The Sage has Retired and the Stage has Collapsed: Paradigmatic Shifts in the Teaching and Learning Process

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Drivers for social change in higher education include shifting demographics and a movement from a post-industrial economic base to a knowledge based economy. Effective teaching and genuine learning now require that instructors meet a diverse group of students “where” and “how” they learn. Material culture in the form of emerging technologies and multiple delivery formats provides a foundation for these new paths in the instructional process. This social change can be impeded, though, by non-material cultural barriers that are cognitive (a belief that social interaction occurs only in a classroom with a professor that you will always remember), normative (the professor is the sage on the stage), and symbolic (a library must be bricks and mortar). A discussion of the paradigmatic shift in how we teach, and the pushers and blockers associated with this change are presented from a sociological perspective.


Keywords: Sociological Paradigm, Social Change, Knowledge Economy, Material Culture, Non-Material Culture
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Lana Wachniak

Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, GA, USA

Lana Wachniak is Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology and has been in university administration for the past decade. While her research interests in her discipline revolve around the study of deviance (serial killers and their artwork), she also approaches her administrative position from her perspective as a sociologist who examines the interactions of the statuses and roles that she and her colleagues occupy.

Ref: T08P0259