Cognitive Dissonance: Real Education

Cognitive Dissonance is a regular Monday feature in which a post is presented that, if read, may provoke “a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.” I hope these pieces will provoke thought, if not conversation.

The stories in this piece are familiar enough for most of us. By the end of it, though, the author seems to be at a loss about what to do. Which begs the question: what to do?

Faculty Council Corner

So, I’m thinking that this post will be our new regular Thursday morning feature (replacing “ReinQuestion?”): basically an open thread for you to bother your HWFC members with pressing questions (or for me to post the pressing questions that you send to me should you want to ask your question near anonymously–just email it to me with a request to withhold your name and it shall be done).

Also, it’ll give us a forum to post regular updates about what is happening and when.

So…any questions?

Think, Know, Prove: Don’s Unaddressed Questions

If you let your mind wander way back to August 12th, the day of the President Don Laackman’s presentation to the faculty, you may recall that right at the end of the second slide show, there was a slide that had a pair of questions,  as a “just in case,” meant to instigate some discussion if there weren’t any (ha! as if!).

The slide looked like this:

As you can see from the questions, when compared to your own recollections of the conversation that followed, neither question was really addressed in that discussion. And so, I re-pose them to the lot of you, along with three more: What do you think? What do you know? What can you prove?

ReinQuestion?–A New Regular Feature on the Lounge

ReinQuestion? appears every Thursday and is an open thread for members of the HW and CCC community to post questions about the ongoing Reinvention. Any and all questions are invited, and anyone who knows an answer to any question posted is encouraged to answer it in the threads below.

Rosie Banks had a great idea at Tuesday’s HWFC meeting–two actually. She requested a regular open thread kind of post for people to put up their reinvention questions where anyone could ask things and anyone who knows can answer. And here it is!

She also suggested putting up an old fashioned question box somewhere (we’re thinking in the lobby right by the new poster) that we would periodically peek into and do our best to answer, pass along, or investigate the questions and suggestions that show up there. Watch for it after the break.

In the meantime, what’s your Reinvention Question this week?

PS: I’m not totally sold on the name (Re-in-Question (instead of “Vention,” get it?)). If you have a better suggestion, let it fly in the comments.

Brainstorming Questions for the Chancellor’s Visit

What questions would you like to see her answer?

(It is my understanding that she occasionally visits our humble corner of the Intertoobz (Hi, Chancellor, if you’re looking!), and so might see some of our questions without our having to stand in the line and should them through the bad sound system in 103.)

Fire away.

Bonus points if you can do an imitation of someone who usually asks (or used to) questions at these sorts of things (Rocco, Ruggeri, etc.).

A Timely Question

I bumped across this piece today. It isn’t rabble rousing, and it isn’t knee jerk reactionism to the recent calls for focus on completion from all corners of higher education. It’s even supportive of those ends, but with questions to consider, too.

Its author, Terry O’Banion, puts it like this:

“If this completion agenda proves to be successful, the outcome will be a significant accomplishment for our students and for our society. No sensible person will argue with these goals or outcomes.

“Fortunately, these initiatives are led by some of the most able community college leaders in the nation, leaders who are deeply committed to the core values of the community college. They are well aware of the pitfalls and the skeletons in the closets of the nation’s community colleges; they fully understand that cynicism is the sidekick of failed promises. They know our limitations yet they persevere — because the cause is good and the cause is right.

“Great movements, however — especially those cast as “urgent imperatives” — often have unintended consequences, and it would be wise for all of us to consider what some of these consequences might be for the completion agenda. We must ask the question: To what end? The savvy leaders of these initiatives, of course, have not been unaware of the larger perspective raised by the question: To what end? They ask this question every day of their efforts. They worry over whether the agenda is too narrowly focused, if there are sufficient resources, if college leaders are willing and able to deliver. They wrestle, and we all need to wrestle, with all of the following issues: …”

Check it out.