Teaching Excellence in American Higher Education: A History of Dissonance Between Theory and Practice




Bernard, Robert A.

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This dissertation examines how conceptions of teaching in American higher education are formed and evolve over time. Utilizing genealogical and time sampling methodology as well as historical text analysis within the context of critical theory, this work traces how conceptions of university teaching originated in 12th century Europe, evolved at the beginning of the early modern period, and then later transferred to and can be identified in American higher education. The research findings indicate that many core elements of higher education in the 20th century have their origins in the 12th century. The dissonance between the different aspects of teaching identified in the research has implications for how contemporary conceptions of teaching are understood and encouraged, as well as how these conceptions are applied today.


This work was embargoed by the author and will not be publicly available until August 2016.


Centers for Teaching Excellence, Higher education, Teaching Excellence, Universities and Colleges--Europe--History, Universities and Colleges--History, Universities and Colleges--United States--History