Much of my work over the years has focused on my calling into question either/or binary positions on contentious issues; choosing, rather, to formulate both/and positions that seek to capture the best insights from those adhering to the two either/or poles
It all started many years ago, during my days as a Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at two Christian liberal arts colleges. The first either/or false choice I rejected was as follows:
- College faculty members should focus either on effective teaching or productive scholarship.
This false choice fails to capture the truth that effective teaching and productive scholarship are two sides of the same coin, with each activity enriching the other.
More recently, there has been a debate in Christian higher education circles about another false choice:
- College education should focus either on the dissemination of information or the development of character.
Once again it is both/and, not either/or. At its best, college education includes the dissemination of information that will deeply inform the character development of the learner (for elaboration, see pp. 27-31 of my book Let’s Talk). Read more