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Final Reflection #2

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Final Reflection. Education has changed significantly during the last four decades. However, the outlook has started to develop in the last three centuries because of development in almost every field of study. For understanding the core changes John R. Thelin’s “A History of American Higher Education” and Andrew Delbanco’s “College: What It Was, Is and Should Be” are the two finest pieces of writings. It has provided quite diversified outlooks covering time spans of past, present, and future. Thelin’s book is quite limited for scholarly reading whereas Delbanco has made use of the more informal approach. However, both of these books have addressed different issues related to education and college life, in particular.

Final Reflection. Education and methods of teaching have evolved during the last two decades thereby creating numerous opportunities for students to grasp different concepts and outlooks. Considering the history of American Higher Education, two books seems to be quite promising to me. “A History of American Higher Education” written by John R. Thelin and “College: What It Was, Is and Should Be” written by Andrew Delbanco. Each of these books have highlighted different issues in American higher education domains. This reflection paper will ponder over the potential components presented in these books along with their implementation in professional lives of education domain students.
John Thelin’s book has provided me with a perspective of education during the 18th, 19th and 20th century.

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The book has provide a more sophisticated outlook based on general history and is quite commonly targeted for popular and scholarly audiences. Nevertheless, Delbanco has followed a different approach that is quite informal, witty, and erudite and quite engaging. That is one of the major difference that I have observed as part of these two readings. Thelin’s book has covered a number of different amusing stories; however, he has explored the history of American higher education since 1962. At the last two chapters of the book, Thelin has also converged a more diversified approach of conveying educational topics that belong to the 18th century, as well as the 20th century.
On the lighter note, Delbanco has mentioned a much more interesting; yet, messy, distribution of chapters. Delbanco (2012) aim was to provide ideas of what he quite commonly calls “a messy mixture” (p. 150). As part of Delbanco’s book, it is also clearly evident that it has provided a more vibrant outlook of historical development that are quite brief in some respects. But, the major part of the book is quite commonly dedicated to different problems in the higher education system. The book can be viewed as a mere reflection of personalized essays along with analysis, commentary, reflections and different themes that revolves around a central theme called, colleges.
While reading Therin’s book, it is quite evident that the book is quite commonly a collection of different bibliographic essays that are underscoring the very foundation of Thelin’s book. Additionally, the depth of research and breadth of different sources has allowed Thelin to deliver a more long-lasting general history that has embraced institutional diversity. It is one of the most remarkable features of American higher education system. He has covered every educational institution of almost every type. Apart from that, his books also included community colleges and have devoted the considerable energy in shedding light on those who were excluded from a more traditional and formal higher education as part of the race, gender and ethnicity.
Thelin has preferred to take a more serious stance on these topics along with different non-academic topics as part of American higher education history. He has mentioned different aspects of educational system including campus architecture, intercollegiate athletics, and most importantly collegiate life. On the other hand, Delbanco’s approach can be clearly seen from the book’s title which includes the past, present and to greater extent American higher education future. It has also included all the good as well as bad experiences in relation to American higher education system. From my view, it is neither a complaint nor an expression of going for impossible solutions to this problem. Instead, the book provides a more diversified outlook in providing the explanation of these problems in much detailed manner. He has also utilized different popular sources that include the usage of alumni memoirs that quite vibrantly illustrates the usage of a scholarly point related to the importance of out-of-the-classroom based approach and experiences. By providing this detailed outlook, he has also shed light on the critical components of the American education system by providing different college life stories as part of his writing. On the other hand, I have also noticed that Thelin has also shed light on the topic of reform and scandal in college sporting events. He has also paid special attention towards the significant as well as the challenging role of the spectator sports on different American campuses.
On the other hand, Delbanco’s book has provided light on numerous subjects and has not limited on a single topic. However, it does not provide that many details related to every subject. But, Delbanco has provided an Academy of ideas through the lens of humanities and liberal arts perspectives. The book surely has some limitations that I have observed. The first and foremost is related to its core focus on elite colleges (Delbanco, 2012; Thelin, 2004).
All in all, Thelin and Delbanco have written quite exceptional books and have reflected the best history in their specific tones. Thelin’s book has made used of various sources and has provided a more serious approach towards the topic; however, Delbanco’s approach is somewhat more informal. Nevertheless, these books have given me ample insight about the education perspective in almost every era and more specifically during the 18th to 20th-century time span.
Delbanco, A. (2012). College. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Thelin, J. (2004). A history of American higher education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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