I just watched Michael Wesch’s TedTalk about his baby and the learning curve one goes through when not being afraid to fail. It is completely different when the age of innocence has been lost and we as a society are forced into boxes of performance milestones which when not successfully passed means some students are literally left behind. As a future professor these are topics I address quite a bit in my blog (amongst other things), but, most importantly I challenge archaic methods of teaching. I’m so pleased to see that Mr. Wesch can verbalize with character depictions some thoughts that I’ve had locked away in my head.
Some professors in PhD programs are so stuck in how “they progressed” through a program of study that they aren’t willing to allow new generations, albeit the future generation of professors, to explore innovative ways of doing things. So many are living the “if I had to suffer then you do as well” mentality. Sorry Charlie, we will not allow you to continue the destructive nature of repeating an inept cycle. Some of us did come from challenging life experiences as stated in Mr. Wesch’s video and we know dysfunction when we see it. Let alone the complete disinterest that undergraduates are subjected to when taking a course from a “brilliant researcher” who has zero capacity to express empathy. We must continue to have valid and relevant conversations addressing these concerns. As a top educational facility we are shaping the next generation of this country and we owe it to society to think outside the box and allow all forms of expression which result in real leaning, not just the checking off of milestones.