Good for What Ails Us

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Ken O'Donnell


Why a whole issue of JoSoTL for undergraduate research? We’ve known it’s good for us for at least 25 years and depending on how you define it, more like 2,500. Weren’t Plato and Socrates doing this?

Yes, but they didn’t have to deal with fickle enrollments, impatient trustees, and credit hour regulations, which could drive anyone to hemlock. In the time since then - in fact, just in the time since many of us were in college ourselves - higher education has faced new crises that challenge our ability to sustain undergraduate research. For one, there’s the explosion of student debt; nine years ago, the total for U.S. college students crossed a trillion dollars total, and since then it’s added nearly a trillion more. This makes it hard to defend anything that looks pricey, or boutique.


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How to Cite
O’Donnell, K. (2021). Good for What Ails Us. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 21(1). Retrieved from
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