Over the past two years, I was responsible for implementing our university’s strategic plan. One of the cornerstones of that plan was experiential learning. So, I’ve been thinking and talking … Continue reading
In my last post I talked about the importance of helping students in higher education build skills like critical thinking, creativity, and empathy. As technology continues to develop in leaps … Continue reading
Despite frequent calls to consider return on investment, higher education is not just about preparing people for certain jobs. Yes, job readiness and skill and knowledge building are important. But … Continue reading
Perception, Obviousness and Questions about the Future of Higher Education Teppo Felin on Blindness, Rationality, and Perception with Russ Roberts on EconTalk In the EconTalk segment linked above, Teppo Felin … Continue reading
Patricia Hampl says, “Maybe being oneself is an acquired taste.”[ii] That’s a good way to think about the search for self that occurs in the process of learning. After all, we aren’t approaching information from a vacuum. We approach it within the context of who we are as a person. All of our past experiences, our beliefs, the things we’ve been taught by our families and important communities, these will shape the perspective that we bring to our learning. And our learning may shake up those perspectives, may threaten the things we thought we knew about ourselves, who we are, and our place in this world. And that can be a scary thing.
Once a hero is aware of a problem and the need for change, she encounters fear. This fear arises from the unknown element; we resist moving into something different, even when we know it needs to happen. To make it easier for learners to be willing to broach the unknown, teachers need to help them find the call to adventure that occurs in the Hero’s Journey.
As we approach the creation of a course or program, we need to think about them as building blocks for knowledge and skill for our heroes. In The Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda was teaching Luke Skywalker how to be a Jedi, he knew what the endgame was, and what skills and knowledge Luke needed to be able to defeat the dark side. As mentors and guides, teachers are like Yoda, preparing our heroes to approach the unknown, move through fear and uncertainty, lingering between the known and unknown without panicking, and move into mastery.