Steven F. Freeman

General Educational Philosophy

page created: 01/15/2012
page last modified: 02/09/2014

Useful assignments: The effort you put into getting a degree represents a significant portion of your life and a very large proportion of time not obligated to family or employer. As such it's precious, and the time spent on assignments should reflect that value. So I strive to help you to do useful assignments. But this does require you to reflect on what would be of value.

Adaptable syllabus: students can maximize the value of a course is through a flexible, adaptable syllabus. If there is any topic you want to cover or anyone you'd like to invite, I try to make that possible. I also try to incorporate relevant current developments and unique opportunities.

Critical thinking: Meaningful learning is not being able to parrot what an author or speaker says, but results from thinking critically about a thought, challenge its veracity and relevance, and bringing your own experience, analysis and intuition to bear on the question. "The educated person is not the person who can answer the questions, but the person who can question the answers.” T. Schick (see quotations page, Section 370, Education) 

Collaborative learning: cooperative teams achieve at higher levels of thought and retain information longer than learners who work quietly as individuals. Active exchange of ideas increases interest among the participants andalso promotes critical thinking. Shared learning provides an opportunity to engage in discussion and can lead to new insights and the need to reflect on unquestioned assumptions.

Sensemaking: Courses such as these are not simply about transmitting a given body of knowledge; it's about reflecting on important questions, looking at the big picture and making sense of it (one of the skills of resilience).

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