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Learning for Meaning's Sake


reviewed by David Coulter October 13, 2009

coverTitle: Learning for Meaning's Sake
Author(s): Stephanie Mackler
Publisher: Sense Publishers, Rotterdam
ISBN: 9087908237, Pages: 148, Year: 2009
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What is the university for? Good question—and one seldom explicitly posed, yet implicitly answered every day by every university. Based on my experience in primary, secondary and post-secondary schooling, people in universities seem no better at asking questions of purpose than others. Like schoolteachers, professors are often too busy getting on with their jobs to ask whether they should actually be getting on with these particular jobs. Few scholars—and even fewer scholar-leaders—ask such questions. However, Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University, raises just this question in a recent article in The New York Times Book Review (2009, September 6). She describes the multiple conflicting purposes that universities—like all educational institutions—confront, and wonders about the current answers that skew toward the “immediate and worldly” and away from the questions about what is worthwhile and meaningful. She concludes: “As a nation, we need to ask more…from our universities. Higher learning can... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 13, 2009
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15802, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 12:57:01 AM

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About the Author
  • David Coulter
    The University of British Columbia
    E-mail Author
    DAVID COULTER is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies at The University of British Columbia. His most recent publication is Why Do We Educate? Renewing the Conversation, The 107th Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, Vol. 1. (Co-edited with John R. Wiens) (Boston: Wiley-Blackwell). He is currently working on a book on educational judgment.
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