In finishing the 2018 pedagogy course, it’s great to re-affirm the role of people-feelings within the realm of academia, be it research or instruction. It’s easy to become lost to the allure of pure, cold logic, the belief that things have definitive beginnings and definitive endings, that facts may be readily discerned with absolute certainty. Yet reading Parker Palmer’s piece shows an entirely different side to explore. Research and instruction alike are both voluntary and fallible: what may be discovered is forever limited by time and technology, what may be learned by the limitations of focus and recall. It’s important then that we draw our gaze as much to why as we would to how, that we shine our narrow vision on those gaps most worth knowing. It’s important then that, even when limited by institutional directives, we remember our true, original spirit of study, that which we dreamed about as children and which survives within us today. There’s much momentum in life which cannot be resisted, but all can be guided, and by integrating emotion into the driest, most tiring of fields, we can find and share that which is worth knowing and steer the course of the development of worthwhile knowledge for those the follow us in time.
April 25, 2018 @ 3:35 pm
I like your idea of thinking about our long term consequences. Maybe the historical sense can slow down the urgency of how and give us some time to think about the why too.
April 25, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Oof. That last line reads like poetry more than prose. I agree with the sentiment. I haven’t seen you in a teaching role, but your communication in seminar settings embodies an integration of emotions into “dry” fields. (Sorry if that upsets GBCB?) While integrating emotions is probably easier said than done, you both write and “do” emotions well. Sorry for the affirmation-esque comment. Your post just resonates with me; I think it’s because you poetically capture the difficulties faced by researchers and educators.
April 25, 2018 @ 6:59 pm
I totally agree with the earlier comments, you integrate emotion so well into this blog post. Your writing is so easy to read because it has emotion and it’s not dry at all. I really appreciated reading your post this week.
April 25, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
I wish we had approached this idea during the semester. I feel now that as we are approaching finals for undergraduates, educators really treat groups of students as an entity, not as people. The class that I am a TA for has had really conflicting results on tests so far this year, and we have had a host of problems from designing the test, to the specific learning goals, and how each of us are approaching the class. Lately my professor is really attached to final grades and how the outcome is going to look (on graduating seniors) and those who we are suggesting that they repeat the course. At this point we have lost the idea that our students are people and we should be trying to get all of them to pass this class. There are students that no matter what would have passed this class, and there are those that no matter what would not pass this class, including some who are already on their second try at the material. I think that remembering that our students are people and those people have educational needs and feeling themselves at the beginning of the semester would leave us in a better spot than we are at right now.
April 25, 2018 @ 8:28 pm
Your sentiments ring true for many of us. Eliminating emotion takes out a substantial part of the learning experience. Making ourselves vulnerable and allowing ourselves to be excited at appropriate times can send a powerful message in and of itself to our students. Being sensitive to the variety of emotions they experience during the course of their education also allows us to connect with them beyond the information and to adjust our methods to better suit their needs. Leaving the course strictly to objectivity already involves particular emotional choices, and further robs both the instructor and students of a more full educational experience.
April 25, 2018 @ 9:11 pm
I love your title! I agree a logic and data driven way of looking at and experiencing the world is so predominant today. It is invigorating to question the definition of professionalism like Palmer suggests to subvert this definition.