“Revolutionizing Higher Education” - James E. McLeod Memorial Lecture on Higher Education
Cathy Davidson, cofounding director of HASTAC, is Distinguished Professor of English and Founding Director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY
Cathy N. Davidson, a higher education leader and distinguished scholar of the history of technology, argues that colleges and universities are failing the entire generation of young people — but most higher education reform diagnoses the wrong problem and proposes the wrong solutions. In this talk, Davidson looks at the period from 1865–1925, when the nation’s universities created grades and departments, majors and minors in an attempt to prepare young people for a world transformed by the telegraph and the Model T. If innovators then could redesign college, we can rethink higher education for our own era. From the Ivy League to community colleges, she profiles innovative educators who are changing their classrooms and their curriculums. Her book The New Education ultimately shows how we can teach students not only to survive but to thrive amid the challenges of our age.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Cathy N. Davidson, an educational innovator and a distinguished scholar of the history of technology, is an avid proponent of active ways of learning that help students to understand and navigate the radically changed global world in which we now all live, work, and learn. Davidson is Distinguished Professor of English and Founding Director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and the R. F. DeVarney Professor Emerita of Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke University where she served as Duke’s (and the nation’s) first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies.
Davidson is the cofounding director (2002-2017, now co-director) of HASTAC (“Haystack”), Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory. She is on the Board of Directors of Mozilla and served on the National Council of the Humanities as an appointee of President Barack Obama (2011-2017). She is the 2016 recipient of the Ernest J. Boyer Award for Significant Contributions to Higher Education, she champions new ideas and methods for learning and professional development–in school, in the workplace, and in everyday life.