1st Edition

Accountability, Pragmatic Aims, and the American University

ISBN 9780415991636
Published November 8, 2011 by Routledge
140 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

USD $54.95

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Book Description

Accountability, Pragmatic Aims, and the American University frames the debates on teaching and learning accountability in Higher Education. By examining significant historic periods in Higher Education, Martínez-Alemán explores the present apprehension about accountability in today’s colleges and universities. Throughout the book’s chapters, Martínez-Alemán uses the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey to enlighten current understandings of professional freedoms and she also discusses democratic imperatives in light of accountability obligations: the teaching of undergraduates, data and empirical research on college teaching and learning, and the institutional policies for graduate student and faculty teaching development. This book reveals the tensions between the democratic character of the university—qualities that may seem irreconcilable with accountability metrics—and the corporate or managerial economies of modern American universities. Higher Education faculty, administrators, public policy makers, and students enrolled in Higher Education Masters and PhD programs will find that this book informs their practice and will serve to contribute to the debates on accountability for years to come.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Accountability and the University’s Democratic Imperatives

2. The Historic Purposes of Higher Learning in America and the Challenge of Accountability

3. Postsecondary Teaching

4. The Rise of Managerialism

5. The Academic Profession and Undergraduate Teaching

6. Higher Learning in the 21st Century University

7. Conclusions

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Ana M. Martínez-Alemán is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership & Higher Education Administration at the Lynch School of Education, Boston College.


"Finally, the higher education community has a clear work that brings thoughtfulness to university accountability! Martínez-Alemán brings presidents and provosts to their senses with a concise, insightful guide through the uses and abuses of accountability that have pervaded -- and often derailed -- the American research university in its missions and societal influence. This work is both useful and hopeful in fusing philosophical analysis with the vitality of academic institutions."

-- John Thelin, University Research Professor in Higher Education & Public Policy, University of Kentucky

"This book offers us a reading of how the moral and democratic purposes of research universities have changed. In an era in which "public accountability" strictly has come to mean accounting, and what counts as knowledge is constrained by scientism and profit, it is refreshing to see Martínez-Alemán’s unabashedly moral and political defense of higher education’s democratic possibilities."

-- Benjamin Baez, Associate Professor of Higher Education, Florida International University