Four or five years ago, I went to talk to the fourth graders at the Dalton School about the universe. They were transfixed, waving two hands in the air, saying, “I have a question!” At the end, some of them had to be dragged out by their shirt collars for their next class. I took the bus back to Columbia, to the core science course I’d created, where we were going to be talking about a neuroscience article. The students were there, on time, prepared, but their expression was, “In two hours, this class will be over.” I looked at them and said, “Why aren’t you more like fourth graders?” It was a rhetorical question. One said, “Fourth graders are curious and university freshmen by and large aren’t.” One said, “There’s so much to learn, and it’s all on Google anyway.” Another said, “This is a seminar. Asking questions could be a sign of weakness. You can only ask questions in big lectures where you’re anonymous.” The last person said, “You have to understand, I’m paying for a degree, not an education.” It’s not true of all students and it’s certainly not confined to Columbia, but it explained a lot to me about the commodification of education.
domingo, 22 de enero de 2012
Quest University: una manera distinta de hacer las cosas
Una nueva universidad en Canadá, con un enfoque radicalmente distinto al de la mayoría. La entrevista con su presidente no tiene desperdicio: por qué no tienen tenure o departamentos, la curiosa manera en que distinguimos entre "carga" docente y "oportunidades" de investigación...Creo que es radical, pero la verdad es que en la motivación coincido con él, como en este párrafo: