I hope this time of year year finds you saner and not worried about how much you are or are not getting done. . I ran across a quote in Laura Rendon’s book that struck me and woke me up.
"(W)e have created a culture where we evaluate not so much because we want to provide feedback, but because we want to be absolutely sure that what we teach is being learned within the framework of an academic term (Rendon 109)."
What strikes me is that we serve an abstraction called an academic term. We serve an abstraction that values seat time and fourteen weeks. We serve something we cannot hug, share a cup of coffee with or tell a joke to. We serve an extrusion machine which puts students in one end and through various machinations produces a passing student. (Perhaps a more anatomical metaphor would be appropriate, but I don’t want to put you off your feed.) But this is all an illusion. This system rarely does anything transformative to students or for students. It is a system that serves itself first and others by accident. It is lie on top of an illusion.
OK, I am being hyperbolic here, but you get the idea. Of course, I could be and probably am only partly right. If you want to read a very interesting and academic take on right brain teaching, take a long close look at Rendon’s very fine book. Happy New Year to all Coop members and I hope you have a great next term (see what I mean?)
Rendón, Laura I. Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation. Stylus Publishing, 2008. Print.