Saturday, December 11, 2010

Greening Education?

            Greening Education
                 Difference that Makes a Difference.
Symptomatic Change on the one hand.
                  Systemic Change on the other hand.

Dear Jeff (both) & Kathryn & Laura & any others more and less
interested in “let’s change everything” or "let's NOT change
everything. always for the sake of argument & what's a college for.:
Isn’t it clear that our ways of thinking
focus on finished product:  regulating 
the issue and the force it takes as 
opposed to promoting  the obviously
complementary, front-end but 

incommensurate values  of generation
—the mess & guess & clouds of
unknowing-o-my-slip -sliding away
so essential  to the creative, inventive, 
& innovative process we also treasure?
Anecdotally, in the days of Leave it to Beaver a  mass
amount of students where I went to college took off  to
Vermont or Canada to ski during the 10 days of  “study

week”allotted between end of semester and then the 2
weeks of scheduled exam time.  Granted, we weren’t as
stressed and serious about IT as we are now, but the GAP
between TALKING and WORKING  the "system" was
probably  as great and as unmentionable, un-factoried in
(emperor's clothing-wise)- .  .

do you think there might be benefit in separating
(even polarizing) the Ways We TALK About IT
(schooling) and the Ways IT Actually IS?  And try
to do justice to both   1) HAP happening and 2) the
conventions (including esp. SACS) with which we
talk about hap happening?
        Call it Being “Phenomenological.”  
The kind of thinking that generates the problem can not be
the kind of thinking that resolves it, says Einstein: which is
easy for him to say. He’s Einstein. He claims imagination
is more important than knowledge.
Our universities... continue to teach and
operate in the system that is destroying the
biosphere. Adherence to the old mind-set,
the old curricula, obsolete pedagogy, and
shortsighted planning are producing
graduates who are trained to
perpetuate the destruction
of the biosphere. . .       
Get them ready for a different future. Paradigms
are shifting. The folly of the prevailing paradigm,
represented by the “modern” industrial system,

stands exposed in all its errors. A new paradigm
is taking hold: waste-free, renewable, cyclical,
resource efficient, benign, socially equitable,
in harmony with nature.   
Ray Anderson
And Keith Sawyer attests to the fact that an environment
that encourages failure and suspects clarity is perquisite
to developing  collaborativegenius. A good thing?  

            Pedagogy of  Succession
                  Proto-Stereo Type
       syllabus (contract)
*  lecture-to-discussion ratios
*  attendance policy
*  reading and writing assignments
   (texts, term & semester papers)
*  quizzes and examination policy
*  deadline policy (late penalties)
dead week policy
*  presentation/poster policies
*  assessment and evaluation policy
*  capstone policy
*  diagnosed learning disability policy

X 4-5 courses X 8 semesters:
our academic pattern language.

The repeated repeating repetition of “these types
messages too often  might lead to everyone
all message”: a liability that
accompanies the sometimes dubious benefit
of  redundancy  and deja view all over
again &
again & again.

                   Changing Everything.

“1) Would the academic program be improved if we had
an exam week?  Can this be developed in a way that
would not compromise term classes or frustrate the
work program office?

2) Would it behoove the academic program to institute
a "dead week" or a "study week" during week 15?  What
problems do you see with instituting a study week?
s this a priority?  

3) Are our contact hours excessive?  If so, would this
be remedied more effectively through reforming the
weekly schedule or the entire semester schedule?
Does the College have the will to pursue such reforms?”

“Anecdotally I have heard that students perceive
exams as the highest standard of rigor --
that is they think
that a course is more  challenging 
with a big scary exam at the end.

But is it the challenge we want?
One way I heard other schools doing it (within Gen Ed)
is to
assign each faculty to a number of items to assess.
example, 15 papers that were randomly assigned to
you to
  read for evidence of critical thinking or clear
  per semester.    (KB)
Isn’t it clear that our preferred thinking focuses on finished product:
regulating the issue and the force it takes as opposed to promoting
the obviously complementary, front-end and incommensurate values
of generation—the mess & guess & clouds of unknowing o my slip
sliding away so essential to the creative, inventive, & innovative
process we also treasure?
xxxooo, Boy Who’s Always Crying woof. 

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