This module encourages you to reflect upon and rethink educational institutions, the roles they play in communities, and their relationship to ideas of learning. You are also asked to question your own role in the structure or perceived structures of your institutions. A key task in this module is to engage with on-going conversations on this topic concerning the institution, consider new definitions, and collaborate to further these conversations and offer new directions for inquiry and reframing. While the materials are presented in an ordered fashion, this is a result of the structure that we are using to house the information and you are not required to engage with the material in a particular sequence.
Outcomes for the module:
The Boyer Commission presents ten recommendations for the radical reconstruction of undergraduate education at research universities in the United States offered by a national commission in 1997 (p. 1-9).
Rille Rapper in Tracing Power and Student Subjectivity in Assessment: A Foucauldian Perspective discusses students as consumers and private investigators in higher education and attempts to question the ways in which neoliberal understanding of students as consumers could alter academic domination and disciplinary power in such processes as student assessment.
Martha Burtis in Neither Locked Out Nor Locked In advocates for the need for those in higher education to grapple with how the web, culture, and systems of higher education are inextricably bound together.
This space embraces the importance of self-reflection, which is critical to engagement with new concepts but does not require a tangible product.
Here are some questions that emerged in our conversations that were important for our self-reflection
Reflect on the terms, roles, and “students,” “faculty,” “staff,” and “institutions,” paying particular attention to any intersections between these terms and how these roles influence the ways that participants interact with each other in these contexts.
The University as an Ecosystem: “The interaction of many kinds of stimuli creates at a university a special kind of intellectual environment, with the health of the whole a manifestation of the health of each part. That environment should become an intellectual ecosystem. Universities are communities of learners, whether those learners are astrophysicists examining matter in the far reaches of space or freshmen new to an expanded universe of learning. The shared goals of investigation and discovery should bind together the disparate elements to create a sense of wholeness.” (Boyer Report, p.9)