Download Killing thinking : the death of the universities by Mary Evans PDF

By Mary Evans

"The extra it expenditures, the fewer it really is worth." (Student slogan, London, 2003) "We are advised that this global represents our greatest desire for highbrow energy and creativity. we're additionally informed that we should always pay extra to go into it and adventure its wealthy assets. but these wealthy assets are more and more marginalized by means of cultures of review and legislation, the heavy bills of which (both monetary and highbrow) are to be carried by means of scholars. more and more scholars are being requested to pay for the prices of the legislation of upper schooling instead of schooling itself. entry to raised schooling has turn into extra broadly to be had: the consequences of that vary are the fear of this book." Mary Evans

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Teaching is becoming mechanized in a way that makes caricature seem improbably realistic: Dickens's Mr Gradgrind would have found it difficult to believe. It is not only the teacher who becomes an automaton, but also the student, for he or she too is obliged to live up to the 'learning outcomes' set down in advance, in other words in a sense not to live at all, merely to 'receive deliver'. (Nicholas Royle, The Uncanny, Manchester University Press, 2003) Orwell was the greatest twentieth-century novelist to make the case to a general audience: words matter.

It is tempting (and indeed irresistible) to move immediately from Orwell's 1984 to the publications of the Quality Assurance Agency and other agencies associated with learning and teaching in British Universities, since these publications illustrate particularly well all Orwell's fears about the misuse of language. The documents published by these bodies impose upon teaching in higher education (and the assessment of teaching) a set of ideas and assumptions which are (or were) foreign to many academics.

There was no resistance to the introduction of these Stalinist measures, least of all from the Vice Chancellors, all eager for their CBE's and Knighthoods, their reward for presiding over the destruction of a once universally admired university system . . The teaching assessment is also ludicrous. I remember inviting a leading assessor to give a guest lecture to one of my classes on a subject on which he was an authority. 1 These remarks were made by Michael Burleigh, a distinguished historian and clearly someone for 31 Killing Thinking whom the British audit culture had come to replicate elements of that totalitarian culture which he described in his work on Hitler's Germany.

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