Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Really Matters In College

Association of American Colleges
& Universities Call for Proposals

Today's economic uncertainties challenge
all of us to be creative in meeting our
commitments to students. These uncertainties
also make even more urgent the need for us
to prepare all students to thrive in a turbulent
and fluid world.

Robes and Mortar Board talk.
Tuxedos in the Vegetable Garden talk.

Now, more than ever, AAC&U members
are championing the value of a liberal
education for individual students as well
as for a nation dependent on economic
creativity and democratic vitality. Colleges,
universities, state systems, and other partners
are using this moment to engage the public
and the larger academy with core questions
about what really matters in college.

Like hearing about starving kids in India:
won’t make me eat porridge any faster
until for some reason --god knows what,
maybe the Chronicles of Hire Education
will light it up and it’ll be cool professionally,
catch-on all around and then I’ll get with it.
Porridge and Pedagogy: Proposals for
Creativity in our Commitment to Students..

Efforts to sustain creative innovation and
address the future of liberal learning in a
context of dramatic change are evident
within all sectors of the higher education
community. We invite you to share your
best efforts to translate educational vision
into concrete practices.

This has the sound of in-the-box talk
about out-of-the-box possibilities:
3-Little-Piggie talk about some
Meta-Piggie coming on down
the road to rap on my doors
politely, correctly. No
BB Wolf need apply.

We might could be talking about how
we DO it in these troubled days of
turbulence. IT, I said.

We need practical and replicable strategies
for institutionalizing our best practices—our
most visionary and transformational work.
We need models for sustaining innovation
and for learning from both successes and

I don’t see anything like this included in
any of our long range strategic and tactical
planning talk, do I? A small section
addressed to experiment,
(not team teaching: same old same
old compounded: need we argue?),
trial and error-ing: a think-tank-of-our-own:
student populated, faculty peopled, staff-
supported, administration embraced &
encouraged. .

Collaborative Genius as opposed to and
complementary with Individual Genius &
no need to tip-toe around the notion “genius”
for crying out loud: exactly what is needed to
be called forth, provoked, mid-wived, educed,
educated: local food. Metis. Non-franchise able.
Not replicable despite pleas and constraints &
demands of the funding agencies, fundament
fundamentalists of industrialized, institutionalized
professional hire educationalists.

Pedagogy. Conjure that awful Word.
A pedagogue was initially a trusted
servant who walked the kids to school
and back. Pedant. Pedantic. Pediatric.
Peripatetic.. Walk with me.

Not your math, physics, chemistry, biology;
Nor your anthropology, sociology, history, literature
Not your psychology, philosophy, religion, art: all that
content galore, all that subject & object matter with
its housekeeping needs & territorial wishings: the
Nouns of higher education. Liberal arts.
Majors and Minors.

Pedagogy am a verb,
media, process, journey.
The Liberal Art. AAC&U
not with standing.

xxxooo, Ray Andersom

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