Community page for PED3102-P

Well, welcome to all of you who have registered! I have 'great expectations' about what this wiki will become as we engage ideas central to the course through our ongoing disucssions. Here's something of a 'welcome to the wiki' present. It's a visual summary (with a music background) of David Foster Wallace's long essay Consider the Lobster. It demonstates his concern with those with whom we share our planet and with what we do routinely that -- inadvertently or not -- inflicts pain on other sentient beings. This is a nice reminder of the Hippocratic Oath's injunction to medical practitioners: "first do no harm". I think that we teachers would be made better if we were to take this oath, and then take it seriously. In any case, here is an interesting youtube clip that should add to your appreciation of who David Foster Wallace is and what he cares about.



Best wishes,
Martin Barlosky

P Students,
We made important beginnings in Wednesday's class. As I noted, much of our work will consist of problematizing the many unexamined conventions that find form in the process of schooling. The point throughout is to reduce the power of the habitual so that we can see new possibilities for the lives that teachers and students lead in what John Goodlad called "the places we call schools." Said in short, critique is important, but it must give rise to new and better possibilities for thought and action if it is to have value.

In terms of the first assignment (and all of the others too), I genuinely look forward to encountering your ideas and to seeing how you give sense and sensibility to the many materials that we will share during the course of our time together. Please do resist the temptation to merely report what the readings say. Yes, you should demonstrate that you understand what our various authors are trying to tell us, but you should also share how you interpret the ideas you meet and how you find meaning in them. Please also share the questions the readings raise for you. These questions are most important and I have found that they always fuel important discussions.

For my part, I'll look forward to seeing you next Wednesday when I will distribute a more detailed schedule of our class sessions and what we will cover in each. We will also divide ourselves into the nine Small Working Groups that you will read about in the course outline. And, do bring any questions that the course outline may raise for you.

I hope that your experience of the faculty of education has been reasonably coherent in your first week. Don't be afraid to ask any questions you may have of your professors or of the many administrative staff in the faculty; we all work hard to create a meaningful learning environment for you and are happy to work with you individually to make your short time in the faculty both productive and full.

Best wishes,
Martin Barlosky