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DEEPENING THE PEDAGOGY OF THE FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE

Laura I. Rendn California State University-Long Beach International Conference of the FirstYear Experience Maui June 14, 2004

Transforming Teaching & Learning

If we can see it is our agreements which rule our life, and we dont like the dream of life, we need to change the agreements--Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements (1997) Teaching and learning are based on certain privileged agreements that govern the present pedagogical Dreamfield

1. The Agreement to Privilege Mental Knowing


Privileges cerebral abilities such as verbal, scientific and mathematical ability
Prizes and rewards outer knowing (intellectual reasoning, rationality, and objectivity) at expense of inner knowing (deep wisdom, wonder, sense of sacred, intuition and emotions)

2. The Agreement of Separation


Distances faculty from students
Faculty become sole experts Teaching is separated from learning Validation/support are forms of coddling students

3. The Agreement of Competition


Students pitted against each other in a competitive environment
Survival of the fittest-Darwin

Testing mania is predicated on competition, sorting and ranking


Merit defines the best and brightest through standardized tests

4. The Agreement of Perfection


Little, if any, room for error in the classroom Learning occurs in a context where human imperfection is downplayed

5. The Agreement of Monoculturalism


Almost exclusive validation of Western structures of knowledge (course offerings, teaching and learning styles, lack of diversity, etc.)
Dominance of faculty and administrators who subscribe to monocultural paradigms

6. The Agreement of Workaholism


The best academics rarely rest and renew. They are constantly busy working on multiple projects, traveling, and putting in long hours
Rest and replenishment associated with laziness Reflection and contemplative practice associated with being soft, touchy-feely

Purpose of Study
Uncover holistic, connected teaching & learning practices in higher education

Develop a holistic, relationship-centered model of teaching and learning in higher education

CELEBRATION OF THE MARRIAGE OF HEART AND MIND Why does one write, if not to put ones pieces together?

From the moment we enter school or church, education chops us into pieces: it teaches us to divorce soul from body and mind from heart.
The fishermen of the Columbian coast must be learned doctors of ethics and morality, for they invented the word,

sentipensante, feeling-thinking, to define language that


speaks the truth. --Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces (1989)

METHOD
One-on-one, in depth, semistructured interviews (1-2 hours) with faculty. Also interviewed some of their students. Purposeful sampling employed. Sample, N=14 (adding more)
Name Sam Becky Norma X. Mary Bill Alberto Herman Susan Xin Candance Barbara Robert Sam Discipline Mathematics Chemistry English Communication English Physical Education Ethnic/Chicano Studies African American Studies Psychology Education Education English Education Education Institution 2-year 2-year 4-year 4-year 2-year 2-year 4-year 4-year 4-year 4-year 4-year 2-year 4-year 4-year Gender/Race M/W F/W F/L F/W F/W M/W M/L M/AA F/W F/Asian F/W F/W M/W M/W

Audiotaped and videotaped

Outer Orientation
Student Centered Intellectual

Sentipensante (Feeling/Thinking) Faculty

Inner Orientation

Passionate About Teaching & Learning


Value Excellence Embrace Their Discipline/Field of Study

Balanced Approach To Life/Work

Searchers/Reflective Serving Higher Purpose Engaged in Journey Called to Teach Embrace Not Knowing Take Risks--Break Away

High Expectations

No Limits High Standards

Cognitive Skills
Critical Thinking Problem Solving Reading/Writing Decision Making Technology

Faculty Strategies That Engage The Intellect*

Traditional Assessment
Tests Quizzes Essays Research

Demystify Content
Demystify Re-do and Resubmit

*Intellectual reasoning, rationality, objectivity

Relate Content To Life

Engage Student Lives Employ Personal Experience Incorporate Contemplative Practice (Active/Quiet) Journaling Free Writing Sitting in Silence Meditation Rituals Art/Music/Theatre

Faculty Strategies That Engage The Heart*

Reflective Assessment Postcards Student Calls/Visits Listen/observe Ask Questions Its Feedback, Not Proving Anything Set Up Constant Pattern of Reflection Growth

*Inner knowing such as cultivating wonder, sense of the sacred, appreciation of


emotions, meaning and purpose in life.

Diverse Ways of Knowing

Diverse Learning Styles Inclusive Curriculum Challenge Stereotypes/Judgments

Student/Faculty Interaction
Faculty/Students Bring Selves to Class Establish Trust Become Accessible

Relationship-Centered Classroom Context

Facilitate Community
Group Work/Collaborative Learning

Validate Students
Academic Validation

Service Learning Food

Students are Colleagues, Fellow Teachers Interpersonal Validation

Stress Connectedness to Others/World Cooperation on Tests Share Phone Numbers

SENTIPENSANTE PEDAGOGY

FOCUS ON:
Teacher

INTELLECT
Cognitive Skills Content Technology Skills

Student

HEART
Awareness Reflection Service Cooperation Connections Humanity

Subject Matter
Process of Learning Context for Learning

Learning Strategies

Deepening the Pedagogy of the First-Year Experience

Engage in transformation of teaching and learning Reframe higher educations privileged agreements Restore the essence of education: to educate for wholeness and to make our love and compassion work for ALL the people of the world!