Contact: Mark D. Burd 412-268-3486
Release Date: Jul 01, 2011
The demand for trained professionals in regions of the world experiencing rapid economic expansion is quickly outstripping the supply that traditional educational models can fill, presenting new challenges for learning institutions and a major roadblock to continued, systematic growth. In developed economies, rapid changes in technology along with increased competition and greater pressure for accountability are also challenging the status quo in higher education and have accelerated the need for a new approach.
A new and innovative solution to effective teaching and learning in higher education is the focus of a new book titled “Organizational Learning Contracts: New and Traditional Colleges,” authored by Paul S. Goodman, the Richard M. Cyert Professor of Organizational Psychology and Director of the Institute for Strategic Development.
“I’ve been involved in the university’s global issues for around 20 years,” said Goodman. “During that time I had the opportunity to be involved in designing new universities. The fundamental question is: If you had to design a new university and had no constraints- how would you do it? The experiences in answering that question and implementing change stimulated the writing of this book. These experiences are relevant for new and existing institutions of higher education.
“The analysis and knowledge gained from real-world practice have helped to define a key element in creating a new model for higher education that is applicable worldwide. It is a concept that the book defines as: organizational learning contracts.”
Organizational learning contracts are shared understandings by faculty, students and staff about what to learn, how to learn, when and where. Contracts can be weak or strong. In institutions with strong learning contracts, faculty, students and staff have explicit understandings about what is to be learned and how. There are strong socialization, feedback and redesign mechanisms to enact this learning contract.
The book provides empirical results about strong and weak contracts. In institutions with strong contracts, students said they have a much better idea of what they are to learn, have clearer models of how to learn, are more passionate about their learning environment, and develop strong long term commitments to their institution.
The book also bridges theory and practice. In the practice section, readers will learn from the experience of people who have created new institutions with strong contracts, as well as practical advice about design and changing existing educational institutions.
“The research findings and practical advice have clear implications for successfully expanding higher educational opportunities and could revolutionize how we think about existing institutions of higher education,” Goodman said.
Additional information about the book can be found via Oxford University Press: http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Psychology/Education/?view=usa&ci=9780199738656.
About the Tepper School of Business - Founded in 1949, the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University (www.tepper.cmu.edu) is a pioneer in the field of management science and analytical-decision making. The school’s notable contributions to the intellectual community include eight Nobel laureates. The school is among those institutions with the highest rate of academic citations in the fields of finance, operations research, organizational behavior and production/operations. The academic offerings of the Tepper School include undergraduate studies in business and economics, graduate studies in business administration and financial engineering, and doctoral studies.