This paper explores trends in higher education in terms of Max Weber's theory of rationalization. It is Weber's contention that there are four basic motivators for human behavior. People are motivated by custom or tradition, by emotions, by religious or ethical values, and by rational goal oriented behavior (which Weber calls "zweckrational"). All human behavior, Weber claims, is motivated by various combinations of these four basic factors.
Weber's thesis is that bureaucracies increasingly centralize and broaden their scope in advanced industrial societies. Bureaucracies are human organizations specifically designed for the efficient achievement of short-term rational goals. As societies become more bureaucratic, Weber states, goal oriented rational behavior becomes dominant in guiding our actions--at the expense of traditions, emotions, and values. It becomes a habit of thought, a way of interpreting our world. This trend is called the "rationalization" process.
The final factor that should be understood in Weber's theory of rationalization is the phenomenon of the "irrationality factor." Just because an action is rational in terms of fulfillment of a short-term goal, Weber asserts, does not mean it is rational in terms of the whole society. It often happens, he writes, that an excessive focus on short-term goals undermines the very goals of both the society and the bureaucracies themselves.
In the past, higher education was seldom as bureaucratically organized as corporate and government institutions. This was mainly due to European traditions and the fact that universities are very dependent upon a large number of highly educated professionals who used their numbers and expertise to demand a voice in university governance. This, however, is beginning to change.
There are several rationalizing trends at American universities that can be considered to be home grown--internal to the university, mirroring the more goal oriented norms of measurement, coordination, and efficiency that increasingly dominate society as a whole. They arise internally to meet the needs of higher education institutions themselves--the need to increase productivity and efficiency because of tightening budgets. Universities can no longer expect significant increases in state funding and therefore further rationalize their organization by controlling instructional costs, tightening coordination, cutting programs with few majors, and raising tuition and fees. This list would include:
The tightening of coordination as evidenced by the rise of continuous evaluation of faculty through measures of student performance, student opinion surveys, and monitoring professor performance in the classroom. These reviews are conducted for purposes of merit, promotion and tenure. This change in monitoring is part of the increase in educational bureaucracy, and part no doubt is due to the general tightening of coordination and control exhibited throughout society in order to assure continuing productivity of the workforce. We no longer assume that professionals will perform unless monitored. Most recently the tenure process has come under increasing review. One proposal calls for a "post-tenure" review process--other proposals are to scrap the tenure process itself.
The standardization of course content. Some of this was accomplished through the widespread use of textbooks, but the move to standardize the curriculum comes from many modern sources--accrediting boards, state agencies, federal mandates as well as universities themselves. Most of this standardization is undertaken to promote quality and comparability across universities--apparently faculty are no longer qualified to decide on their own course content, students can no longer survive a "bad" professor, and ease of transferring credit between institutions has become a major goal of the university;
The growth in the power and influence of central administration. An...
...education. These institutions, with the exception of some notable ones, have however, not been able to maintain the high standards of education or keep pace with developments, especially in the fields of knowledge and technology.
Over time, financial constraints with exploding enrolments, and a very high demand from primary and secondary education has led to the deterioration in the financial support provided by the Government. On top of this, an overall structure of myriad controls with a rigid bureaucracy has stifled its development. However, on the science and technology side, India has built up the largest stock of scientists, engineers and technicians.
Since 1950-51, when there were only 2,63,000 students in all disciplines in 750 colleges affiliated to 30 universities, the growth of highereducation in India has been phenomenal. Today, there are more than 11 million students in 17,000 colleges affiliated to 230 universities and non-affiliated university-level institutions. In addition, there are about 10 million students in over 6500 vocational institutions. The enrolment is growing at the rate of 5.1 per cent per year. However, of the Degree students only 5 per cent are enrolled into engineering courses, while an overall 20 per cent in sciences. The demand for professional courses is growing rapidly.
Both public and private institutions operate simultaneously in India. Most of the growth in the...
In the time I have spent in highereducation, I have noticed that educators generally encounter three categories of students. The first category, about 10 percent of the student population will always succeed because they have the attitude that failure is not an option. The second group, another 10 percent of the population, will inevitably fail, lacking the personal motivation and drive necessary to reach educational goals. Approximately 80 percent of students make up category three. A group full of bright minds that could lean toward either success or failure. This group will most significantly be impacted by changes and improvements in education. The differentiating factor in this group is that each student's response to the same question: "Is investing in my education really worth it?"
Some people are deterred from pursuing highereducation because of the price tag attached. Even though student loans are often available, the idea of repaying student loan debt, with high interest rates and low job prospects is a significant roadblock for many. For students with young families or those who have never considered post-secondary education, it is often much more appealing to take a job out of high school and immediately generate income. These are the students who begin to feel that an education is simply not...
September 20, 2012
Yvette DE La Vega
The Importance of a Good Education 1
Today more people are going back to college in order to obtain a degree of some type. More people are looking for careers and are tired of settling for jobs that they do not like just to get a paycheck. Employers are looking for employee with college degrees in order to present their customer with more qulitified people. A college degree is more importance now than it has ever been. More jobs are being sent overseas today making it harder to find a job, so in order to find a job that will give a person the financial stability they need more adult are returning to college to get their degree.
The Importance of a Good Education 2
The importance of a good education, a good education is the most important thing a person could obtain for themselves. Education is important to us in many aspects of life especially when it comes to your need for personal and social advancement. Education is important because it will open so many different...
...Case Study: Economic Crisis and HigherEducation in the United States
The 2008–2012 economic failure is considered by many economists and investors to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It results in the risk of total collapse from big financial firms, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. The crisis also plays a significant role in the crash of key businesses and collapse of housing market, results in the delayed unemployment. Highereducation is a large and various venture in the United States, which has impacted by the economic recession in a number of ways, but these impacts have not been the same and vary depending on state and type of institution.
Most highereducation traditions started to be concerned about their financial problems due to economic recession. Their main source of revenue has been hurt by the downturn, and that those universities would need to make hard decisions about how to spend their money. In some states, a lot of institutions are in process of fund-raising programs to avoid delaying their supported campus building projects. Many of highereducation university’s leaders have been considering and solving of two following questions: How is the economic downturn affecting institutions both public and private? What strategies are...
Curriculum in HigherEducation
Mary A. Swanagan
HE510: Foundations of HigherEducation
Professor Heather Scott
April 15, 2014
Curriculum in HigherEducation
An effective curriculum is an important part of a university’s success, especially for first time students. Attending a university for the first time can be very overwhelming for a first year student. Studies show that 25% of students drop out in the first year. Studies show that this number can be decreased if the first year curriculum is designed to engage and empower the students (Bovill, 2011).
In Thelin’s curriculum theme there doesn’t seem to be a set curriculum for highereducation institutions. Professors tried to use their own work as a means for an academic curriculum. Yale and Harvard had their own ideas as to how a curriculum should be for their schools, while the university builders leaned toward a curriculum in specialized fields depending on what year of study the students were in at the time. Not being able to decide whose curriculum was the most important caused nothing but chaos (Thelin, 2011, Pg. 129,130).
“The primary purpose of the Committee of Ten was to provide a national force for standardizing the secondary school curricula. The report advised high schools to implement a required core curriculum for high school students. The committee’s...
Student number: 20134571
Science 1 in the Early Years
Assessment: Item 1- Views of teaching and promoting science of young learners
The pedagogy of play can be hard to understand and part of the reason for this is it’s so difficult to explain how children learn by play because play isn’t simply; it is complex. Each child begins their early childhood education with a set of skills and prior knowledge that is influenced by their family, culture and past experiences (Fellows &Oakley, 2010). The past knowledge should become the foundation for developing an understanding of scientific concepts (Duschl, Schweingruber & Shouse, 2007). Children are naturally inquisitive, creative and aware of the world around them (Campbell & Jobling, 2012). Play is an important development tool and an effective way to teach children scientific concepts while using their prior knowledge (Preston, Mules, Baker & Frost, 2007). Learning science through play shows children that science is useful and enjoyable and is a significant aspect of the real world (Bulunuz, 2013). This essay will review teaching science through play, theorists who support play and the way in which the Australian curriculum and EYLF support play pedagogy.
Science and Play
Play pedagogy is a context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations. Research...
...The High Price of HigherEducation
In America's society today, students are expected to follow the path of day care, grade school, middle school, high school and hopefully college. Growing up in America today, the importance of education is stressed starting at the earliest stages of development. In a world with a competitive job market and with citizens who want to make the most money that they can, a college education is key in success. For some students, financing college is not a problem. Money should not be a factor in the student's decision-making process when choosing what school to attend, but unfortunately many people are unable to attend the university of their choice due to the high costs. Working through college is not always the best answer because this can have a negative effect on academic performance with the added stress. It is true that financial aid and loans are available, but it is sometimes much harder to take advantage of these than people realize. Although universities offer many forms of aid in paying for college, the continually increasing prices still make it impossible for many people to afford highereducation, and lowering prices would be effective in increasing the amount of people able to obtain a college degree.
In today's society, the average income for middle class families is $49,500 (Preliminary Estimates). This is only a little more than the...
...Education Issues: Student’s Book (2013)
Unit 1: Education for Life
TASK 1. Answer the questions below.
1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘education’?
2. What is a good education, in your opinion?
3. How important do you think education is?
4. Do you think the quality of education in the world in general and in your country in particular is slipping down or going up?
5. In which country do you think you can receive the best education?
TASK 2. Read though the quotations below and tell the class how far you agree with them.
1. It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated. (Alec Bourne, 1886 – 1974, a British writer
2. Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. (B. F. Skinner, 1904 - 1990, an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher)
3. Only the educated are free. (Epictetus, 55 AD - 135 AD, a Greek and Stoic philosopher)
4. You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation. (Brigham Young, an American religious, state and educational leader)
5. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. (Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician)
6. Education: the path from cocky...