I am concluding my masters’ degree requirements this summer and I thought to include some conversations from our online sections.
Rebecca and I are classmates in a final course for my Ms.Ed., this summer. I thought it would be cool to blog some of our discussions. I respect Rebecca’s intuitiveness and her willingness to challenge status quo. She has been involved with marginalized groups (e.g., Blacks, women, Latinos) learning education for some time in her professional career. In fact, we are both reading instructors in the College Learning Enhancement Program (CLEP) at Northern Illinois University. The class is Nature of Adult and Higher Education and is guided by Dr. Karen Haley,
(Robert) The assumptions of postmodernism (e.g., Multicultural, learning-centered, informal experiences) considering gender and racial statuses are attractive as teaching modules. While I do not see learners as agents for social change, I do however value collaborative learning for the non-majority members, specifically African-American males. The tenet of ‘Caring’ is extremely important to marginalized groups in higher education. I find this principle in line with my belief in Humanism and culturally responsive teaching curriculum. Thus, each component together along with other variables (e.g., self-directed learning, self-actualization, and resiliency) provides a more Holistic learning experience for college-aged Black males.
(Rebecca) Hi Rob. Do you really not see learners as agents for change? You’ve spoken often about changing the landscape of education for African-American males, surely your approach is empowering and does have the potential to bring about change. I think all students are agents for change. Every life we touch brings about change!
(Robert) Dr. Vaughn (To Be) I knew this would stir your hornet’s nest.
I believe students should choose their paths and not follow a pre-package societal bucket list. In other words, if one chooses to help create social change through teaching that’s fine, I am on such a path. Nevertheless, I am not leading or suggesting every adult should follow my journey. The philosophy that “All” students should aspire___________ (Fill in the blank) creates followers not leaders. New Flash!!! You Should Be Who You Are!!!
Social change is just that social. If a movement arises and one feels the urge to make a different I commend them. However, African-American males are responsible for their conscious transformation first and foremost. If they decide to involve themselves in a mass incarceration anti-movement for example that’s great, if not, that’s great also. No person has the right to judge one by their civic, gender, or racial advocacies or non-involvement thereof. (Although I find myself during this more than I would admit) My teaching philosophy encourages self-actualization not a ‘Drum Beat’ of my definition of a life worth living. In fact: No one shall submit an outline of life’s activities as a precursor to cultural and social standards.
If you sit alone upon a rock…you are there
If you rail for social justice…you are there
You are who you could have become thus
potentials aren’t worth a damn
Life Exist With or Without You