Dr. Christopher Martin, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, was awarded a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Higher education across the world is undergoing major change. Programs are being cut, tuition is rising and government support is declining. What role should the public play in deciding on the legitimacy and appropriateness of such reforms? Dr. Martin asks these types of questions in a research project recently funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Martin will use these findings to identify the pathways through which differing conceptions of the aims and purposes of higher education have informally or formally influenced policy debate in the international context.
Martin looks at the role that aims of higher education should play in higher education policy, what those aims should look like, and perhaps most importantly, the role that the public should play in deciding on the nature and scope of any such aims.
“Dr. Christopher Martin’s raises fundamental societal questions concerning what constitutes higher education alongside considering why it matters, and who gets to decide,” says Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta, Director of Graduate Programs and Research.
“In doing so, it promises to invite much dialogue, debate, and deliberation from multiple perspectives that he suggests forms the core of a democratic society.”
The SSHRC grant will help Dr. Martin continue his existing research on democracy and educational policy in order to see what such policy making should look like in the higher education context – an area undergoing radical, and often controversial, change.
“The future of higher education represents one of the most frequently debated and fraught educational issues to capture the attention of the public in the new millennium,” says Dr. Christopher Martin, “the question remains as to what extent a public voice should be guiding such change as to opposed to, say, markets and consumer choice.”
Martin plans to use significant part of the SSHRC funding to support students who are interested in pursuing graduate research on themes related to education policy. If you are interested in studying at UBC's Faculty of Education visit education.ok.ubc.ca/programs/grad.
Martin is author of numerous publications including Education in a Post-Metaphysical World: Rethinking Educational Policy and Practice Through Jürgen Habermas' Discourse Morality. Martin is described by Memorial University Associate Professor, Walter Okshevsky, as, "one of the most interesting and promising young philosophers in the field of educational philosophy."
Link to Dr. Martin’s new book: R.S. Peters: Continuum Library of Educational Thought http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/r-s-peters-9781441135964/
Link to Dr. Martin’s new publication: Who Should Go to University? Justice in University Admissions. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9752.12044/abstract
More on Dr. Martin: http://education.ok.ubc.ca/about/faculty/Christopher_Martin_PhD.html