TEI Part 2

Apr 20, 2021 19:21 · 4752 words · 23 minute read

{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\cocoartf1671\cocoasubrtf500 {\fonttbl\f0\fmodern\fcharset0 CourierNewPSMT;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;} {*\expandedcolortbl;;} \margl1440\margr1440\vieww10800\viewh8400\viewkind0 \deftab720 \pard\tx800\tx2080\tx2400\tx3200\tx4000\tx4800\tx5600\tx6400\tx7200\tx7680\pardeftab720\li961\fi1600\ri-1\sl-297\partightenfactor0 \f0\fs24 \cf0 \ \pard\tx800\tx2080\tx2400\tx3200\tx4000\tx4800\tx5600\tx6400\tx7200\tx7680\pardeftab720\li961\fi2395\ri-1\sl-297\partightenfactor0 \cf0 >> Here we are.

Can you see the picture of the desert that is a metaphor my for campus Ethernet as well. \ \pard\tx800\tx2080\tx2400\tx3200\tx4000\tx4800\tx5600\tx6400\tx7200\tx7680\pardeftab720\li961\fi1600\ri-1\sl-297\partightenfactor0 \cf0 Allison puts Murphy’s law. Absolutely. \ I am pleased to have the opportunity to given straight to you the necessity to have a plan B. Thank you Vorizon hot spot. Here we are again. If this was the worst thing to happen in our campus internet the last week, I would be happy but it is not.

Here we are. \ I think appropriate to transition into the point I was trying to make, when we make decisions based in fear, based in this loss of control, which I just demonstrated for you, we begin to hoard things. \ We begin to try to take back things that we see as scarce because we want at least that illusion of control. Right. \ And so I, I saw this happen a lot. \ I felt myself doing this as well, by the way, lest you think I am condemning others and not including myself in this.

\ I am an experienced online teacher but I was teaching face\uc0\u8209 to\u8209 face classes and I was enjoying, I was working with an academic skills class for at risk first year students which is a class I enjoy teaching because I too was an at risk first year student.

01:34 - \ It ruined everything I wanted to do because we were really cruising as a good face\uc0\u8209 to\u8209 face seminar. \ What decisions was I making? What was I doing, right? \ We are trying in higher education to do the exact opposite of those things. \ We are trying to educate students even if we don’t identify in our institutions with a liberal arts ethos, I think higher education in the United States still embraces some of the core tenants of what has been referred to as a liberal arts education.

\ Certainly as articulated here by Wim Wiewel who is the president I believe of Lewis and Clark College. What are the things that it could do that would help provide an antidote for the problems we are wrestling with as a society today. \ Students he said who pursue the liberal arts are committed to doing these things, the things we always talk about that students should be able to do in higher education. Collaboration, creative, critical thinking.

3 C’s. Here are the things students value. \ What I was struck by in this quote is where Wim Wiewel talks about, it gives us the competency, the ability, the imperatives to look, think and act beyond their own selfs. \ Beyond their own self interest. \ The qualities that we are after with higher education is functioning at its best are compelling our students to look, think and act beyond self\uc0\u8209 interest and us too. \ That is something we need to grab onto.

I think our current moment has shown us this now more than ever, the urgency of this. Right.

03:39 - \ So we have to be very careful. \ Are we making decisions from a place of fear? Are we reacting to a sense that things are circling the drain and unless I make a bold decision and do so quickly and emphatically with no looking back am I going to go down the drain too? \ Are we making decisions from a place of fear? Or from a place of hope? \ Because even pre\uc0\u8209 Covid, it was very easy for us in higher education to be making decisions and reacting from a place of fear because look at what the discourse around higher education is telling everybody, including us in American society, that college is only good when it is disrupted or unbound.

Let’s break it apart. \ We need to innovate innovate innovate and nothing we do now is worth keeping. \ In fact parents why are you even sending your kids to college, what kind of wasted time and resource is this? \ The students get to college and are coddled because they are snowflakes and going to fail because this is a generation that can’t handle adversity. \ That is what the discourse is saying. Even there are titles with the dumbest generation.

\ Do things not look exactly as we would have them look and is this how we view our work in higher education? How do we not act from a place of fear given all of that in the background and Covid? \ Which is disrupted whether we like it or not, the status quo in American higher education. \ I would suggest that the antidote to our fears in this current moment is a creation of community.

05:41 - \ Community again and beyond just a superficial sense. We use the word community a lot. It shows up a lot in mission statements, strategic plans and documents that talk about our purpose and mission in airy terms. \ What I mean is a community rooted in this praxis of hope or praxis as Freire would have us say, the practices in which those place are rooted creating a community operating from hope. \ That is what our students need from us now more than ever.

\ When I think of community in higher education in the way writer Bell Hooks articulates in her book teaching community. Community is a place that is life sustaining and mind expanding, a place of liberating mutuality where teacher and student together work in partnership. \ What sticks out for me in that statement is this is what it is about. \ If you were to ask any college faculty invested in teaching and learning, what does your dream class look like? You would get language and concepts that very much align with what Hooks is talking about here with community.

Liberating mutualality. \ Not stifling hierarchical authority, where teachers and student work together in partnership.

07:16 - \ Someone says that is the equivalent of everyone sitting in a circle singing kumbaya, but we are serious scholars doing serious learning.

07:26 - \ Hooks is saying teacher and student those are roles. We are at different places in our journey, whether it is disciplinary content, cognition, learning all those things but we are involved as partners in a mutual enterprise even if we are in different places along the spectrum or pathway in that enterprise. \ Keeping that connection, we are in it together. \ Our roles may be different. We may be engaging with this learning space differently but we are still in the same community of practice.

\ That’s where I think we can sit even in, in fact especially in the challenging times that we now face. \ Because the alternative is no longer sustainable.

08:17 - \ How many of our students are experiencing higher education whether it was before or after our turn from Covid? How many of our students are experiencing college this way? \ How many of our students are finding themselves occupying a landscape figuratively and literally that is strewn with obstacles where doors are closed in their face and not opening where they are not centered but pushed to the margins. How many of our students are experiencing college this way.

\ If we look at things like 6\uc0\u8209 year graduation rates we can see in terms of attrition, the lowering rates of persistence and completion that many of our students are indeed experiencing college this way. \ If we break that data down for example with correlation to race or socioeconomic status or in fact put those 2 figures together in your analysis, the reality becomes even more stark. \ We are not serving all of our students equally and we are not serving our students equitably but when students come to us, our institution we are making them a promise, explicitly and implicitly, we tell a student when you come to our university you have the opportunity to pursue success as you define it.

To many students that is a ticket to the next chapter of their life because that is what they are told is important. \ They come to us with that. \ We are telling them this is how you will succeed. You will have the resources, expertise, facilities and resource you do your part and we do our part. How many students is that symmetrical or is it broken. \ If we look at the differences in graduation rates or completion rates or completion of programs or certain disciplines, we are not serving all our students equitably.

The promise is an illusion for some. \ What that tells me is that we can talk about access to education all we want and I believe in access to education. I think it is important. \ But the real question is what are we giving access to? \ Access to overcrowded classrooms, access to 4 students in a dorm room that was built for 2. \ Access to programs that are marginalizing students. Access to a campus culture where there is a hostile racial climate in some areas.

\ That access becomes more of a cruel joke than empowering agency. I think we need to think carefully about our campus as a community.

11:18 - \ Because what is in operation and higher education.

11:21 - This is a phrase many of you might be familiar with. The hidden curriculum is a thing. \ We have a formal curriculum. Here is a syllabus for your class. Here are the requirements for your major. Here is how many hours you need to take of prerequisites to be admitted into the premed program. We have the formal curriculum. Here are the textbooks you read for class. \ Hidden curriculum in higher education or education in general is extraordinarily in fact even more powerful.

The hidden curriculum are the incidental lessons that are learned by students about things like power. \ And knowledge. \ And who has it and who doesn’t and whose knowledge is valued and whose isn’t. Whose voice is heard and whose isn’t. \ I want to be very clear here. Our students are always learning. Our entire campuses, whether we are talking about the literally physical campus or the virtual campus that our students are also inhabiting. In these times a blend of both.

Right. \ The entire campus is a teaching and learning space. Our students are always learning. They are learning in econ 101, in the business building in room 12 from 1 to 1:50 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But they are also learning in the dining hall. They are learning in the registrars office, in the bursars and financial aid office. \ Teachers learn when they look at the custodial and cleaning staff at a university of what kind of ethnic groups make up the amount of service staff and how that staff is treated by the institution.

\ Students learn who matters and who doesn’t, whose voice is heard and whose isn’t. That is one example. \ We know from research that instructors regardless of gender identification, race, point in their career from new instructors all the way up to senior instructors that overall college instructors on the average call on men more than women in class discussions. \ We know male students interrupt more and are not called to account for it than female student.

13:36 - \ We don’t notice in many ways, right, but what are our students learning even if it is a lesson we did not intend to teach. That is the hidden curriculum. It is powerful. It is a thing. \ One of the things I would like to suggest if we talk about how do we create a community of hope within our institution, within our campus community in these times is we have to be very attentive to what we are saying to our students. \ I am using the word saying in a very broad sort of sense.

\ Because we know there are significant barriers to student success. \ All of us I think have encountered students who have not succeeded either in our individual class or maybe they dropped out of our program or major or maybe we had advisers or students who dropped out entirely. Dropped out of college period. \ I want you to think for a second about maybe experiences or students that you knew who were in that particular place. \ Think about what are the barriers that you see to student success or that you have seen or that students have told you about.

\ What are some of the principle barriers that you see? \ Go ahead and put your observations here in the chat window again. \ Yep. Poor internet connection. \ That is a significant issue, the digital divide is a thing. Absolutely. Competing obligations. Procrastination. Balancing obligations. \ Emotional difficulties. Lack of a place to live. Housing and food insecurity are significant issues for far more students than we think. \ In fact about 50\‘a0percent of college students some of the latest research from the Hope Center for Community and Justice at Temple University in Philadelphia did a survey 2\‘a0years ago.

The data was consistent from 2 high schools, 4\uc0\u8209 year colleges to private universities, about (inaudible) no matter which type reported that once within the last week at least they did not know where their next meal was coming from. \ They had experienced food insecurity. \ These are things. \ There are other things that go in the academic toolbox. Right. Study skills. Time management.

16:08 - \ For our first generation student several of you identified in the chat these are particularly important issues. \ What are the things that higher education needs to really grapple with is that we have students coming to us, you know, that are basically being rewarded or punished based on the cultural capital they bring with them. \ We have heard the studies that say the primary determinant about how successful one is monetarily in life is the zip code in which they were born.

\ I don’t know if that is a hundred percent true but the fact that is even in the conversation is pretty important. Right? \ So I am seeing Gregory puts it here you have a food bank on campus and most of the graduate students relied on it heavily pre\uc0\u8209 Covid. We have a mobile food bank on the campus in the heart of Iowa, the state capital once a month. Students are using that as well. \ When I was in graduate school I sold plasma to pay rent.

\ When we have things occurring like that, that we don’t feel, you know, how are students supposed to, as Bethany puts it, how are we supposed to connect our students, have them feel connected, how are they supposed to have the motivation to learn. \ Even if they do, how do they sustain it. \ Again, whether we as an institution or society in general are putting these barriers in place and that is one of the things that when critics talk about the snowflake generation and how entitled today students are it drives me up a wall.

\ Our students today speaking generally have had to overcome and continue to deal with so many more barriers in their way than any previous generation in higher education. \ And they are being told it is mostly their fault too. \ This is a generation that with everything that is happening, the fact they are persisting in higher education is amazing when you think about it. \ So when we look at students who stop out, whose journey to student success has been disrupted, what are some, what are the factors then? \ You have identified these as well, um, the research shows, again, this is nationwide, mostly 4\uc0\u8209 year schools in the study I am quoting from here, but again, a lot of the things that you pointed out were factors here.

\ Lack of financial resources being a key one. \ Lack of college readiness. \ Again, notice I unveil the sort of top 10 factors that get in the way of student success.

18:55 - \ Note how many interrelate and seem to reinforce and exacerbate one another. \ Because a lack of focus and motivation probably does not exist in a vacuum. It is in an environment being fed by some of these other things. \ Language, fear, anxiety, lack of self\uc0\u8209 confidence. \ I saw discussion in the chat of fixed mindset. Absolutely. Students are often told a story about themselves as learners that has that fixed mindset within them. That is a difficult story to undue because it becomes a sense of who they are academically.

\ When we look at these factors here. \ How many of them are, you know, urgent issues for students right now. \ Again, going into equity as well. \ If we highlight the bottom 6\uc0\u8209 year, research from 2016 shows us or demonstrates pretty clearly for African American students, the factors that I highlighted here are factors that have a statistically significant difference in terms of intensity towards preventing academic success. \ In other words these are the key barriers.

20:13 - Questioning miscommunication. \ There is a couple different things in the study when we talk about miscommunication. \ The primary one is students are not able to sort of connect wires with the resources that they need. \ So when instructors send e\uc0\u8209 mails to students and students are checking e\u8209 mails or when a student’s native language is English and they have difficulty navigating the syllabus, those sort of structural communication issues are what the study refers to as miscommunication.

\ Good question. \ Again, thinking about what is it that we are saying to our students beyond just the literal sense of talking with them. \ Several of you pointed out that learning disabilities were an important part of the story as well.

21:01 - \ Again, these are pro\uc0\u8209 Covid statistics, but the trend was certainly discernible even before the pandemic. \ 11. 4\‘a0percent of the students who enter college full\uc0\u8209 time in the fall of\‘a02017 self\u8209 reported being diagnosed with a learning disability. \ What we know about the diagnosis and what we know about our lack of knowledge of learning disabilities is that this number, the actual number of students with a learning disability is probably significantly larger.

\ But it is these other 2 realities that are really important ones for us in higher education to really wrap our heads around. \ 94\‘a0percent of students with documented learning disabilities receive the assistance they needed in high school. 17\‘a0percent of them receive it in college. \ We have to ask ourselves, why is there this stunning disparity? How do we explain that? \ Do students know that they can and perhaps should avail themselves to the resources that our institutions both by the force of law, but our own ethic, provide for students who need that? \ Right.

\ So going back to there idea of miscommunication, I think this is one of the areas where we see that in operation. \ Yes. The chat. They have to self\uc0\u8209 initiate to get help in college analyze. \ An institution like mine we pride ourself on being forthright and forward with students, maybe lot more interventionist than other places I have been, but for us this is what we struggle with. \ How do we make it a process that isn’t solely dependent on the student’s self\uc0\u8209 initiation to get the resources they need.

22:49 - Again, given the numbers and trends, this is not going away. This is an increasingly bigger part of our work. \ One of the most important things that students bring with them, that our students are bringing with them is what Walton and Cohen call belonging uncertainty. \ In graduate school, when we went through our graduate programs, graduate school does one thing really well and that is have a really good case of impostor syndrome. \ A lot of us might have personal experience with what Walton and Cohen here call belonging uncertainty.

Do people like me who are like I am with the stuff that I got? Do they belong in higher education? Do they belong in college? \ How many of our students when they went to their high school guidance counsellor said I need to think about college and they say have you thought about HVAC school or welding or cosmetology. \ How many of our students, especially first generation student come into higher education landscape and are confronted with terms like bursar, registrar they have not heard before and feel they are expected to know.

\ Have you had that sinking feeling in a situation where it feels like everyone around you was handed the instruction manual and you missed it? \ That is kind of how I felt a lot of college.

24:24 - \ If you play video games, have you been in a situation where it feels everyone you are playing has the cheat codes except for you.

24:31 - That is what belonging uncertainty gets at. \ Students come to us having framed a hypothesis that people like me do not belong here. \ As psychologists tell us conversation bias is a thing. Students look for evidence supporting that hypothesis. Perhaps subconsciously but that is what they hone in on. \ The problem we have to wrestle with is students who framed that hypothesis and look for that evidence to support it usually find it. \ Usually find it.

\ So let’s look at one way in which students might see that area that we are most familiar with, academic affairs, teaching and learning. \ Ask yourself the question right now, who creates knowledge in your particular field? \ I want you to think, for example, what is the newest research, the book that just won the prize, the article everybody is talking about, the listener is all a flutter about X, who wrote the best textbook, who is doing cutting edge stuff? \ Who has crossed over into popular media out of your field or discipline? \ Who creates the knowledge in your field? \ Think about, you know, who are those people? Who are those scholars.

\ I am thinking as a historian of primarily the 19th century United States Latin America, where is the really cool interdisciplinary scholarship. Where are the creators of this knowledge institutionally? Who are they? What do they look like? \ So who creates knowledge in our field? \ Having a sort of answer to that in our head, now put yourself in the situation where if you only had the syllabus for a hundred level course in your program, the survey course, the intro to blank course, who would you think the knowledge producers are in your field if all you had to work on was the syllabus? \ Would the answers to these 2 questions be the same? \ Is what we are using to introduce students into our disciplines, the gateways into our field, do students see themselves as knowledge creators? \ Do they see people like them, people from similar circumstances or people of similar appearance, backgrounds or at least adjacent cultural residence, to students see people who resonate with them as knowledge creators in our field? \ If not, why not? \ Because we tell our students, I will use my discipline of history as an example, I tell my students when they take my intro to history classes, and my teaching load is our survey courses, I teach many of our hundred level courses.

\ This is a really important question for students taking these courses not because they want to become history majors, although I do try to turn them to the dark side that way, I rarely succeed but because history is important.

27:48 - It is part of our core curriculum. That is why they take it, to check a box. \ If I tell my students look, in this course, we are historians. We are doing history. I don’t want you to just sort of memorize names and dates. We are going to investigate. We are going to interrogate. We are going to reconcile conflicting interpretations. We are going to do historical analysis. \ Yes. That is cognitive heavy lifting but it is much more interesting, and dare I say it, even fun, because you can be a historian.

28:21 - You can contribute to the knowledge in this field. \ You can and I want you in terms of should be part of this scholarly conversation in this class. \ But then if the students in this class don’t, you know, if all my books are authored by old tenured white dudes wearing bow ties.

28:40 - Think of the historical documentaries you watch. There is a joke in my field that all the talking heads in the historical documentaries look the same. Old white dude. Shirt, tie, glasses. \ Do my students see themselves \uc0\u8209 \u8209 \ They are doing interesting things. How do I bring that to my class to show my students. \ If I tell them they can be a part and should be a part of this scholarly conversation and they don’t see themselves anywhere in that conversation, there is a dissonance, there is a misalignment between what I am saying and what I am doing.

\ Some students will be marginalized as a result. \ I am not saying you should have a quota system and assign textbooks on solely racial categories what I am saying is we reproduce reading lists and reading lists without thinking about who produced that. \ I invite you to do that kind of examination.

29:56 - \ Are all the knowledge creators you are showing your students very similar to one another or do they reflect the intellectual and actual diversity to your discipline. \ Who is in the videos. What names do you use in the case studies, what scenarios are you using who wrote the textbooks or articles.

30:16 - \ If you use primary source materials, what are the subjects of those things. \ Who are the knowledge producers in your field.

30:26 - \ What we will do now, we have been going for a while here even though I skipped out on you for a couple minutes, we will take a little recess, 10\uc0\u8209 minute break because Zooming for 3\‘a0hours is something nobody should be forced to do against their will. \ We will take about 10\‘a0minutes and when we come back we will gather here in this Zoom space and I am going to give you a few questions that pertain to a document, a Google Doc that is at this link right here.

\ I will leave this slide up with the link when we go on break. You don’t have to pull up the document when we take a little bit of break, but when we come back from break, pull it up and take a look at it. \ I will send you in breakout rooms, small group discussions with a question or 2 I want you to think about based upon this particular document you are going to look at. \ If you want, you can go to that link now or you can pull it up when you want, when you come back.

\ On my watch, I have 2:22 in the afternoon. \ Let’s say at about 2:32 if we can be back in this Zoom space together, I will sort of set up what it is I want you to think and talk about a little bit and then we will assign folks into breakout rooms in Zoom. \ You will get to experience what that looks like, if that is a technique that you may want to use with your students as well. Okay. \ So let’s take about 10\‘a0minutes and I will see you back in this space then.

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