GPP: First Thoughts

For those that have taken the Preparing the Professoriate and Cotemporary Pedagogy courses, I’m sure you can agree that no longer getting together on a regularly basis with classmates is a bit sad. Although we may adore the folks in our own distinctive departments, getting out of our own “box” can be refreshing. Those of us that have aspired to fulfill the Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate have ended up seeing familiar faces throughout taking these courses. I remember exchanging contact information with a few students on the last day of last semester’s Contemporary Pedagogy course as we came to the realization that we probably would no longer have any classes together. However, also on the last day of class, we were charged with the mission of continuing to participate in learning communities supporting various aspects of pedagogy and/or higher education.

Since finding out I was accepted into the 2018 cohort of the Global Perspectives Program, I have been most excited for the opportunity to continue to get to know others from various disciplines. Although our 8am Global Perspectives meetings come at the expense of not sleeping in (may have forgotten my quarters to park in the Squires lot this past week), I very much enjoy the notion of getting together with these students again. And who are “these students?” They are individuals that, despite our many differences, share a similar passion for teaching, learning, and higher education. While there are a few familiar faces in the group, there are many others I am just meeting for the first time. I can already tell this experience will be unique in the fact that it is an accelerated means of getting to know people. We are already utilizing one another for travel plans/help and company and some of these individuals are practically still strangers!

Dean DePauw let us know that she’s confident that our learning objectives and research project topics will change over time, but here is my first shot at them.

Learning objectives:

  1. Explore different perceptions and viewpoints about the United States and its higher education system, especially in the current political climate
  2. Compare the value to which Europeans place on education versus how Americans value education (right vs. privilege).
  3. Determine what value is placed upon teachers/instructors within higher education and education in general.
  4. Exemplify a “go with the flow” mentality.

Research topic:

My research topic stems from the fact that I have a good friend who studied abroad in Copenhagen and pretty much never came back (seriously – she has been there for 5 years now). She would tell me that instead of being required to go to class, there was the freedom of learning material on their own. She had made it seem as though class was a free-for-all, except for the exam taking place at the end of the semester.

How do European universities assess their students?

-Assign grades?

-Numerical vs. P/F

-Assignments/Homework/etc.?