Sunday, March 02, 2008

titillating classes in highered

I have been meditating on my teaching having read really bad powerpoint, death by powerpoint and presenting me!
I come to the conclusion through all my summer navel gazing that at least in part my goal is to titillate: to excite pleasantly.
I am not suggesting a voyeuristic approach as I do not believe that education is a spectator sport.
I have erred in trying to make education more palatable, more pleasurable. Titivation (to smarten up, make pretty) is not enough, it needs to be meaningful.
I am back to 'what is it that they need to know/want to know...and whats the best way of our getting there.'
And given its about teaching and learning communication skills, communicating as a two way occurrence seems necessary, form and function should align.
I have reread Parker-Palmer's the courage to teach: and do not want to be the person with the ballooon bubble that gets in the way of engaging; air bags are better in car crashes, than for cushioning out engagement.
However, student numbers in excess of 700 and staffing at something over 2.3 fulltime staffing equivalents creates a 'challenge'. Compounding this further is that the course be accessible to distance students.
So, Monday brings a new vamped course; titillation with podcast supported through a blackboard medium. Lectures with 200+ students attending and with 'small group' (n=30) tutorials.
Maybe the courage to teach isnt enough.

Taking wisdom from an unlikely source: the wizard of oz

(Cowardly Lion)
Yeah, it's sad, believe me Missy
When you're born to be a sissy
Without the vim and verve
But I could show my prowess
Be a lion, not a mowess
If I only had the nerve

I'm afraid there's no denyin'
I'm just a dandylion
A fate I don't deserve
I'd be brave as a blizzard

(Tin Man)
I'd be gentle as a lizard

I'd be clever as a gizzard

If the Wizard is a wizard who will serve

Then I'm sure to get a brain

(Tin Man)
A heart

A home

(Cowardly Lion)
The nerve

Maybe the emerald city needs fixing....

1 comment:

  1. There is a question to ask in all of this. What % of the student $ is coimng to the department/school or organisational unit in which you work. Overheads in the managerial university have reached absurd levels in Oz, i.e. in some case < 30% of the $ gets to pay for staff.