18 June 2011

Responding to Students' Needs

A former (and future?) student paid me the incredible honour (thanks, Dan!) of quoting from this blog in his own. In his post, he made me aware how important it is for universities to be institutions where students "can do" important things, rather than places where they are told what the university cannot do for them. In the case at hand my friend was told he could not earn a minor in theatre while completing his B.B.A. When I return to the campus later this summer, I will try to find out how this policy makes sense at some level. I do not hold out much hope.

It seems to be an unfortunate application of the model of pedagogy that highlights the phrase 'in loco parentis' when administrators (at whatever relevant level) say 'no' in lieu of original thought as they respond to original questions. BEWARE: Years ago, a significant book claimed that the seven last words of the church were 'We never did it that way before!' Hopefully, universities can avoid irrelevance by learning to avoid this pitfall. Take courage, Dan: Forward and fear not to fight!

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