ROPS 2009

THE ACADEMIC DEVOLUTION? Movements to Reform Teaching and Learning in US Colleges and Universities, 1985-2010

Steven G. Brint

This paper traces the history of two reform movements organized more than two decades ago to improve teaching and learning in U.S. colleges and universities: the teaching reform movement, led by the liberal philanthropies, and the accountability movement, led by the states and, later, the regional accreditors. The paper concludes that the teaching reform movement helped to dislodge research as the accepted center of academic life and helped to spread progressive education methods throughout academe. Both of these changes are consistent with continuing low levels of student effort and...