Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Elephant in the Room

Let us be blunt: Core Curriculum revision means more work and less autonomy for faculty. It means an increase in work that does not contribute to our own professional development or research. And it means more supervision and surveillance, as we are forced to define our aims and to structure our courses and programs to conform to the pedagogical agendas mandated by Core Curriculum Commissars.

This is the elephant in the room that many faculty are too polite to acknowledge. We are (at least officially) idealists, committed to giving students the best possible education, even at our own expense, and so recoil at the idea of promoting our own professional self-interest. We are, whether male or female, "such gentlemen" (as Iris Murdoch once put it) that we recoil from the crass statement: "This program will crap up my life."

That it will--and that it will undermine research, as we sweat and break our backs to comply with the pedagogical demands of the Core Curriculum agenda--is a fact. It is however speculative whether, if implemented, it would benefit students--or rather whether it would provide the benefits we would like to convey rather than vocational training, entertainment and test prep for our "customers."

It's too easy to lose sight of the fundamental flaw of the Core Curriculum revision program because of its unwieldy complexity. But the bottom line is the: Core Curriculum will make our professional lives much, much worse. is this where we're headed?


1 comment:

  1. H.E.,

    I think your blog reflects many of the tensions that many of us feel about the CORE revision, both procedurally and substantively. I think that it would be exceptionally helpful for members of the College, and the University as a whole, to enter into conversations about these broader issues. Rather than merely hoping to catch a forum addressing singular aspects of the proposed revisions, advertised rather late on, or respond to an isolated survey, it is essential that we talk about the fundamental principles driving this project, its historical origins, and its relation to our mission and values at the University. And I agree, that we need to talk about the implementation of the proposed CORE revisions, and its real or potential impact on all of us, as we seek to take care of our students, to develop our own professional work, and promote a thriving place for all of us. I hope that folks will engage in this discussion. I will add apost, hoping that we can discuss these issues. In the meantime, thank you for your post!