Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education (Hardcover)

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Imagining the universities of the future.

How can we re-envision the university? Too many examples of what passes for educational innovation today--MOOCs especially--focus on transactions, on questions of delivery. In Alternative Universities, David J. Staley argues that modern universities suffer from a poverty of imagination about how to reinvent themselves. Anyone seeking innovation in higher education today should concentrate instead, he says, on the kind of transformational experience universities enact. In this exercise in speculative design, Staley proposes ten models of innovation in higher education that expand our ideas of the structure and scope of the university, suggesting possibilities for what its future might look like.

What if the university were designed around a curriculum of seven broad cognitive skills or as a series of global gap year experiences? What if, as a condition of matriculation, students had to major in three disparate subjects? What if the university placed the pursuit of play well above the acquisition and production of knowledge? By asking bold What if? questions, Staley assumes that the university is always in a state of becoming and that there is not one idea of the university to which all institutions must aspire.

This book specifically addresses those engaged in university strategy--university presidents, faculty, policy experts, legislators, foundations, and entrepreneurs--those involved in what Simon Marginson calls university making. Pairing a critique tempered to our current moment with an explanation of how change and disruption might contribute to a new golden age for higher education, Alternative Universities is an audacious and essential read.

About the Author

David J. Staley is the director of the Humanities Institute and an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University, where he also teaches in the Department of Design and the Department of Educational Studies. He is the author of Brain, Mind and Internet: A Deep History and Future and History and Future: Using Historical Thinking to Imagine the Future.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781421427416
ISBN-10: 1421427419
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication Date: March 26th, 2019
Pages: 280
Language: English