Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Uncivil Discourse and Hire Education

Vocation & Provocation.

“When the impulse is to change the world,

the academy is more likely to engender a

learned helplessness than to create a

sense of empowerment”

“Being overwhelmed is the first step.”

Liz Coleman, Pres. Bennington College


At a time when our nation faces ethical

and civic challenges of daunting complexity,

it is crucial that we return to the core

commitments of personal and social

responsibility inherent in liberal education.

AAC&U promo for fall convention in

Minneapolis Minn.

The conference also features six premeeting

workshops and more than sixty presentations

describing best practices and campus models—

half of which focus on assessing personal and

social responsibility outcomes. You can learn

more about the conference highlights and

workshops online.

Neither Logic Nor Sermons Convince, says

Whitman. How do we factory THAT in to

our desire to provide wellness and wholistic


Vocation and Provocation

I’m saying the difference between liberal arts

and The Liberal Art is the difference between

vocational training and provocation

Need we argue?

Dr Mycoff once warned: “The problem with

trying to be provocative, Sam,: you might


How to provoke without provoking?

That would be liberal art right there.

Demoralize without Demoralization.

When my colleagues proposed an Honor’s English

program back in the day, immediately I recognized

a need for a Dishonors Program to counter balance

& have single-handedly over the years tried to provide

one: always for the Sake of Argument & recently in

the Name of Emergent Phenomenon & Values.

I don’t succeed, but like Ted Kennedy’s commitment

to Universal Health Insurance & Liz Coleman’s to cast

higher education as performing art, it’s my Life-Time

Goal & Mission Impossible, finding room in the inn for

Marginal Notions, Edgy & the Free Associations, Ike

Illogical & the Irrationals, Nasty & the Indeterminates:

as party to any lollapalooza here or, say, at the fall

meeting of AAC&U: Educating for Personal and

Social Responsibility: Deepening Student and Campus

Commitments Networks for Academic Renewal

Conference, that they might be house bands.

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