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The Learning Paradigm College

The Learning Paradigm College

John Tagg, Peter T. Ewell (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-882-98258-5 April 2003 Jossey-Bass 400 Pages


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In The Learning Paradigm College, John Tagg builds on the ground-breaking Change magazine article he coauthored with Robert Barr in 1995, “From Teaching to Learning; A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education.” That piece defined a paradigm shift happening in American higher education, placing more importance on learning outcomes and less on the quantity of instruction. As Tagg defines it, “Where the Instruction Paradigm highlights formal processes, the Learning Paradigm emphasizes results or outcomes. Where the Instruction Paradigm attends to classes, the Learning Paradigm attends to students.”

The Learning Paradigm College presents a new lens through which faculty and administrators can see their own institutions and their own work. The book examines existing functional frameworks and offers a way to reenvision and recast many familiar aspects of college work and college life, so that readers may better understand their learners and move toward a framework that focuses on learning outcomes.

Divided into five parts, the book introduces the Learning Paradigm, concentrates on understanding our learners, provides a framework for producing learning, discusses the six essential features of the Learning Paradigm college, and focuses on how to become a Learning Paradigm college.

Eminently clear and accessible descriptions of the features of the Learning Paradigm are paired with examples of how institutions of higher education around the country are transforming themselves into Learning Paradigm colleges. The Learning Paradigm College is both hopeful and realistic about what all those involved in higher education can achieve.

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Part I. A New Paradigm?

1. The Challenge.

2. The Problem of Scale: Why Innovations Don’t Transform Colleges.

3. The Instruction Paradigm: Process Before Purpose.

4. The Route to Transformation: The Learning Paradigm, Old and New.

Part II. The Foundation: The Learners and the Learning.

5. The Learners.

6. Self-Theories and Academic Motivation.

7. Approaches to Learning.

Part III. The Learning Environment of the College.

8. The Whole That Determines the Parts.

9. The Cognitive Economy of the Instruction Paradigm College.

Part IV. A Design for Learning.

10. The Cognitive Economy of the Learning Paradigm College.

11. A Learning Paradigm College Promotes Intrinsically Rewarding Goals.

12. A Learning Paradigm College Requires Frequent, Continual, Connected, and Authentic Student Performances.

13. A Learning Paradigm College Provides Consistent, Continual, Interactive Feedback to Students.

14. A Learning Paradigm College Provides a Long Time Horizon for Learning.

15. A Learning Paradigm College Creates Purposeful Communities of Practice.

16. A Learning Paradigm College Aligns All of Its Activities Around the Mission of Producing Student Learning.

Part V. Transforming the College.

17. Barriers to Transformation.

18. Scaffolding for Change.

19. The Golden Rule.