Posted by: codecalla | September 28, 2013

Education

This past month has been a frenzy of multiple semesters beginning, a few ending, and a constant flow of homework, both mine and my students.  While I stare at the fictional characters I love in their isolated chamber in my head, I realize that it may be some time before they are properly freed.

My average in the doctorate program thus far is a 89%, which is disappointing, because I know I can do better.  The habit of perfectionism is hitting me hard.

As I struggle to provide quality material and lectures for students in literature, composition, and humanities, I am also facing challenges teaching online courses and taking an online course.

My last post was of “The Wave,” and sometimes I wonder if I am submerged or trying to roll with the surf.

I have dedicated considerable time to de-stressing, forgetting the blog entirely at times, while sobbing my heart out watching Korean dramas.

It’s easy to forget that I have a quality of work to finish for my creative endeavors, when the issue of the day is keeping up with what the students need.  Unfortunately, it never seems to be enough.  Unlike black holes, which may in fact lead to another dimension or destroy things caught in their gravitational pulls, I find students are ravenous to the degree in which it affects their grade.

Goals are the main focus of their temperament, so if they are sick and miss understanding how to do an assignment, it is my fault as an instructor because I did not stop my other responsibilities to go out of my way to explain what they missed, even if the assignment sheet is provided with their syllabus, and they were the ones who were not in class when it was explained.  It is frustrating to be blamed for someone’s achievement or lack of achievement, when much of what they must do relies upon them.  Are they, too, perfectionists?  Is any grade other than an “A” going to satisfy them?  Regardless of quality of the work, which I am required to grade?  Or do they feel that their grade is somehow an estimation of their intelligence, a judgment of them?  Grades are transitory things.  Honestly they are a way to record progress of understanding, and sometimes failing an assignment leads to greater student understanding.

Assessment is the demon of education.  I think rather than assessment, we should be grading application of ideas.  How creative are the students’ uses of the knowledge they are given and the methodology they are taught.  Practical use, creative use, any use at all.  Show us the value of what you learned.  Use it!  And for those who say “how can I use this?” I answer, “What do you think?”

Stop asking me to think for you.  Use your gift of unique perspective as an individual and think for yourself.  Intelligence is not measured by “education”.  Education is a pathway to knowledge, but it exists on multiple planes.  There are many forms of intelligence and education.   Where we can progress is in the different viewpoints of the knowledge and its applications.  How many things lie undiscovered because people are trying to think like others or find the “right” answer?

 


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