Learning Outcomes that Matter: Cathy N. Davidson in 'Inside Higher Ed'

Identifying learning outcomes for students is crucial, but not in the way that many people think, argues Graduate Center Distinguished Professor of English Cathy N. Davidson, in a recent essay in Inside Higher Ed.

“You don’t need to go very deep in the pedagogical research to know that the key to successful learning is for the learner to be aware of what the given knowledge will add to their goals and their life,” Davidson writes.  

Instead of prescribing outcomes for her students, however, she invites the students in her classes to “take the lead in their learning” by challenging them to think up “the most aspirational, world-changing outcomes they can imagine.”

She shares a top-10 list of her favorites from students and colleagues in her essay, and concludes, “It is my conviction that we need thoughtful, active collective engagement and participation — by both students and faculty members — to transform not just our classrooms but all of higher education.”

Davidson directs the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center and co-directs HASTAC@CUNY.

Learn more about her research.

Submitted on: AUG 29, 2017

Category: English | Faculty | GC Press Coverage | General GC News