Reconnecting to Explore The Future of Higher Education

April 28, 2017

What are the key questions or concerns we face with the future of higher education? What are different ways to address those concerns? These sorts of questions were a key part of IF’s 2012 discussion guide on The Future of Higher Education. Facilitated by Tim Steffensmeier, an alum of one of IF’s Faculty Summer Institutes, the discussion guide sketches out six different ways to envision the mission of higher ed:

  1. Higher education as career training and economic development
  2. Higher education to solve complex problems and shape a better world
  3. Higher education as innovation labs
  4. Higher education for personal development and well-being
  5. Higher education to serve the needs of the local community
  6. Higher education for global citizenship

Now we’re interested in building on those discussions by opening up new mini-series of developmental discussions to explore other aspects of the future of higher education. Of course, there might be other ways to envision the mission of higher education. But beyond the framework of the goals of higher education, we’d like to explore what other factors come into play. What are other dimensions that we can explore through additional IF discussions? What other big questions might we face about higher ed? What are different ways we could answer these questions?

We plan to kick off these discussions by reconnecting with some of our past Summer Institute faculty members from 2006, 2009, and 2012. We’d like to catch up with faculty members who have been teaching with the IF discussion process. We’ll conduct a pair of online discussions via the Zoom videoconferencing platform in late May-mid June.

Once we map out some of the initial areas for expanded discussion series, we’d like to invite others who are interested in joining us to help us develop diverse possibilities for addressing each area of concern. These discussion series will also be conducted as videoconferences. Please let us know if you’re interested in connecting with us and joining in the conversation. We hope to establish a more regular framework for conversations among educators who are interested in student-centered pedagogy and integrating student-facilitated discussions into the classroom. We would like to learn from what people are doing and we would like to help fellow educators learn from each other.


Interested in working with us to bring better discussions to your classroom, community or workplace?

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