Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, 1987.


The single most important question in higher education for the rest of this decade will be, I think-What can and should be done to improve the quality of undergraduate education?

The reports that constitute the higher educational reform movement of the 1980s have taken as their major mission the improvement of undergraduate education. Most of the recommendations have to do with what is taught, i.e. the curriculum. Some seem to think that is where the problem lies-that students don't learn what they should learn in college. I am inclined to think, however, that how students are taught is even more critical. What is taught is important, but how it is taught makes the difference between a lifelong learner and a grade grubber, between enthusiasm for learning and indifference to it, between an educated society and a credentialed one.