Cover: The Uncertain Profession: Harvard and the Search for Educational Authority, from Harvard University PressCover: The Uncertain Profession in E-DITION

The Uncertain Profession

Harvard and the Search for Educational Authority

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$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674422223

Publication Date: 01/01/1980

341 pages


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Associate Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1968 to 1976, Arthur Powell brings special knowledge to an intriguing question: Can a profession also be a valid liberal art? Harvard’s strenuous attempt to have it both ways is traced in this first serious history of a major school of education.

The Uncertain Profession reviews the specific choices and concerns that have faced professors and administrators at Harvard since education was first taught in 1891. This case study of one university’s experience is framed by larger issues: Is education a proper university subject? What educational roles are most important? Should the focus be on theory or on practice? How are education professionals developed? What are the central tasks education could reasonably perform in American society?

The university’s function in relation to the primary and secondary schools has never been clear cut, and dilemmas inherent in the attempt to professionalize schoolteaching are numerous and far-reaching. Arthur Powell’s engrossing account of Harvard’s struggle will help to clarify the issues and provoke new debate on the role of education in modern society.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene