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.