“What would it mean to redesign higher education for the intellectual space travel students need to thrive in the world we live in now?”
That is one of the provocative questions that opens Cathy Davidson’s latest book, The New Education. And unlike some of the journalists and business figures who have taken previous swings at that piñata, Davidson has a full career of research and practice to inform her abundance of answers.
Davidson spent more than two decades as a professor at Duke University. She taught English and humanities, but with the advent of the Internet, she saw the need for a new kind of interdisciplinary and student-centered learning. She opened up her classrooms, beginning in simple ways, trying to get more people to participate and collaborate — while lecturing less. She has even been known to interrupt her own keynote addresses to get people in the audience talking to one another.