I am particularly struck by Fiore and Elasser and Nan Elasser’s (?) experience as a teacher in the Bahamas. In some of the theory we have been reading, we have learned that students creating the curriculum leads to an engaged population and the learning is more connected and deeper than traditional education. It is phenomenal to see that played out in this article. I am also reminded of Women’s Ways of Knowing, as they write about the phases the women are going through on their quest to learn. I really loved that book and the idea that learning is fluid—we move through phases of learning styles depending on the environment and what we are learning. I admire the constructivism the Bahamian women use to learn. Writing the papers in phases shows such a clear progression in their “ways of knowing.”
I am experiencing some of this in Capstone, since we are creating our own work for the semester. We read a few articles about how some members of VCU Adult Learning teams have done additional work on their own, even traveling to Europe to present on their project. When I first read that, I was a little shocked—how could someone be that into their learning? However, reading articles like “Strangers No More” reinforce the idea that if the subject is important to the learners and there are stakes involved (the manifesto), learners will spend outside time on their studies. Of course, this transformative learning was a huge part of Educating Rita, which we watched in 601. She became so passionate about books and studying that she became a different person.
While I liked the ethnographies, reading more theory-based pieces (I liked all of the ones assigned this week!) help bring the learning in the program full circle. More Freire!
Liz Lemon wedding gif from here.
(…And this is why I title my blogs “Adult ___, Reflection ___.”‘)
I really enjoyed the case studies in the text. They were a great introduction to the work and discussions that will surely be a part of this class. As I read them, I was reminded of one of the struggles that I remember when I worked in HR for a nurse’s association.
Shortly before I started, all the nurses, who worked very hard and made less they would have at a hospital, had to switch their documentation from paper to computer. Most of them continually had trouble using laptops–it was a lot more to lug around and the computers seemed to have problems quite frequently. One of the important measures of nurse’s work was productivity (I was in charge of the productivity reports so I had to hear about this from all sides). The directors were always concerned about those numbers, especially when they went down, which happened when computers were introduced. There was so much resistance to computer documentation, and the directors perceived it as not understanding 1. How to use a computer correctly 2. the extra time it took to fill out the form and 3. the benefits. This was very similar to the differences between the management of Triple Z and the employees. “If only they understood what this form meant.” All of the nurses did understand, and in many cases, their problem with it could be solved with better communication and a reward system.
Everyone in my office said, “they will learn the system and accept it.” This is true. But what is also true is that there were other underlying issues at work here: management issues, the extra burden on staff to train nurses in a new system and the lack of pay equity compared to other jobs in the area. I don’t know if these issues were ever addressed, as I was only there 18 months. The people mandating the changes were more concerned with the compliance aspect of everything than the overall people problems that plagued the agency. It seems like at Triple Z, management liked the younger newer employees better because they didn’t speak up as much–this paperwork was a part of their job all along. But they never addressed the real issues–Rosa meeting with her supervisor and creating a new checklist, for example–and made the old guard employees feel belittled and out of place.
Photo from here.