Write a concluding reflection about what you learned over the course of the semester and what you feel you need more work to understand. Where will you go next? This goes in the Summary reflection blog.
When my children were younger and attended a Montessori day school we would often pick them up after work and instead of asking what they learned that day we would ask “did you ask a good question today.” We felt then, as we do now, that for most learning endeavors, it is more important to ask a good question and to provide an answer.
This is not to say that answers, and the process by which they are derived, are not important, but rather that with technology today, most answers are two clicks away. But crafting the right question… that’s another story. Schools appear to emphasize answers because they are easily measured/tested/graded while it is difficult to similarly quantify the art and skill of asking a good question.
Reading Hollis made my head hurt. I had lots of questions about the book, most of which remain unanswered. Upon reflection, I find that I now have more questions than I started with, so that’s a good thing.
Over the semester break I plan to revisit Hollis and make a list of all the individuals mentioned (Bacon, Weber, Popper, and Hegel, for example) and all of the -isms (empiricism, determinism, feudalism, holism, and pragmatism, for example) and craft a short definition of each. Then, if I have the energy, I’ll consider re-reading certain chapters in Hollis and perhaps they’ll make more sense as I get more philosophical context.
I really wanted to like Noddings.
It’s a title that should appeal to me as a first year doc student, Philosophy of Education.
But, in what may already be a tired refrain, I don’t think I yet have the philosophical foundation to either understand or appreciate her points. I need to spend more time thinking about the problems.
So where do I go from here? According to the Plan of Study, next on the hit parade are CECS 6020 – Advanced Instructional Design: Models and Strategies and CECS 6512 – Analysis of Qualitative Research in Learning Technologies. What has become apparent to me is that program (and it’s a program, not just a random assignment of necessary courses… there’s a plan, an order, and a system to the program) is not about teaching content. This has come as a surprise to some of my classmates. Rather, this program is about teaching us a process. The process, in turn, will lead us to discover the content we seek. I suppose in the long run, this is an appropriate outcome but in the short run, it’s not what I was expecting and I’m still in the process of modifying my expectations.
Is it worth it? This was not a question on the prompt but I see it as an unavoidable question.
When my wife was doing her PhD (Purdue, Veterinary Physiology) in the late 1980’s, she quit her program every Friday.
And then every weekend we would talk about it and she would go back to the lab on Monday. Then she flunked her prelims. And we had to get past that (only to find out, later, that every woman in that program flunked her prelims the first time; it was hazing). And we did.
At this level, these sorts of things are rites of passage (which I see as the fancy term for hazing). If The University is going to brand me as one of their PhD’s, they’re going to be darn sure I don’t embarrass myself (and, by extension, The University). And this is as it should be.
UNT-LT is going to make darn sure I know my APA style. UNT-LT is going to make darn sure I can tell my Big “O” Objectivism from my little “o” objectivism. UNT-LT is going to to great lengths to make sure I can craft a coherent argument, supported by valid and pertinent research, and articulated in a manner that will bring esteem upon The University (and, by extension, me). And at the end of the day, this is what our tuition dollars are buying.
- It’s not about the content (I can read the books on my own).
- It’s not about the degree (I can buy a degree).
- It’s not about my current job (which doesn’t need either of the degrees I already have, let alone this one)
It’s about setting a goal, finding the internal and external resources to pursue that goal, making the necessary & difficult choices implicit in the decision to take on the task, about learning enough about yourself to discover your own perspective on philosophy, and about setting the priorities and facing the consequences of the undertaking. It’s a process that will change the individual… it has to, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it.
My plan of study calls for 12 sessions (summer, maymester, and long semesters). 2 will be done when I hit submit on this page. 10 to go.
Bring it on.