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內容介紹

美國高等教育日趨商業化,越來越多的學子就讀大學為的只是那一紙未來可以找到好工作的文憑。過去大學生活是學子在教授的協助之下,摸索興趣、找到真正熱情的學科、嘗試不同的想法與創意,然而逐漸的這已經成了過去式。

 

在《大學:過去、現在和未來》一書中,文化評論家安德魯•德爾班科 (Andrew Delbanco)勾勒出大學教育的社會價值,並警告大學教育在美國逐漸成為有錢人才能負擔的教育。他呼籲大學教育應該盡可能普及化才能達成美國民主的目標。安德魯•德爾班科在書中用歷史的角度看大學教育的演變,一開始是十七世紀新教教徒在教會接受的道德教育,十九世紀末二十世紀初美國出現了現代研究型大學,二十世紀大學教育開放給女性、弱勢族群、少數族裔與窮人。安德魯•德爾班科並不完全否絕現在大學教育中強調科學、科技、職業導向的教學,但是他認為人文道德教育是大學教育不能被抹煞的一環。

 

在2013年4月平裝版的新序當中,安德魯•德爾班科引用了一位歷史系學生寫給他的e-mail作為一個引子,雖然這個學生是歷史系的學生,因緣際會他進入了商業領域的工作,但他從來沒有後悔過自己在學校不是學習商管,沒有相關管理、行銷、人力資源的know-how,他反而認為自己在學校學得的國際觀、解決問題的能力、溝通技巧與虛心學習的態度,讓他能夠在不同的行業都能生存,出類拔萃。

 

我想作者最想提出的論點就是大學教育的宗旨本應是發揚科學精神、繼承人文傳統,當上大學僅僅為了找工作的需要時,大學的意義也就失落了。或許這是我們可以一起思考的一個問題。

作者介紹

安德魯•德爾班科(Andrew Delbanco)長期任教於哥倫比亞大學,除了擔任美國研究中心的榮譽主席外(Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies),另外也是人文科學冠名教授(Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities)。他的著作《Melville: His World and Work 》曾獲得《萊諾.屈林獎》(Lionel Trilling Award)。另外他因為高等教育發展的研究與對於赫爾曼•梅爾維(Melville)爾與愛默生(Emerson)的文學研究讓他得到2011年美國國家人文獎章(National Humanities Medal)。

安德魯•德爾班科的新作《大學:過去、現在和未來》(College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be)獲得了2013年菲利浦‧凡德森獎(Philip E. Frandson Award)進修教育領域出版獎。得獎訊息請參考:
http://blog.press.princeton.edu/2013/03/11/college-by-andrew-delbanco-wins-the-2013-philip-e-frandson-award-for-literature-in-the-field-of-continuing-education/

書評

“To renew higher education in an age of secular pluralism, Delbanco summons his colleagues to a defense of the university’s role in fostering humane and democratic impulses. . . . Delbanco’s agenda for reform—curricular, pedagogical, financial, and technological—will stimulate a much-needed national dialogue.”
—Bryce Christensen, Booklist


“Delbanco explores American higher education in a manner befitting a scholar of Melville and the Puritans, with a humanist’s belief in lessons from history and in asking what the right thing is to do. . . . College has always been a microcosm of society, so a book about it is also about how we’re doing as a country.”
—Clare Malone, American Prospect


“A thoughtful and insightful look at American college’s exceptionalism and pitfalls.. . . Whether you’re in college, thinking about college or just paying for it, it’s a good read to help better understand one of America’s oldest and finest institutions. And if we want it to stay that way, we all better get schooled about it.”
—Kacie Flynn, Vox Magazine, Missourian


“The ‘Was’ part is an illuminating reminder of the Puritan origin of early colleges, such as Harvard and Princeton, where only wealthy males needed apply and where religion, literature and philosophy dominated the curricula. The ‘Is’ section considers the prohibitive cost, the woefully underprepared applicants, the self-centered teachers and the dominance of research over instruction of undergraduates at today’s colleges. Obviously the ‘Should Be’ is Delbanco’s motive in this effort. . . . He dreams of the day when college teachers are back in the classrooms, working collaboratively to bring their youngsters into this new century.”
—Kathleen Daley, Newark Star Ledger


“A thoughtful, literate, and gracefully written reminder of what higher education
needs to be.”
—Elizabeth R. Hayford, Library Journal

“Refreshingly, Delbanco’s examination of what college was doesn’t turn into a longing backward look. . . . This book is a result of what Delbanco says is two decades of visiting more than 100 colleges of all types, from community colleges to the undergraduate divisions of research universities. It is also the product of extensive reading: He seems to have digested every self-flagellating and self-congratulating essay, every cri de coeur and jeremiad about higher ed that has been produced since scholars sat down together in collegium.”
—Sebastian Stockman, Kansas City Star

“This is a brief, well-researched book, and an insightful account of the factors that
shape the current higher educational landscape.”
—Dennis O’Brien, Commonweal


“An eloquent book—acombination of jeremiad, elegy and call to arms.”
—Alan Cate, Cleveland Plain Dealer


“In College, [Delbanco] looks to the lengthy and dynamic history of higher education in America as a lens through which to examine its current crises and unsettled future.”
—Serena Golden, Inside Higher Ed


“‘Every year the teacher gets older while the students stay the same age.’ This has always been true, but Delbanco’s observation has a poignant weight today when college is always justified as being for something, whether for the economy, or for democracy, or for social mobility, and not as a place that exists as a community asking questions together, trying to unify knowledge to make sense of our lives—in short, as a place where we pursue the truth.”
—Angus Kennedy, Spiked Review of Books


“At a time when many are trying to reduce the college years to a training period for economic competition, Delbanco reminds readers of the ideal of democratic education. . . . The American college is too important ‘to be permitted to give up on its own ideals,’ Delbanco writes. He has underscored these ideals by tracing their history. Like a great teacher, he has inspired us to try to live up to them.”
—Michael S. Roth, New York Times Book Review


“Andrew Delbanco does a marvelous job tracing the evolution of one of the most treasured institutions in the United States, ‘college,’ in terms of the ideal of such an institution and the challenges it is facing. . . . Delbanco’s book would be a great one for students and scholars in the fields of educational philosophy, history of education, educational policy, and other related fields. It would also be a good read for anyone who is interested in the development of higher education
in the United States.”
—Shouping Hu, Teachers College Record


“What commends [this] book is its richness of reference and its willingness to charge colleges and universities with lapses that should sow insomnia among administrators.”
—James Morris, Wilson Quarterly

“College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be gives a clear picture of all the forces, both within and outside the university, working against the liberal arts.”
—Joseph Epstein, Weekly Standard


“Andrew Delbanco’s recent book is to be praised, for it reminds us that college should be about character formation and not a surrender to a customer service mentality that inflates accomplishments to please future employers, placate doting parents and repair fragile egos. . . . Enlightening.”
—Robert J. Parmach, America magazine

“Delbanco ought to be required reading for all involved in higher education.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A small book that deserves to be widely read. . . . At the book’s center is a deep commitment to what the liberal arts, at their best, can do for students, and a passionate plea that, in our rush to solve real and perceived educational challenges of many kinds, we not neglect the liberal arts, but rather determine to extend their benefits to as many students as possible.”
—Robert Wiltenberg, Continuing Higher Education Review

得獎紀錄

2013 Gold Medal Winner in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Education II (Commentary/Theory) category


Winner, 2013 Philip E. Frandson Award for Literature in the Field of Continuing Education, University Professional and Continuing Higher Education Association

Winner of the 2011 National Humanities Medal

Honorable Mention, 2012 PROSE Award, Education, Association of American Publishers