“[It’s] been my…

“[It’s] been my experience that whether they are studying accounting or philosophy, hotel management or history, the vast majority of college students are capable of engaging the kinds of big questions–questions of truth, responsibility, justice, beauty, among others–that were once assumed to be at the center of college education”

“[A]nyone who witnesses or participates in this kind of teaching is likely to be chastened and moved. It is a reminder, as Botstein puts it, of ‘the connection between ethics and learning,’ which can be harder to establish among students ‘for whom the privilege of moving seamlessly from high school into college is taken for granted.’ In general, I think, we are too quick to assume that students with lesser preparation are unfit for education in this enlarging sense.”

from Andrew Delbanco, College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be. pp. 173, 174.

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Newstok on ‘Close Learning’

Newstok on ‘Close Learning’

In this recent article, Scott L. Newstok eloquently defends the face-to-face interaction that serves as the basis of the student’s learning experience.  While I may not agree with every conclusion here, Newstok’s interest in student learning as the end that technology–and any other classroom practice–must serve is important.  Newstok reminds us that these debates aren’t new and relate closely to our understanding of what education should be or should become.

What’s new and significant here is Newstok’s argument for “close learning” as something valuable in itself and something closely linked to the purposes of education more generally.  We need educators that can articulate the purposes of education and the value that students bring to shared learning experiences, whether in the classroom or through emerging technologies.