From a renowned education writer comes a paradigm-shifting examination of the rapidly changing world of college that every parent, student, educator, and investor needs to understand.
Over the span of just nine months in 2011 and 2012, the world’s most famous universities and high-powered technology entrepreneurs began a race to revolutionize higher education. College courses that had been kept for centuries from all but an elite few were released to millions of students throughout the world—for free.
Exploding college prices and a flagging global economy, combined with the derring-do of a few intrepid innovators, have created a dynamic climate for a total rethinking of an industry that has remained virtually unchanged for a hundred years. In The End of College, Kevin Carey, an education researcher and writer, draws on years of in-depth reporting and cutting-edge research to paint a vivid and surprising portrait of the future of education. Carey explains how two trends—the skyrocketing cost of college and the revolution in information technology—are converging in ways that will radically alter the college experience, upend the traditional meritocracy, and emancipate hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Insightful, innovative, and accessible, The End of College is a must-read, and an important contribution to the developing conversation about education in this country.
Education-policy advisor Carey heralds the coming annihilation of the "hybrid university," the "deeply flawed" land-grant/research/liberal arts dinosaur responsible for "mediocre learning, high dropout rates, and skyrocketing tuition." Carey turns his focused and attentive analysis to new education technologies that take into account real principles of learning science. With frequent excursions into personal and institutional histories, Carey describes ambitious Silicon Valley ventures such as the Minerva Project, Dev Bootcamp, Udacity, and Coursera as catalysts that, he hopes, will burn down the archaic "cathedrals of learning" and allow the "University of Everywhere" to rise from the ashes. Carey doesn't go into detail on how the assortment of startups and independently funded ventures will coalesce into an entity that will allow millions of students to get high-quality education, online, for free, but he does address how the creation of a shared and dependable credential to replace the diploma poses a ticklish question. Despite his insistence that college professors are lousy teachers, Carey's own experience with MIT's EdX program and the innovations he describes taking place at Harvard, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and elsewhere suggest that some in "traditional academia" are eager to provide individual learners "exactly what they need." Though filled with engaging profiles, insightful history, thorough detail, and grandiloquent calls for a "better, higher learning," Carey's picture of the real diversity of postsecondary education in the U.S. and his vision for what should replace it is incomplete.