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Risk-taking is foundational to the structure and goals of higher education. Encouraging students to consider new, diverse, even uncomfortable ideas is needed to develop a critically informed view of the world and establish one’s own values and beliefs. Yet, students and parents are increasingly averse to risk-taking in higher education; a shift evidenced by calls for colleges and universities to provide an education that shelters students from diverse and potentially controversial ideas and topics. This tension over the necessary role of risk-taking in higher education represents a critical moment for American education.
This volume includes authors from numerous academic disciplines to emphasize both the importance of risk-taking across higher education and to highlight the varied approaches to incorporate risk-taking into classroom practices. The authors’ collective works in this volume reaffirm the critical need to reject intellectual coddling and commodification in the college classroom, and to promote intellectual risk-taking as an essential aspect of higher education. Sustained, systematic emphasis on risk-taking in higher education is key to promoting innovation, critical thinking, life-long learning, and moral-ethical development.