I posted the Summerfield reading on our Readings page earlier this week–I hope everyone noticed that. You can add your response to the Summerfield reading as a comment to this blog post.
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- New Forms for the New Year | Ground Control on How can we use the open digital platform?
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- More Instructional Technology Themes in this blog — or — a blog on blogs | Things I say to my BlackBoard students on Jim Groom’s visit–listen in!
- viviana on Questions for the Workshop
The Summerfield reading was extremely useful because it synthesized all those nagging questions of the first few meetings: why are we here? what is Gen Ed? will we ever be able to agree on anything? It also provided valuable historical perspective on the diverse CUNY system and Gen Ed initiatives. I think a copy should be given to every new CUNY hire, at least I found it eye-opening as a new faculty member. I like Summerfield’s recurrence of the phrase ‘rites of passage’ and I like that she seems to refuse to define what that means, rather she stresses engagement, it’s impact on student experience, on faculty-student dynamic. How I wonder does that translate into my classroom? How do I engage my students at multiple levels, challenge those who are underprepared to strive to be a bit better prepared, help guide those who are overwhelmed, and keep the fully engaged students on their toes? Her emphasis on the personal seems a good strategy. btw, I read the Summerfield in conjunction with Thomas Benton’s article in the Chronicle on undergrad education (http://bit.ly/dV04dk) where he wrote: at least 45 percent of undergraduates demonstrated “no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills in the first two years of college, and 36 percent showed no progress in four years.” Although I agree that more students entering college are under-prepared I couldn’t help but wonder how they arrived at these statistics. What rubric did they follow to make such an assessment? How do we assess a rubric? And is this really useful tool for the classroom?