It explores how higher education has responded to the challenges of change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and sometimes over longer time scales. It selects developments against which higher education has re-defined itself in recent decades, including student residence, teaching and learning and enterprise, focusing on specific policies and examples. It discusses the meanings of 'tradition' and related concepts and theories as interpreted in higher education and other areas of social life, and as perceived from different academic disciplines. The discussion, therefore, explores a variety of historical themes and British, American and other approaches to the study of higher education. It examines features of the impact of government and its agencies, the economy and technology on the policies and practices of higher education. In relation to some of the changes the book takes three English universities - Bristol, Nottingham and York - created in the early and mid twentieth century as case studies of debate and decision making in the face of potential and actual inroads into their procedures and self-image. The book is therefore concerned with changes external and internal to institutions, conservative and radical attitudes, continuities and transformations. It establishes a difference between 'tradition' as a general commitment and older and 'invented' particular 'traditions'. Although there is literature on tradition in other fields, this is the first extended analysis of the history, diversity and interpretation of tradition in higher education.
"By shaping the value-indeed the necessity-of examining the past in shaping wise decisions about the future of education he has challenged the faddishness of educational policy"
David B.Tyack on Education as History
Harold Silver is currently a visiting professor of higher education at the University of Plymouth and a visiting research professor at the Open University. After graduating from Cambridge in English and modern languages he taught these in further education. At Chelsea College, University of London, he became reader and professor in education and social history and was then appointed principal of Bulmershe College of Higher Education, Reading. He has been a visiting scholar at universities in the United States and Canada, Australia and Europe and has worked nationally and internationally as consultant and evaluator in higher education. His contributions on higher education and the history of education to journals and edited books also include a score of books as author or co-author.
Other titles by Harold Silver:
- Higher Education and Opinion Making in Twentieth Century England (2003)
- Innovating in Higher Education: Teaching, Learning and Institutional Cultures (with Andrew Hannan, 2000)
- Students: Changing Roles, Changing Lives (with Pamela Silver, 1997
A Higher Education: The Council for National Academic Awards and British Higher Education 1964-1989 (1990)
- Researching Education: Themes in Teaching-and-Learning (1999
Good Schools, Effective Schools: Judgements and Their Histories (1994)
- Education, Change and the Policy Process (1990)
- An Educational War on Poverty: American and British Policy-Making 1960-1980 (with Pamela Silver, 1991)
- Education as History: Interpreting Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Education (1983)
- Education and the Social Condition (1980).