Collective wisdom.

December 1, 2008 at 3:04 pm 2 comments

Many times since I started my teaching career at Idyllwild, I’ve been confronted with the consumer driven mindset of the times we live in, and how it is and is not compatible with the responsibilities of being an educator and administrator. Specifically, the problem is this: because I am a student and this is my education, I should get to decide what my major is, what courses I get to take and which teachers I get to take courses from. It seems so practical and logical. I mean, I go online and can shop and choose whatever I want from any store, pay my money and it appears in my mailbox. If I don’t like it or it doesn’t fit quite right, I can just put it back in the box and return it for a nice refund on my card.

A school doesn’t work like that, though. Sure, we have a few offerings that can be chosen from. Elective courses, things that fit outside the parameters of our requirements. But what we mostly have is a carefully thought out course of study. Sequences of courses, courses that we have designed to prepare a student for the needs that we forsee a student having.  We have hired teachers that we know will assess, consider and challenge. We get to choose what and when you will study and who teaches you.  And that’s the way it should be.  It’s what we’re good at.

It’s like omakase at the sushi bar. There is no ordering. You trust that the chef knows exactly how to put the ingredients together and craft a sequential meal that will satisfy and entertain. At a school we put courses, teachers and students together so that a student grows in ways that they couldn’t have imagined for themselves. We’re omakase, not a cafeteria. It’s the collective wisdom and experience of a faculty and administration and their ability to make decisions in the interest of students that make a school. Not a menu or a shopping cart.

Oh, and on the topic of dietary choice, happy belated thanksgiving.

Entry filed under: Arts, theories.

Mattresses, tutus and Midori. We’re back!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andrew  |  December 5, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    So elegantly put. Exactly.

    Reply
  • 2. Lissa  |  December 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Let the magic work! Love your blog.

    Reply

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