Gregorian, Watters and Rikard…Oh my Education

Reading these articles has just solidified that this was the right path for me. An interdisciplinary education. I do not fit in a box. I do not take the path most traveled. I have always found my own way of doing things. Gregorian touches so extensively on how education is in need of evolving. Education is not a one size fits all, everyone learns the same way kind of thing. It is unique to every individual. So why are we trying to make it so cut and dry?

I look back on the several years that I have been in school. Every year it is the same thing. You take classes because you have to. You learn calculus because that is what you have to do to graduate. You take a course in college so you can get a job. But are we thinking about how each student learns and at what pace and with what passion?

Passion. This brings us to a amazing point that Watters touched on in her article “The Web We Need to Give Students”. She mentions a few times the word control. This could mean a number of different things to each individual. The way that I see it is if I am passionate and excited about a class, an assignment, or a task that was assigned to me I am more likely to be proud of it. When you are passionate you put your best foot forward and strive to get the “approval” that you are looking for.  She says “But almost all arguments about student privacy, whether those calling for more restrictions or fewer, fail to give students themselves a voice…” By giving students an outlet, the internet in the from of a domain, then students may respond differently and become proud of their work.

Lastly, we have an article written by Andrew Rikard, “Do I Own my Domain if you Grade it?” This really had me thinking. First off, you are telling me that all of the all nighters, nights I spent staying in and hours spent on my homework is gone?! I posted this all to our lovely Learning Platform all to be deleted at the end of the semester. I am hurt, I am crushed. Well honestly not too much. Many of the assignments were for you not for me. It does feel a bit harsh to just delete all of the work, but Rikard makes a valid point in his title, is it really my work and beliefs if you are putting a number on it in the end? With this logic, I think the work is for you and not me at all.

This all ties together. Change needs to happen and it is happening right before us. Students need a voice in their educations, create and evolve their opinions and do work that they are PASSIONATE about.



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3 thoughts on “Gregorian, Watters and Rikard…Oh my Education

  1. This is like a MANIFESTO for IDS! You should run for MAYOR OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES because I find this so inspiring! You do a really nice job weaving together the different threads in these pieces, too. Going to be SUCH a pleasure to see what you work on this semester! Can’t wait…

  2. Great post, A.! As a director of 10 staff members at Portland State University who help professors design their courses, I have the unique opportunity to directly impact the way they invite students to contribute and create rather than passively receive (and submit) information in their courses.
    I like your use of the word “passion” and am intrigued by how/when this happens. What do you think of this?
    1. Give students choice/options. This allows them to select content or activities they are interested in.
    2. Once students have interest (taken interest — an action), it yields a sense of control (as you noted).
    3. When students are in control of their learning, they begin to take ownership of it (a la Rikard’s point).
    4. When students own their learning, is that close or lead them to feeling “passionate” about it?

    It seems “finding your passion” in college is what it’s all about, right? Is the above a good “recipe” for that path? Would love to hear your thoughts!


    1. Scott,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post.

      I really do believe that if a student is passionate and in control of their learning they will value their assignments, projects, and posts that they put out into the world.
      When I have a sense of freedom and can take the wheel on how I want to do an assignment without the fear that it will be under appreciated by my professor or readers I truly am able to be myself and flourish. This is how my work shines.
      A believe that so much control is in the hands of the instructors when there is so much room for growth for students when they are given responsibility.

      All of the points that you address I totally agree with.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.


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