Friday, September 11, 2009

The Flattening of the Education Model in For-Profit Higher Education

The interview went off without a hitch and Dr. Gardner was even kind enough to drive me back to the hotel for my next interview.

Dr. Gardner is a man with an intense personal interest in the value of education - his teenage daughter goes to high school in Phoenix -- he's also an entrepreneur at heart and incredibly interested in how to change how education is delivered as a service to the learner. In other words, he thinks of how to "tip over" the dominant business and learning models in order to make it more efficient, of better value and easier to use for the students and for the other partners in the industry, the corporations who are looking to hire talented people that develop our economy.

Dr. Gardner isn't interested in making education a commodity, though during the lunch, Dr. Gardner used McDonald's as an analogy, explaining that the education industry could do a better job of responding to the needs of the market more quickly and giving them what they want so that they can use it to practical purposes -- a better way of life -- in the job market. "Students today want it hot and now," he said, riffing off the McDonald's ad campaign.

Philosophical and practical, Dr. Gardner displayed his business interest in the education sector outside the restaurant on our way to his next meeting.

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