Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Coming Poverty

I had an interesting discovery that has been making me think about the role of teaching in a University setting, I'll share. On Monday, I learned that I was accepted in the PGG PhD program (yes!), with no funding (wtf?). Since that time I have been working solely on finding funding and/or an acceptable homeless living arrangement with the town (whole nother thread!), all other projects have been put onto the back burner. I know I am not giving proper weight to any of my assignments or responsibilities. Why should I? Any investment I make with my current education will be squandered without future funding. I don't have that much leverage and life must prevail over these Earthly wants of an education.

This made me think about PBL and now CBL and the responsibility of the instructor/professor in providing a learning environment that works for the student. Reviewing Dr. Karpanty's syllabus brought the issue home. Non-stand and deliver teaching techniques are complex learning environments that are demanding to the instructor, in a normal funded setting. What happens when guaranteed funding goes out the door? Where is the economic incentive to produce these types of learning environments? My understanding is that the incentive to the professor is to produce a sustainable practice, i.e. continually get paid, and the students are a tool for doing just that. But if that motivation stops, won't the learning environment have to change to adapt to the decreased economic incentive for the professor?

I'm thinking the following clip is a more practical learning environment for the volunteer instructor model of education we are moving towards. Why bother with students, if we are on a race to the bottom.

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