I’m on sabbatical this year, and clearly have little time left for blogging. (yes really, sabbatical stands for super-busy). So here’s a new way to convey my thoughts on the news…
1. So-called innovative pedagogical techniques that disrupt the daily lives of teachers and affect how costs in higher education are structured deserve rigorous evaluation before meriting applause and adaptation. Fund and support that research, and strive to build a large body of studies using replication with different students and institutions. Don’t play politics with the research and claim that research doesn’t matter anyway.
2. When faced with a financial crisis at your institution, return to your core mission and your key constituents who made you what you are today. If you’re a public school, that means rebuilding your relationship with the state. It does not mean building a new football stadium to attract more out-of-state students who will forever alter campus culture and create greater disjuncture between your campus and the rest of the state’s citizens.
3. As data pours in, indicating a growing number of students pursuing higher education are homeless, pay attention to the problem and seek information and resources to help. Look into housing policies that may be working at cross-purposes with educational policies and goals. Think about why people respond to poverty the way they do. Don’t resort to the simplistic tactic of saying that poverty makes you dumb.