Designing the Course of the Future: Stephen Larsen Visit

As our seminar on “Designing the Course of the Future” has proceeded, we have had the pleasure of welcoming guest speakers on a variety of topics: Sherry Turkle of MIT on the social and psychological effects of technology, Tom Jehn of the Harvard College Writing Program on writing across the curriculum, Lynn Stein of Olin College on classroom design.

Stephen Larsen

Stephen Larsen


This past Monday we welcomed Stephen Larsen, who after teaching at St. John’s College and here at Harvard has moved on to direct international university programs in China and the Asia Pacific region. Dr. Larsen added two key elements to our ongoing efforts to imagine the future of education: firstly, he spoke about the multiple efforts to globalize American style higher education, and secondly (and relatedly) the way collaborations between non-profit and for-profit education are structuring this process.

Dr. Larsen argued that within these large-scale transformations “innovation” is a key term, especially in the cutting-edge internationalizing programs and in the Chinese universities, and that discussions about innovation, whether related to curricular content or pedagogical approaches, require a clearer account than we currently have of what it means to teach students to be innovators and to train faculty to teach in the spirit of innovation. He brought to the fore several fundamental questions: How can we imagine curricular and pedagogical reform, whether here or abroad, that would put greater emphasis on the development of innovating skills and habits of mind? How do you teach innovation? And how do you adapt existing institutions or create new ones that can support innovation, especially when introducing institutional changes requires commitment from diverse contributors and stakeholders.

5 thoughts on “Designing the Course of the Future: Stephen Larsen Visit

  1. Hi,

    A very interesting point has been highlighted in this post. In today’s world, the pace of work life is so fast that universities must pay special attention to the element of innovation, new ideas must come to light. These students are the future and their minds must be sharp enough to be innovative. Thanks for sharing!

    Riya Sam
    Training for Entrepreneurs.com

  2. Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  3. I found this post very interesting and it is confirming the general view of the expatriates community around the world. When it comes to compare all the different curriculum of all the international schools around the world the general feeling is that no real innovative initiative and pedagogical reforms is happenings in the international school systems.

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