the new ed

the new education.png

by Cathy Davidson





everyone has a platform.

not everyone.. that’s the problem.. no? we have the means.. but too many don’t have access.. and many who do.. don’t have control.. aren’t truly free


students need  to be offered challenge that promote their success after graduation, when all the educational testing has stopped..

offered new challenges..? or come up with new challenges/curiosities..

students don’t just master what an expert sets out for them but, rather, learn how to become experts themselves..

well.. not actually.. if we’re calling them students still.. that label.. all the labeling (as you well know).. keeps none of us truly free.. ie: i don’t think we learn anything.. much less how to become expert.. when it’s not from our own curiosity.. and today.. how many people are listening to that..?

it means refocusing away from the passive student to the whole person learning new ways of thinking thru problems w no easy solutions..

sounds better.. but same thing as p 260 #8.. if it doesn’t come from own curiosity… ‘don’t think about it as an intellectual exercise‘.. just part of the game..


whether from a misguided sense of what constitutes the right prep for a *precarious job market, and inadequate understanding of **what tech can/cannot do,

we still aren’t touching on either of these (i’m sure as you know)


**as it could be


these reform movements stem, one way or another, from a *deeper problem: we’re living at a moment of low support for higher ed, even as the **need and the demand for college are higher than ever..

go *deeper: **maté basic needs.. no college required/demanded/needed..


the goal of helping young people transform themselves into adults who can thrive in tough times is subverted, *turned into someone else’s financial opp

anything outside of listening to 7bn curiosities everyday.. (today we have the means to facil that) is a *turned into someone else’s.. something or other.. ie: curriculum; agenda; pkg deal; et al .. any sort/flavor of supposed to‘s..

1 – quarter life crisis


the rationale for many of these land grant unis was to bring the new science of agri.. to rural educate/professionalize farmers..

so.. college was to create inspectors of inspectors.. and to ed the mech (agri) that would be our demise (from hg – 99% of existence – era) – obsession w hoarding.. w school.. deformation of parenting.. et al


in his (eliot’s) view, the real question was not ‘what to teach, but *how

*best: listen to curiosities and connect people w like curiosities.. but that’s not really teaching.. which is good.. i don’t think you can teach people their art.. and authentic art/energy is what we need.. from 7 bn..

he joined w the *most important capitalists of the era to finance enormous institutional growth.. began to redefine the uni as a place and a means for **training professional managers who could thrive amid the econ, tech, and social ***dislocation of the late 19th cent and early 20th


**no train.. no managing..

why not instead figure out that root of that ***dislocation..

this is huge


listed what he (eliot) considered to be his greatest achievements: 1\ re org of .. *med school  2\ re making o f **law school  … 7\ perfecting of ***elective system..

*from all those capitalists (p 31).. med school focus became big pharma…

**again.. B and b.. too much

***and again..  B and b.. too much .. public consensus via voting.. whatever.. always oppresses someone

only pointing this out.. because.. we are again.. doing an eliot thing.. creating some massive bandaid.. instead of getting to the root .. especially a shame because today we have the means..


eliot designed handsome retirement and pension packages to incentivize strategic retirements,

incentives.. huge red flag


not a single item (features of eliot’s modern uni) needs explanation for anyone reading today because they remain the basics of the uni we have inherited. as eliot’s accomplishment, that’s remarkable. as the continuing infra for higher ed in the 21st cent, it’s the problem

again.. back to p 31 – that’s not the problem..

why not instead figure out that root of that ***dislocation..

this is huge

eliot looked great at the time and for years.. just as you do today.. but will the results be the same..? will we have B and b.. too much .. rather than consider a problem deep enough for 7 bn to resonate with today.?


even the nation’s liberal arts colleges followed suit, re org ing their curriculums in ways that resembled harvard’s..  harvard and other ivy league research unis became the implicit standard against which the merit of every other college and uni was judged

us.. following the shiny.. let’s not do it again..not now.. when we have the opp to leap to a global do-over


yet we have not incorporated these findings about active learning into the institutional practices of most of our elite unis..

ugh.. can’t you see the parallels..?


eliot’s uni has had a good, long run

long.. not good.. matters to point this out because of next sentence:

yet *it no longer preps young people for the conceptual, epistemological, economic, intellectual and social demand of the complex and often disturbing world we live in today..

it never did.. and the *it no longer preps.. ness.. keeps us holding onto the broken feedback loop..

(p 31) why not instead figure out that root of that ***dislocation..

this is huge


it was a *brilliant answer (eliot’s uni redesign) to massive transformation that occurred a hundred years ago. it’s what we’re saddled w today – and what many of us are working very hard to change..

except.. maybe it wasn’t a *brilliant answer.. and so too.. today.. working hard to change again.. not a brilliant answer..

(p 31) why not instead figure out that root of that ***dislocation..

this is huge

we’re working so hard.. on the wrong problem. we have to let go. there’s a nother way

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]

2 – college for everyone


what is shared among this singularly diverse social group is a common goal: gaining an education

rather.. gaining a degree.. big diff..

as our elite unis become ever more bastions of the 1% w exorbitant tuitions that only the affluent can afford, community college works in the opposite way, by being open to those who need that second chance.. welcome to college for *everyone

*except not.. ie: those matt tabbai writes about in the divide.. those bryan stevenson and carl hart and matthew desmond.. et al.. write about.. all the refugees and undocumented and homeless.. those with enough money/time to live and work.. but not to also pay/spend-time for community college and all its pre reqs et al..  also .. what they’re going to see.. if they really look/listen during the 15 day poverty tour..   where they’re already acting surprised at the impoverishment they’re finding.. dang.


community college takes any student at any level in order to help that student reach their goal..

takes them.. but them makes them take pkg deal pre req courses..


i can’t believe in 2017.. we’re talking about assumed basics


at a faculty mtg at a 4 yr institution lamenting the poor prep of incoming freshmen, the likely topics might be how to maintain standards and prevent grade inflation. at a community college faculty mtg confronting same, the discussion well might center on how to address the need for remediation of students suffering under the current regime of rampant high stakes testing and the corrosive effect of so much teaching to the test..

i don’t see any difference.. same.. if your message is.. you need remediation..

appreciating what we can borrow from community colleges means suspending over a hundred years of valuing the credential over the student..

same as insisting on remediation.. pre req courses.. et al..


community college works

maybe for some.. what does ‘works‘ even mean..?

avg community college stuent earn significanlty more income over thie rlifetime than do invidvuals from same demo group who do not earn eith er a profession al cert of ans assoc degree..

ah.. so.. it works for those who get to go.. (so definitely not everybody) ..end up graduating.. (fewer still).. and then the defn of works.. is .. makes more money.. so back to eliot and distracting ourselves with the wrong shiny


community college truly offers people a way into the middle class

wow.. wish we could realize we now have the means to make class-ness irrelevant.. too bad it’s our intellectual institutions that perpetuate it

community college don’t meausr either success in supposedly objective measures of ‘excellence’. they admit everyone w a high school diploma or who has passed the ged test, regarless of collee entrance exam scores or prior academic record..

? how is that everyone..? too many hoops.. and sham\e on us for ged ing ourselves to death..

60% of first year student canot take first year college classes w/o some kind of remediation, typically in writing, reading, and esp math,. if our ed mission is to ensure that each student learns and thereby moves into a postioin of greater knowledge, then we must throw out many of the metric higher ed generally uses, *including the bell cureve, which dictates a predeterimeind grade distribution for succes and fauilure..

*and reading, writing, math pre reqs..


mellow at laguardia: community college is abou tid ing people who don’t hav eother opps for success in the world.. we try.. we give them a chance..

? offering to help by perpetuating that a person’s value is a degre in order to get more money.. is not giving people a chance.. it’s perpetuating something we could be fixing..


developed pfrgrams for working adults, for adutl nd continued ed, for workforce development for language immersion, for adult litercy, and fo rged prep..



there was one uniting objective in all of this: how do you change the city? how do you get low wage workers out of low wage work? – cuny chancellor matthew goldstein

you don’t change the city if we’re still believing in work for pay

we’re not graduating anyone.. have to do better.. .. we’d test and look at the results.. offered metro cards.. streamlined pathway to degree..

? we’re do crazy

mogulescu: if we are doing our job, preping students, giving them the so called skills they need to thrive – math and reading and writing plus skills in majors tha are sueful and *contribute to the city’s welfare – then society ahs to do its part and make sur ethepse jobs are worth having

*the energy from alive people.. not from people demoralized thinking their value comes from some degree.. or from earning money for work..

what a great opp we have .. and we’re missing it.. big time..

3 – against technophobia


many of the technophobic arguments one has against modern digital techs and their cultural offshoots.. sound to my ears like the founding fathers railing against the rapt young novel readers of their era


the real lesson for the new ed is that we need more active, creative ways of teaching that put some of that computing power to good pedagogical use..

replace teaching with living.. and omit pedagogical.. then ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..


the key is to use what advantage tech offers to make the most effective learning possible..

learning of the givens/curricula..? or learning.. if it’s learning.. we now have the means to facilitate 7 bn curiosities everyday.. that would be the most effective and equitable learning..


no one’s there because they want to learn about matrix algebra, vector spaces, and eigenvalues.. he (derek bruff) laughs.. they’re only there because it’s required.. my objective is for them to understand why linear algebra is useful, why it is relevant, why they are being required to learn what they are learning

this is crazy us.. they aren’t learning it (also from mazur – just memorizing for tests.. anything compulsory.. isn’t going to last).. and .. since when is a linear algebra course useful/relevant to everyone..? ie: the relevance he shares is the game of monopoly; google page ranks; ..


college is traditionally supposed to be about teaching.. learning requires more *engagement from the student.. also requires more **imagination from faculty

esp because they’re learning something that wasn’t their curiosity/question.. *engagement/**imagination of faculty.. ends up being hoop jumping..

4 – against technophilia


we have not yet fully grasped the diff ways that our new access to global and local stores of knowledge should be revolutionizing higher ed. we can be so in so much better

perhaps rather.. diff ways new access to connection should be revolutionizing everyday life..

ie: 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..

fixing higher ed is a band aid ..  times beg we change up the day.. for 7 bn..


jerry brown ca governor had hired ..udacity for an undisclosed fee to design three online courses that would  ‘solve’ the seemingly intractable problem of too many students failing intro and remedial math.. at al state..

imagine if we trusted all of us enough to just listen to curiosities everyday.. rather than defining the problems.. ie: passing math; who invented printing press; et al.. we have the means to let go.. we just have to do it.. otherwise we keep applauding these tweaks/attempts at freedom as if they’re true freedom.. as you said.. we can do better..


chomsky serious things law


completion rates remain dismal..

and why is that.. not because online ness doesn’t work.. perhaps more because we can’t let go of pkg deals.. interested.. so join.. but not committed when they find out the whole deal..


george siemens: now that we have the tech to teach a hundred thousand students online.. the next challenge will be scaling creativity and finding a way that even in a class of a hundred thousand, adaptive learning can give each student a personal experience..

why must there be teaching..? why must there be classes..?


(on tressie’s work) the workplace demands far more grads from programs such as digital sociology

are we sure prepping for work force is best we can do..?

5 – palpable impact


it is *indisputable that we need more people trained in stem fields.. at same time.. hard to imagine a worse way of teaching stem tan by depriving it of any human applications and reducing it to skills

*i don’t believe that.. or course.. couched in my thinking.. that we don’t need most of our jobs.. which we could see (because today we have the means) if we disengaged from money..


sha xin wei (arizons state): modern alchemy.. when the problem exceed our current scientific solutions, teh only way we can have palpable impact is thru imagination..

nice.. imagine if we didn’t couch that in a course.. or a uni.. or around a question from outside of us.. ie: what will life be like in phoenix when there is no water.. as good as the question is .. not for everyone’s curiosity today.. (unless they’re in your course)

more than most, these students are achieving out comes – the goal of every pundit an politician arguing for stem for ‘workforce readiness’



design what your heart wishes – is the objective crow (pres of asu) has assigned to faculty.

why not to students..? if not willing to let go that much..we’ve got to let them out (of courses, debt, false promises.. time saps.. et al)


what do asu students do when they graduate? they find not just jobs but careers. their range of talents makes them highly sought after ..

we’ve got to do better..


why do the smartest student have to be the richest..

and why do they have to come to your space.. why can’t we let go.. and facil 7 bn.. finding each other via daily curiosity..

and, again, like asu’s michael crow, ortiz id endeavoring to make everything at her uni work for the good of humanity and the improvement of society..

doesn’t that sound odd..? her uni.. but mostly.. it won’t happen until it’s all of us..


as ortiz and crow show.. we need stem.. but stem needs the human and social sciences and the arts..

too much guys.. and never enough to be free

her (ortiz) hope is that these students will go on to become the leaders we need to solve the equally vexed problems that trouble all our futures..

we don’t need to hold kids/anyone.. in a space.. to follow a course/degree/whatever.. so that they can .. go on to become.. we are all ready right now.. to do/be.. if we focus on curiosity.. no train

she (sara hendren at olin) often poses specific problem for them to solve..

let go


ie, in examined life, a video about our diff abilities, butler and disability activist sunaura taylor ask: don’t we all need assistance of some kind or other..  butler and taylor emphasize that this is a fundamental question not only for the ‘disabled’ but for everyone and for society as a whole..

begs.. maté basic neeeds.. we could focus on via 2 convos


hendren at oberlin: public amateur.. difficult for most professors and for most professionals in the workplace. it means relinquishing expertise and status

i think that’s what’s happening with us.. holding onto ie: the uni.. et al


all of these educators dedicated to higher ed reform understand how deeply we must go in our reconsideration not just of stem ed but also of the purpose and mission of college as a whole if we are going to *train students.. to address the **scale and scope of change in the world they face..

? so we’re back to *training students.. when 7 bn people already have it in them to address the scale/scope of change

the new ed isn’t simply a change in curriculum or implementation of a new kind of pedagogy. it’s not just a course or a program. *it is all of the above, .. it is also a verb, on that **empowers our students w better ways t o live/thrive in a complicated world..

*maybe we need to try.. none of the above

and if we keep calling them **our students.. not sure we’ll let go enough to empower

everyone means well.. and is working hard for change.. i get it.. it’s just that we’re so busy trying to change this thing.. when we have the means to disengage and truly be free.. so that sucks.. all of us want betterness.. we just can’t see that our holding on is keeping us from it..

6 – why college costs so much


if we are serious about the new ed we have to address this issue..

agree.. it’s all wrapped up together.. we have to go deeper.. give me a good honest listen Cathy.. i know you care.. deeply


goldrick rab’s research



we all know that college has never mattered more.

now that is damage.. (i don’t believe it’s true).. saying we all know anything.. is damage.. let alone something that you’ve just outlined as criminal to learning.

despite the system’s (higher ed) unparalleled success, we are no longer investing in our human capital

dang.. ugh


if nothing else, the enemies of public ed and proponent of privatization need to understand the public ed is a good investment..

i don’t believe that.. unless we literally redefine it.. not just mess with some feel goods..

if equity is everyone getting a go every day.. redefining public education becomes revolution of everyday life.. aka: global equity

every economic study of higher ed shows it is the best investment a country can make, both for its own collective productivity and for the individual productivity of its grads

productivity is killing us… money is killing us.. Ed is killing us.. studies from an economic view point.. are messing with us..

7 – the measure of a student


wesch – meadowlark et al


8 – the future of learning


pendleton0jullian.. the red house.. wicked problems 101.. pragmatic imagination..  .. somewhat skeptical of .. design thinking..


you take a problem this big, and it’s real and ti isnt’ just history, it’s now.. (ie: reparations)

this is super.. but we have the means to have 7 bn people decide everyday what their wicked problem or curiosity or whatever you want to call it.. is.. and then meet with people that feel the same.. rather than.. decide on a problem that everyone decide/consents to works on..

even if it’s important.. it’s not resonating as deeply w everyone as it is if we start each day with curiosity as the center.. connect people by that..

we have no idea where that would take us

and.. to bottom p 240 – when you ask don’t you wish everyone got this.. and jullian says.. now that’s a wicked problem..  this is that.. beyond that..

ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..  a nother way


sv thnkgs it can revolutinze higher ed, but ti is nto clear whether its soltuions willa ctually address teh urgent crises we face..

if you believe it’s urgent.. we can’t go part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake

the lecture is broken, and so we must think of better ways to incorporate active learning into the classroom

why in the classroom.. why can’t we so affirmatively say the classroom is broken too.. ie: too many assumptions in that space to make it a space of permission.. let’s go.. in the city.. as the day.


the new ed must prepare our students to thrive in a world of flux, to be ready no matter what comes next. it must empower them to be leaders of innovation and to be able not only to adapt to a changing world but also to change the world that is the core req of the new ed. all the rest is merely elective..

so let’s facil.. like we’re all 5.. whatever.. 7 bn people following their bliss/curiosity .. everyday.. that’s how we all become antifragile.. it’s got to be all of us..

start here: 2 convos ..  as the day


ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way