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Transparency and Conceptual Linking to Practice

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Lectures - Notes - Post to Learning Records
Post to Discussion Group, transform-dom

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: September 18, 2005
Latest Update: September 18, 2005

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Index of Topics on Site Discussion of How Theory Relates to Your Own World
Transparency means doing things in the open, where we each take responsibility for explaining to others involved why we are making the decisions that we are making. In grading it means clearly explaining why I would give a C instead of an A or B, so that you can understand what you need to work on to do better.

Conceptual linking means understanding deeply by thinking the theory through in its application to things that matter in your life. Understanding and incorporating new ideas are the means to throwing off subordination and making democracy work. Grades don't matter. They're just there for the convenience of employers who are too lazy or too incompetent to evaluate your competence on their own in the field. Grades may get you hired, but only knowledge and understanding of where that knowledge fits in your life will get you promoted or keep your job.

Several of you have written in response to my plea for support of our way of knowing. (The term comes from Women's Ways of Knowing) You'd think our work together would create an epiphany in learning. But learning is hard work, and lots of people want to follow the maxim of counselors when our soldiers returned from the Second World War: "It's better to be a teacher than a shoe salesman." Better benefits, and a summer vacation. And almost none of those counselors knew about social learning. Now that we know so much more about learning and our society's mismanagement and failure in that regard, it's time for each of us to make a change. Be kind. Help each other learn. For our society will be secure only when all of us know and care about how democracy works.

On Mon Sep 19, 2005 11:04 am, Malika Shakour wrote in Message No. 6041:

I was blessed to have Jeanne as a professor a few years ago. Being able to go to the Dear Habermas site and interact with other over the "net" by expressing ideas is the best testiment to Jeanne's style. Sometimes people are so indoctrinated to structure that anything other than that upsets their focus. I have come to appreciate Jeanne's grading and teaching style that deconstructs the structual violence relative to teaching practices and grading. I learned more about theories and theorists in one of Jeanne's classes while painting "day of the dead" masks than I did in a class where the prof. lectured in front of the class and we took notes, got the appropriate grade, and never went off on the many tangents that always come with the learning process. More should take a page from her book.

I remember younger students complaining because they couldn't understand the lack of structure, they did not respond in class, they did not share their thoughs, ideas, fears, on the Habermas site, but they did complain to the powers that be.

jeanne's comments: Since we still have lots of younger students, please could you come and ask if you don't understand? Structure is my bete noir. The problem is that you have been taught to think only of linear structure. The site represents, not a book, but a virtual world where you can choose to go where your interests or your needs take you. But if you check out the index and the topics index, you'll discover that it's all highly structured. I just don't tell you what to do. You have to decide that for yourself. This kind of structure is still structure, but it recognizes the interactive nature of your learning and my teaching.

Education and learning should be a liberal process. Any lecture these days should segue into a discussion about Roberts, or the (un)natural disaster caused by Katrina, or any number of occurances that happens in this ever shrinking world. Anyway 3 cheers for Jeanne and for everyone that embraces real learning, a give and take process.

And Brittany Perlin wrote on Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:17 pm in Message No. 6012:

"in response to lecture #8, "The language we flaunt" , I have to be honest, I really did not understand much of what Robert Canary was exactly trying to say. His vocabulary confused me a little bit. I have to be honest there, maybe you can translate a little bit of it for me in plain words instead of sarcastic, difficult words he used. I have to say that I cant really make a valid argument because I am confused about what exactly he meant by it, but what I will say is that he did not present a loving orientation to the world because even though I didnt understand exactly what he meant by it, I did get a big sense of negativity from it and I didnt think it was very respectful.It seemed very sarcastic as well.What I did get from it was that he was criticizing your grading process, the transparency that u use, and saying that this transparency word is just a nicer way of saying"clear grading process". I wish more teachers used this transparency method because it allows students to really learn from eachother and their teachers. You are able to really see where you went wrong and learn from it, rather than receiving a grade, and never knowing or being able to see the correct way to do it so that you dont make the mistake the next time. Also, you make students want to learn, it doesn't seem like we HAVE to be there when we are there, a teacher who can do that, who can make the topic so interesting that you actually want to be there, please tell me how that is a "bad" teaching method. I have had so many teachers who teach by the book, and never get anywhere because students are bored out of their minds, also, there are teacher who give you a paper back, with only a grade, which leaves you wondering what you did, how to prevent it next time, and why all the work and time and effort you put in got you a "C" or maybe even a "D" , when it was the best you could do. This is what I got from this lecture. Please write back with any explanations you think I may have missed while reading it.. thank you!!" Brittany Perlin (LOVE 1A)
See jeanne's comments at Learning Records for Love 1A

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