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An ongoing discussion in HEPROC-L   --Guillermo
 
 
 
> In responding to Question #3, Bob Birnbaum asked some very
> perceptive questions:
 
and John Wong made some very attractive comments and
deductions.  ...
 
> Among my readings of the implications of this "service
> provider" scenario of the "learning organization" are:
>
> (1) The individual consumer is ultimately responsible for
>   "learning."
>
> (2) Teachers are charged with providing the best possible
>    service as facilitators, but are no longer charged with
>    the responsibility that their students "must learn."
>
> (3) Schools, while erected to provide the best possible
>    learning resources, need not NECESSARILY be responsible
>    for the actual consumption of such services and
>    resources, or for that matter REQUIRE that learning in
>    fact takes place as long as students happily or
>    routinely show up.
>
> (4) Grading is clearly irrelevant, and so is teaching
>    when not required.
 
> This is a win-win-win all around -- liberating for the
> schools, liberating for the teachers, and also liberating
> for the students.
 
But will we have many customers for this rather pleasant world?
 
  1.  Will students choose to attend a school that only gives
      a certificate of enrollment (I doubt we can call it
      certificate of attendance; if we take roll that will be
      a form of grading)?
 
  2.  Many students indicate their goal of attending is to
      get a degree because that is necessary to get a decent
      job.  Will students purchase a degree if the job giver
      knows it was learning-optional institution?
 
  3.  Will that same employer give any recognition to the
      degree grantor that provides no certification of
      improved student?
 
  4.  Will the institution have any useful report to make
      regarding a students readiness for job or professional
      or graduate school?
 
  5.  Will the future employer, professional school or graduate
      school be interested instudents that it must personally
      test (or give a trial period)?
 
  6.  I have a strange feeling that we are seeing a similar
      certification state in many public high schools in many
      states.  Can we look at our experience (and our adaptations)
      and project the accomodations that those who receive our
      learning-optional will make to handle their unselected
      applicants.
 
  I love the idea of teaching where I don't feel any
responsibility for those who nod off because they just came
to class from the eight hour shift than ended at 7 a.m.  I'm
not sure I'd quite get over the guilt of not caring.
 
  I'd love to conduct four years of seminars with no papers
to grade; only to review and discuss with my co-learners.
I've enjoyed that with one or two (maybe rarely three or
four) each year since 1960.  Can institutions convince
legislatures that they should only be facilitators and have
no responsibility except that they try to facilitate; i.e.,
that we really are not responsible for any learning
occurring when our customer says that's not why he took the
course?
 
Nicholas Sturm <[log in to unmask]>
Youngstown, Ohio