Calling For a Revolution In Higher Education

Oct 13, 2017

Cathy Davidson
Credit John Rottet / The News and Observer/Cathy Davidson Media Kit

In 1869, Charles Eliot wrote a compelling article entitled “The New Education” in The Atlantic Monthly, calling for American universities to shift away from the classics-based curriculum and towards a more utilitarian system that would prepare young men for economic and political leadership. 

The educational system he envisioned did take root, and served generations well. But as the technological revolution has fundamentally changed the nature of both economics and politics in our world, educator Cathy Davidson argues American universities have not evolved, stuck in the same mold of siloed disciplines, outdated grading criteria and one-size-fits-all teaching methods.

Davidson has spent decades as an educator at diverse institutions including Michigan State University, Princeton University, Duke University and is now a distinguished professor and director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York. She says the higher education system needs a complete overhaul. Davidson is the author of “The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux” (Basic Books/2017).

Host Frank Stasio talks with Cathy Davidson about her vision for a new model and how students and professors can start working toward it.