- Putting organizational/structural challenges aside, how do you envision yourself cultivating a (more) critical practice?
- How might you share what you’ve learned at DPLI with your colleagues and continue conversations about critical approaches on your campus?
Meta-cognition seems to have been a theme today, whether implicit or explicit. I think if I expect my students to think about “why” and “what,” then it’s only fair that I do the same thing in creating their learning spaces, both physical and digital. The classroom I’ve been assigned is a standard lecture hall, which will make it difficult for me to act as a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage.. Since I have little control over that physical space (space is at a premium), I can work on creating digital spaces to support the face-to-face experience in a meaningful way. I like the idea of creating a gathering space, but I’m not sure how to create that digitally that will be accessible to all students.
I think when I sit dow to really look at my learning objectives and outcomes, I will have to answer the “why” questions more completely than I have in the past. Followed by the “what” and the “how.” I also need to be prepared to abandon some things if they do not serve a purpose other than my own amusement. I also want to make my intentions clear to my students. Why learn what we’re learning? How will it help them become better citizens of the world?
As far as continuing the conversation about critical approaches on my campus, I think talking to colleagues in General Studies will be relatively simple. My dean already sent me here and said that I might bring some information back. So, supervisor support is there. And I know I have some colleagues who are always up for trying new things and exploring ideas that might be scary. At the institutional level, however, I will have more difficulty. But I think it might be doable over time and with the right hallway conversations with the right people.
I will not call my students “guinea pigs,” but I might ask them to collaborate with me on certain projects to facilitate agency and self-discovery. Sometimes that kind of buy-in works for students, and I will have brand-new freshmen who might not be jaded yet. I can then retroactively call it a “pilot,” which administrators love.
I say all of this, but I still don’t even know what those projects might look like (or what anything looks like, really). I guess that’s okay, since I have all this week to figure that out. And, if I don’t figure it out, I have until September 4th. 🙂