The Sage has Retired and the Stage has Collapsed: Paradigmatic Shifts in the Teaching and Learning Process
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
Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kennesaw State University