NOTE TO UPDATED EDITION
It has been ten years since the original publication of this book. When writing a book like this, you are inclined to believe the ideas have some value but you don’t know whether others will also value the ideas until you see how they respond to the book. It has been extremely rewarding and humbling to see how widely the book has been accepted and used. Reports from individual professors on the impact of these ideas have been very heartwarming.
Part of this success, of course, can be attributed to several changes that have been occurring in higher education. In the United States—and even more so in some other countries—civic and higher education leaders have felt a growing concern that even when students graduate from college, they are not learning what they need to be learning to face the challenges of life in the twenty-first century. In his influential book, The World Is Flat (2005), Thomas Friedman described how the world has become interconnected in multiple ways here at the beginning of the current century. Based on this, he also argued that all countries need college graduates who have a new and better kind of learning that will equip them to deal with the challenges and the opportunities of this more-complex world.
The next year Derek Bok, then-president of Harvard University, published a widely read book, Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (2006). He gathered data from already ...