I am a creative person by nature, and I feel fortunate to be working in education at time when technological development has brought us to the beginning of a period of unprecedented change. Important ideas are being re-examined:
- What does it mean to be a human being?
- What are human beings for?
- What is the purpose of education?
- How should people be educated?
- How do we define knowledge?
- What do we need to know?
- What sorts of relationships should we have with each other, with knowledge, and with machines?
- How should we relate to, and think about, our planet and its life forms?
I enjoy designing experimental, interdisciplinary courses. I am trying to find new ways for people to learn -- and new ways for teachers to help them. I believe that technology will facilitate individual learning, but that we need to have broad overviews and understanding of the world to find the relationships between the things that we learn. My courses attempt to help students to sketch out some aspects of an overview that will be meaningful to them. Courses that experiment with constructing overviews include:
Create a planet from stellar dust to sentient civilization. This course gives a broad, integrative overview of the natural and social sciences while engaging the students in creative thinking.
A course examining how the way that people view themselves and the world is influenced by the technology that they use. The course focuses particularly on technologies that handle information.:
Just as we need to have a general understanding of the world outside ourselves, so, too, we need to experience ourselves in a coherent way. Contemporary life focuses on our images, our exterior interfaces with each other. Living in response to the bombardment of modern life is bewildering and disempowering. We can become actors, rather than reactors, if we can figure out who we are and what we need. A course that addressed this learning area is:
Students use hands-on work with materials to create concrete metaphors that help them to visualize relationships in their lives.
The outcome of education should be an educated person. But educated in what way? What sort of person should be made manifest? This short course looks at ideas of what an educated person might be like, and examines concepts of personhood and their expression in a technological world.
Courses In Process:
The greatest persons in history have been teachers. Less well known teachers are also remembered, and we see examples of heroism in teachers around us every day. This class examines the role of the teacher as an exemplary and inspiring role model.
We have heard of foreign language immersion programs: why not immersion weekends in poetry or science? These will be posted as they are developed further.
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