Fixing What’s Broken

This:

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/getting-green/strapping-our-students

Our current traditional-age students were children who grew up well supervised, overly scheduled, and highly programmed. They probably did not take things apart or learn to fix them. Their play time was squeezed in between academic opportunities and safe group activities. These kids take few risks. They haven’t learned to think critically or with imagination. They are unaware of how things work on deeper levels, yet are proficient end users.

I agree whole-heartedly with this author. For my own discipline, I conceive this a bit differently. One thing I believe we can do for these college students is provide an expectation that they will do things for themselves, in unstructured times and spaces, and keep plugging away at tasks until they have mastered them. I tend to create very structured activities and spaces for assignments both within and outside of class. I am working on creating opportunities for my students to get messy and take things apart, as it were, to see how language really works.

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