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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Support around the web

If you haven't yet seen it, Margaret Soltan of University Diaries gave Jacobs' "Re-Engineering" speech her "Scathing Online Schoolmarm" treatment. Follow the link to read the whole thing, but here's a highlight (Jacobs' words in black, Soltan's in blue):
But note well: This plethora of programs, this multiplication of models, is what gets mass production into trouble. Very differently, the concept of extreme student centeredness treats every student individually and eliminates the need for many special programs. Every student is special. Every student becomes an individual case. [Again, notice the Orwellian split between what he’s asserting — in one cliche after another — about how special each individual is, and what he’s actually going to do: Take away the curriculum, shove students in big rooms with computers, and make them teach each other.]
The comments there are also worth reading. And one of her readers across town at Georgetown (Soltan is at GW) picks up the thread from Soltan's post and comments further at his/her blog.

And in another part of the blogosphere, New Kid on the Hallway, a historian, takes on the Strategic Plan and its insistence that all core courses must be made "relevant" to STEMM and professional programs.

Update: Yet one more post from out there in the blogosphere -- it, too, expresses horror at the commercial language that contradicts itself.

Word is getting out. I wonder if Jacobs has a Google-alert on his name?


FLG said...

I wish you the best of luck. It's a terrible idea.

tiger8monkey said...

This is turning into a fiasco. And if you don't know what I mean by "fiasco," just listen to (again, if you haven't heard it for a while) the "This American Life" episode that defines the term perfectly: a total, unmitigated disaster born of the most ambitious and lofty intentions. I've always dreaded being at one of these universities that people blog about.

F-I-A-S-C-Oh Oh Oh Oh OH!

SaveUT said...

Ambitious, maybe, but I'm not sure Jacobs' intentions were ever lofty.

But a fiasco? Potentially. Not quite yet.