An innovative and groundbreaking 2012 book co-authored by UW-Madison’s Clifton Conrad and Laura Dunek was recently translated into Chinese and published
by Shanghai Scientific and Technological Education Publishing House.
The book, which was initially published in English by the Johns Hopkins University Press, is titled, “Cultivating Inquiry-Driven Learners: A College Education for the 21st Century.”
Conrad is a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor, a faculty member with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and the faculty director of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE). Dunek currently works with the UW System as a special assistant to the vice president for academic and student affairs. She is an alumna of the School of Education, having earned her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
A preview of their book explains: “Inquiry-driven learners anticipate, embrace, and adapt to disruptive change. Clifton Conrad and Laura Dunek advance a transformative purpose of a college education. They invite stakeholders from across higher education to engage in vigorous dialogue about the aims of a college education—and how to realize those aims. Increasingly influenced by market forces, many universities employ a default purpose of a college education: preparing students for entry into the workforce. As a result, students remain unprepared for a world in which much of the knowledge they acquire will have a shelf life of only a few years.
“‘Cultivating Inquiry-Driven Learners’ charts a new way forward. It proposes that a college education prepare students to be innovative and adaptable by developing four signature capabilities: core qualities of mind, critical thinking skills, expertise in divergent modes of inquiry, and the capacity to express and communicate ideas. In concert, these capabilities empower students to explore and foster ideas that will prepare them to successfully navigate constant change, capitalize on career opportunities, enrich their personal lives, and thoughtfully engage in public life.”