The wisdom of Foucault rings in my mind: “We are more than scores” echoing Dr. Michael Wesch

Blogging? Honestly, blogging has never been a thing that I would do in my life. When I learned that I had to do for GEDI class, I said to myself “so… it is a part of my Ph.D. program, so I am going to do it.” Well, after all, I have been well ‘disciplined’ throughout my education and more importantly my whole life, in a very Foucauldian sense. Being exposed to Foucault in my first semester at VT, maybe I am over thinking about the disciplined aspect of my agency; perhaps more precisely, my whole being…

 

“Punish and Discipline: The Birth of Prisons”

 

Source: https://educationmuseum.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/discipline-and-punish-the-birth-of-the-prison/

 

However, why not to give a shot to express my agency and my “humility” in blogging? In other words, not considering blogging as a tool to feel a sophisticated person or to resist by articulating my way of thinking or raising my voice; rather, as a way to find my words, to do self-reflection, and to critically see “who I am.” Along the line of Seth Godin’s speech on blogging, blogging can be really about “humility” that comes from writing, thinking about what I am going to say in three paragraphs. Seeing blogging as a way to respond out loud and to work ‘openly,’ as Doug Belshaw states, can be my excitement here, but not the continuation of my disciplinarity. So here I am!

“Teaching” and “learning”… I have been heavily thinking about these as I start to ‘teach’ this semester. How am I going to have a connection with my students? What does ‘a good teacher’ means to me? How do I learn, so that teach them to learn and study? How can I create a space for a friendly, open, and respectful environment to my students while they have been already exposed to political, cultural, and social divide? How to present “International Relations” as a fun class to them while we have been already living in a fragmented and more importantly unfair world? And, how should I “grade” them at the end of the day? By putting them in a ranking system, again in a Foucauldian sense?

Dr. Michael Wesch in his TED-talks can’t express better my concerns I listed here. Absolutely, “we [my students and myself too] are more than scores” and “learning is more than what can be scored.” He exactly articulates my feelings when he says

Real learning that questions that you take out from this class, questions that inspires you, can drive you, take you all over the world, open up new connections for you, and forces you to do things that you might think that you never do.

And, more importantly, teaching is about, as Wesch says, “not to have small talk in the class, rather “big” and “deep” questions” that we, as educators, should ask to our students to find ‘their agencies’ this time: “Who am I?, What am I going to do?, and Am I going to make it?”

Let’s give a try to think deeply about these in order to achieve having “connections’”and “sincerity” with our students and to provide them with a sense of compassion and an ability to love themselves in the process of real learning.

 

Maybe these questions take us to the moon! Who knows?

 

Cheers!

Şengül