Mackler book rethinks American educational system

MOUNT VERNON — A new book by Cornell College education professor Stephanie Mackler claims that higher education emphasizes knowledge over meaning, and must be rethought outside of job training and knowledge acquisition.

people_stephanie_-mackler_naLearning for Meaning’s Sake, explores the overabundance of knowledge universities provide “without the wisdom to use it meaningfully,” according to Mackler.

“This new type of higher learning would engage students with questions of meaning in a way that results neither in excessive skepticism nor in blind adherence to dogma,” said Mackler. “Such an education would not only make classroom learning more meaning-full, but would enable students to be thoughtful about questions of meaning in their everyday lives.”

na_stavreva_book_cover_2009Mackler’s work asserts that modern universities are so focused on preparing students for the work place that they fail to provide answers to questions of meaning and purpose that many are looking for in their education. Through a diverse range of philosophical thought, Learning for Meaning’s Sake (Sense Publishers) offers a foundation for a new type of higher learning.

“When I started this work, I had not yet taught at a liberal arts college,” said Mackler. “Bringing my ideas into practice in the classroom setting let me better work out my ideas in my own practical experiences in the classroom at Cornell.”

Mackler received her Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College at Columbia University and is principally interested in philosophy of education, education and democracy, and liberal arts education. She has taught education at Cornell College since 2004. This is her first book.