Editorial Future Education: Schools and Universities

Michael P Levine, Laura D'Olimpio

Abstract


While some may argue that universities are in a state of crisis, others claim that we are living in a post-university era; a time after universities. If there was a battle for the survival of the institution, it is over and done with. The buildings still stand. Students enrol and may (at times) attend lectures, though let’s be clear—most do not. But virtually nothing real remains. What some mistakenly take to be a university is, in actuality, an ‘uncanny’ spectral presence; ‘the nagging presence of an absence … a “spectralized amnesiac modernity with its delusional totalizing systems”’ (Maddern & Adey 2008, p. 292). It is the remains and remnants of the university.[1]

Overstatement? Perhaps. We think many if not most administrators, at all levels, will likely dissent. So too will many if not most teachers and students. Trying to determine whether this is correct, or to what extent, by consulting polls and reading opinion pieces in various education journals and professional papers (e.g. Journal of Higher Education; The Campus Review; Chronicle of Higher Education) is likely to be of little help. In any case, it is the hypothesis (that universities and educational institutions generally are in a state of crisis), along with closely related ones, and concerns about what can be done in the circumstances, that have generated this special issue.

This special issue highlights and illustrates that most of the contested issues regarding educational theory and practice central to how universities and schools should be, and how they should be run, are first and foremost questions of value rather than fact. They are questions regarding what we want, but more importantly what we should want, from our universities and schools; about what they should be and what students, teachers and administrators should be doing to facilitate this.


[1]    See Cox and Levine (2016a, b) and Boaks, Cox and Levine (forthcoming).


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/JPS.v6i1.1564

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