Hampshire College

Barnard College’s approach may be more focused, but can it be effective?
Five years ago when -- deeply impressed by the college's students -- I agreed to become Hampshire's sixth president, my wife, Ellie, was bemused; she knew very well that her non-academic husband, even with a master's in education, would face a steep learning curve.
The building's value to us is in what it teaches about possibility, and the questions it compels us to ask about what is right in how we impact our surroundings. Honestly, why are buildings today built any other way? What will compel the construction of more living buildings?
You won't find our college in the U.S. News & Word Report "Best Colleges" rankings released this month. Last year Hampshire College decided not to accept SAT/ACT test scores from high school applicants seeking admission.
As climate change creates more difficult conditions for agriculture, poor farmers -- with least access to technology -- suffer first.
My last post looked at math as part of an inquiry-driven, interdisciplinary curriculum, with the focus on the individual learner's questions and needs. Let's turn now to some of the values and aspirations informing that approach -- inclusion, inspiration, empowerment, and positive change.
If students spend their time in class doing something over and over, with an emphasis on memory and recall, can we blame them for wondering, "What am I doing this for?"
The pace of change is accelerating, and it's estimated that 70 percent of them will end up in jobs not yet invented. They will collaborate with people on multiple continents, struggling to solve problems we don't yet recognize.
A recent conversation with my wife, a career elementary school teacher, gave me a new way to think about lifelong learning.
I was a dreadful student in college. A curriculum based on lectures, reading lists, and examinations didn't work for me. But when I entered the Peace Corps the experience was compelling.
Include students in decision-making. Encourage them to question food production and supply systems, and to envision solutions. Challenge them -- and just as importantly, invite them to challenge you -- to think in new and forward-looking ways.
Graduates who are trained to address tough situations with ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and a capacity for mobilizing collaborative thinking and cooperative action are the most valuable contribution any school can make to society.
Not all good students are good test takers, particularly under stress, and taking a test that can grant you entry or deny you access can certainly be stressful.
Just the opposite is true. Flip the question and consider the many ways grades fail the learning process. Grades tend to inhibit curiosity by encouraging students to do only what is required to earn an A.
Mission, rather than money, ought to be the basis for thoughtful decision-making as colleges recruit and enroll those students who will most benefit from studying within a school's particular academic model.
Morocco has given the world more than gorgeous textiles and treasures. It has gifted us with the likes of Yasmine El Baggari
Every year, it never fails that I have one, two or three students dying to major in film and television studies. Right away, I tell them that it is one of the most competitive college majors to get into in the U.S.
When an advertisement was plastered on the wall of some abandoned building for the performance of the first part of a new piece, I decided to attend and ended up in a walk-up loft, where we all sat on the floor. Thus I ended up at the premiere of Music for Eighteen Musicians.
Nelson Mandela holds a special place in the collective memory at Hampshire College. In 1977 Hampshire divested from companies doing business in South Africa. Hampshire was the first college or university in the United States to do so, launching what became a national movement.