I'm not going to make the meeting this Friday as I'm at DEFRA but wanted to just post this link to Geetha Narayanan's talk today at the CETL conf. – Looking Back to Look Ahead - Learning Through and From the Human Spirit - It's an hr long and not sure for how long it will be available via this link? - but, Georgy, Nicole and Steve also attended and perhaps, if there is time on Friday, you could glimpse aspects of this talk.
What I really liked about her presentation - and in contrast to the PVC's talk that day - was the emphasis she placed on understanding the 'human condition' and finding 'human spirit' as a learning / teaching philosophy over and above any inclusion of widgets and technology in teaching. She described 3 design ideas: intuition [a gesture of letting go]; Imagination [to make a world, to find a place, to find the self]; and intelligence [manifests itself in the possibility of changing behaviour in a changing world]. The 'organicness' of her approach had great resonance with me and with what i think we've been talking about on U101 - and brought home to me the importance of really 'knowing' the technologies that we will presrcibe as teachers and knowing that they will enable [not disable] the 'open horizon' design thinking learning process. She talked very much around 'the action' of doing [rather than just thinking] and about the links between the two: to experience; to grow; to do. And lastly she discussed the 4 parts of pedagogy at the foundation of the Shristi experience - again something which i felt should be refleted in our 4 blocks: 1. expanding the self 2. designing the mind 3. creating wellness and wellbeing 4. generating new freedoms
For me there was this driving undercurrent in what she said which has also been bugging me during my time here so far - and that is the potential for a slave-like embracement of technology for technologies sake within our emerging "future" educational paradigm. Geetha, i think, was trying to say something about ensuring the values and foundation and purpose of education are solid in a fast changing world --- and perhaps this foundation can be 'slow' and 'steady' and about a longevity for learning and doing - maybe these things are about a wisdom of knowing, learning and doing [which we have built up in design] - and for these things not to be forgotton or misplaced or misrepresented in the speed to be 'at the front' of technological adoption without a deep-rooted link to what the technology will provide that feeds the 'slowness' and solidity of the learning paradigm we are creating.
i really think there are some important points for us to reflect on here
A new thing in my life recently has been being rung up to give interviews to student magazines. I have done two - for Ambidextrous, from Stanford University, and Rotman (Rotman Institute of Management) from University of Toronto. A pdf of the short, published Ambidextrous interview is downloadable from my OU website, and here's a link to the full interview on their website. Here's a draft of the Rotman interview.
I thought you might like them as in absentia contributions to the CT discussions!
Nigel Download interview_nigel_cross.doc
This article about design education for the next generations by Meredith Davis is highly relevant to U101 course development. She critically discusses several "old" claims that often still hold for true in current design education. For instance, in one claim she attacks the common practice that in design education students start tackling simple problems before moving on to more complex issues. She claims that not simplifying complexity but learning how to manage it would be an equally or even more adequate approach to design education.