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Avoiding the Mediocrity Pact: Another Crisis in Higher Education

Avoiding the Mediocrity Pact: Another Crisis in Higher Education
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Author(s): Victor Meyer, Jr. (Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Brazil), J. Patrick Murphy (DePaul University, USA) and Bernardo Meyer (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 12
Source title: Assessing University Governance and Policies in Relation to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mansoor A. Alaali (Ahlia University, Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8279-4.ch008

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Abstract

This chapter identifies a problem in higher education affecting all levels of participants from student to trustee. It is a condition where teachers pretend they are teaching, and students pretend they are learning. Brazilian anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro observed education in Brazil, identifying one of its maladies in coining the expression “O Pacto da Mediocridade” — the Mediocrity Pact. Cohen and March analyzed universities characterizing them as organized anarchies. The chapter conceptualizes the term and provides examples of the pact in action in the COVID-19 pandemic context. The authors identified problems challenging higher education management and suggested strategies to overcome the pact. Finally, they emphasize the higher education benefits of citizenship, better appreciation of culture and arts, and learning to live peacefully in a democratic and changing society.

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