an effort to improve yourself and ideally improve everybody around you. to me structurally that's already something we have to build on. there's not that many things in our life that we do voluntarily. i talked to people who have taken algebra 13 times.
because i don't think algebra i think it's a gatekeeper not gateway they took it 13 times and finally passed it and they now are full professional, but how can you not be inspired by someone who is willing to over and over again put themselves through the frustration of doing something they don't think they can do. >> i loved your book. have complete admiration for you. i sent a career trying to encourage this kind of initiative that you describe. there are two points i'd like you to elaborate even if the
states and federal government provided more money, all the other things happen that brought us back to some golden age. there are two ingredients that need to change. i like your comment on our system of governance of colleges and universities and how that system influences the environment that allows faculties to be tutor instead of professors and the reward system that is encouraged by faculty that limits the possibilities of these initiatives. >> very good question so the
reward system is also part of the elliott agenda which is a reward system based on peer-reviewed publication. have nothing against that. in fact we know faculty members spent 60% of their time of preparation. the accounts, i've never been on a tenured case where somebody said their terrible teacher but will give them a tender anyway. it's assumed and mystical. we don't train people to be a good teacher on the evaluation system for teachers are student evaluations that we know are faulty a new study came out that showed students rank the syllabi in the textbook of the professors exact same one with a woman's name, one with the man's
name, the mail textbook was brilliant assessment organize textbooks. the only thing different they've done similar studies with african american and names. we rate everything. i can go to a restaurant without reading the review. and we have very poor system still for evaluation and higher education. whether it's grades or evaluating tenure and faculty. clearly we have to change that. typically we say publication, teaching and service. what we call it leadership or institutional change. i once got in trouble with an audience and i'll say it again
when i said i think ten years a great thing that's real problem right now. i think ten years important for that. i think we need to move it or lose it tenure should be your obligation to do one thing here is should be your obligation to do and to say i have tenure therefore i'm going to do something responsible and bold. i'm going to use this gift i've been given. faculty governance is a similar thing. we have these insane committees that almost make you feel like change is impossible one thing
i've been doing is talking to many universities where everybody will read this book as a jumping off place to change one thing. i think if you can change one thing and you know you can work and allows you to have a foothold to make bigger changes. that's what elliott is doing is changing one thing and then changing another thing the building onto it and it's all interrelated. we have time for two more questions. >> were glad you came this evening too.
thank you recently retired from hunter college so makes me almost want to go back and try that one thing. >> i might get your name. i like to hear your thoughts about the way at least at university a public institution has put emphasis on attempting to create compete with the elite where people who go on to the elite institutions where students, the average student are just there and hopefully they can get through.
>> i would love to ensure more equity going in. i think the structure of the program going on would help people to rise. there's many of the programs around the country there often on the periphery and small, i want more those to be the core instead of the proofreading. there ways to do that. but the theme of the book is how you can take things tried-and-true and what can we learn. >> we've seen is wonderful, absolutely right on, your book should be required reading in the to officially take over the
system. what they need to get in this country, education is infrastructure. every dollar you put in you will get back millions, like the thing on the west side, the high-rise, look at all the money it is generated. i have a friend, chuck who went over to ireland and change the economy by dumping his own money into the system. but once you're done reforming the colleges please get involved with the primary and secondary because we have an underbelly of on educated people in this country who don't make it to college. and those systems need to be
changed. >> my last book was significantly on k-12. until higher education changes k-12 can't. colleges the gate keeper. until college changes -- i don't think college is the answer for everybody. i think there's phenomenal things you can do without a college education. there's a few things you can do without training. you need to have some training on everything you do. there are different ways to do that. one thing i talked about is how sad it is that we've taken vocational training of so many schools. i have a brilliant nephew, he is a genius and yours was who can
barely read and write. but he's a mechanical computer genius. and he went to the one vocational school that allowed him to work on computers. he went through his 25 and he has a hundred people working for him, if you watched any nfl game where the oscars, he's in charge of the auto visual. but that mom had to fight for that. there is a time when those resources were available at every working school. there are all kinds of tracks like that my school weather was hairdressing in her car mechanic or anything else, it's horrible. we delegated much of that manual
labor to free exploited racially prison labor. the prison industrial complex has replaced the education education is an infrastructure. prism system is an expectation. we can change that. >> there are more and more of these examples in this book. we have barely scratched the surface. i urge you and your friends, i hate the word transformative. but this is that. please join me in thanking kathy. [applause] kathy will be signing books outside. >> thank you for caring enough
about the subject to giving your time to be here. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> there's a, but to be in prime time looks at 2017 bestsellers. david mccall on his book, the american spirit. then condoleezza rice on democracy. then ta-nehisi coates the obama presidency in the 2016 election in, we were eight years in power. plus roxanne discusses her memoir, hunger.
we continued the bus tour on each visit we speak with officials during our live "washington journal" program. china son junior 16th first stop on raleigh, north carolina. our guest is josh stein. i have been attacked by everybody. by the trump campaign the sanders campaign and now i can add to that list, the clinton campaign. donna brazil talks about her life and politics. hillary was very excited.
she has roots in illinois. she met this young state senator and my friend was on the third floor she said, she knew barack obama. i didn't know barack obama. i knew a lot of other people but i had not heard of barack obama. we met him that spring of 2003. let me just say this, the rest is history. q&a, sunday night on c-span. next, former high school principal on her book, when grits is in enough. looking at the challenges facing high school students pursuing higher education. this is 50 minutes. >>