Cathy N. Davidson: How to Revolutionize the University

Cathy N. Davidson: How to Revolutionize the University

In her latest book, "The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux," educational innovator Cathy N. Davidson (Duke's former Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies) argues that the American university is stuck in the past--and shows how we can revolutionize it to prepare students for our age of constant change. Our current system of higher education dates to the period from 1865 to 1925, when the nation's new universities created grades and departments, majors and minors, graduate and professional schools in an attempt to prepare young people for a world transformed by the telegraph and the Model T. This approach to education worked for most of the 20th century but is unsuited to the era of the gig economy. From the Ivy League to community colleges, Davidson introduces us to innovators who are remaking college for our own time, by emphasizing student-centered learning that values creativity, dexterity, innovation, and social change. In this talk, she shows how we can revolutionize our universities to help students be leaders of change, not simply subject to it. She was joined in conversation with Edward Balleisen, Professor of History and Public Policy and the current Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University.