recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : experiential   13

Recommendations for an optimal conclusion to Hampshire College (opinion)
"Hampshire College: Fold, Don’t Merge: Michael Drucker proposes what he thinks would be an ethical conclusion to the experimental college."



"When I say my alma mater is an experimental college, I mean it literally. No grades. No majors. No tests. We are different by design and intention.

My academic adviser would ask me, “What are you curious about in the world?” and “How are you going to find the knowledge you need to answer those questions?” Since we have no majors, we have no list to follow telling us exactly what courses to take to complete our degree. Students must not only study the material in their chosen areas of concentration but also figure out what that will be. Simply being a student at Hampshire College is an act of experiential education.

Hampshire’s educational philosophy asks: What is possible if students are studying for the sake of learning instead of competing for letter grades? What is possible if students are studying not only for the sake of learning but also for innovative, interdisciplinary applications of that knowledge?

Do Not Resuscitate

In January, President Miriam E. Nelson announced the search for a long-term strategic partner for Hampshire and questioned first-year class enrollment. Student activism ignited. Alumni, faculty and staff comments in support and dissent flooded in. A petition calling for shared governance collected thousands of signatures within days. On Feb. 1, Hampshire announced it would enroll only early-decision admits and students who previously deferred.

A partnership, or a merger, could be great if I’m allowing myself to be optimistic. But it’s increasingly difficult to sustain optimism, as my idealism feels more like naïveté with each passing day. Staff layoffs may begin as early as April. Early-decision admits are told a new affiliate will likely control how any diploma they earn will be awarded. Notable alumnus Jon Krakauer writes in The New York Times that in the merger “it is not at all clear how much of the Hampshire philosophy -- to say nothing of the Hampshire soul -- will survive.”

I feel more and more confident that Hampshire’s soul will not survive. If that’s the case, I do not want to keep our institution on life support. I respectfully submit my request to the Hampshire Board of Trustees to consider ordering a DNR for our beloved and complicated alma mater.

Without our educational “soul,” what remains is still something beautiful: a liberal arts campus with provocative course material, progressive ideologies and the harmonious clashing of overlapping countercultures. But that’s something students can find at many other colleges around the world. It’s not enough for me to want Hampshire to continue for the sake of its name living on.

The pedagogical tenets of our educational experiment make us who we are. Without them, we are not Hampshire College. Some might ask if it’s really that bad to have majors, grades or tests. No, it’s not the end of the world, but it is the end of Hampshire.

I’m only 27, and I’ve lost both of my parents. My dad died when I was a third-year student at Hampshire. The day he passed, I was at ACPA’s annual convention with Hampshire student affairs representatives. My first professional mentor was there and consoled me the night I found out. My mom passed in the summer of 2017 -- too young and too soon.

I know what loss, mourning and grief mean. I’ve already begun mourning Hampshire as I’ve done before while preparing myself emotionally for the painful departure of a loved one. I do not want Hampshire to close, but I know that it is an option. My personal experiences make it easier for me to consider it as a viable one. I’m not afraid of it.

My preference for Hampshire to close, rather than merge, is not about me throwing in the towel on a good fight to save our college. It’s about respecting its legacy. It’s about preferring to honor it in memory rather than seeing it diluted in its new form. It’s about thanking Hampshire for what it has been and letting it pass peacefully.

It may be over, but it’s not a failure. We had 50 years of magic. We existed. We were here. It mattered. It will continue to matter.

An Ethical Conclusion

Closing Hampshire College is not as simple as one human being dying (which is, of course, not simple at all). Closing the college would have an immense economic effect on its employees and the local Amherst community. It has four classes of active students to consider. But I would support closing rather than merging if we could spend our energy and resources developing the best conclusion possible. There is potential here for us to truly live out Hampshire’s philosophy until the end.

From what I can gather, however, what is happening right now is not an ethical termination. Amherst College faculty members wrote an open letter to President Nelson criticizing the recent decisions made without adequate faculty input, noting, “No leader in any field can violate long-standing professional norms for long without compromising his or her credibility and losing the confidence of core constituencies.” Hampshire’s Executive Committee of the Faculty authored their own letter declaring that the president’s Jan. 15 announcement considering not accepting an incoming class “turned a financial crisis into a catastrophe” -- in essence making it so that Hampshire then had no choice but to fulfill this self-defeating prophecy and spiral down toward helplessness. The staff, faculty and administrators are now in the midst of learning of layoffs. Those who must leave have only 60 days to prepare; those who stay are headed into the unknown. Either way, there is harm done. It seems the employees and students living and working on the campus right now are being neglected in the shuffle.

Do this, but do it right. Gather all Hampshire constituencies for planning the conclusion of Hampshire in the spirit of shared of governance. Generate ideas, cross over disciplines and break boundaries -- discover the beauty in something tragic. Lengthen the window of time for shutting down. Create a four-year plan for closing up shop. Do everything we want to do in that time.

Provide accurate information to all employees with at least six months' notice, if not more, for changes or termination. Use your remaining resources to financially ease the transition for all your employees.

Let current students grieve and be angry. Offer them what you actually can offer them. Don’t hold out with information you know is inevitable. If current first-years need to transfer to have full college experiences, tell them as soon as possible and help them do it. Learn from other colleges that have closed. Replicate their better practices and learn from their shortcomings.

Last, let’s throw Hampshire the most perfectly Hampshire going-away party we’ve ever seen. Let’s celebrate what we’ve done. Let’s document our innovations and accomplishments. Let’s show others how to resurrect what Hampshire did if the financial and political tides turn. Invite alums back to campus for a weekend of acknowledgment, celebration and community. If we were to lean into this direction now, we have the potential to do something extraordinary.

Before anything, the people making the decisions need to reveal the status of the merger’s development. The board and senior administrators must gamble on showing their cards. It would take a radical amount of vulnerability to show us all what our options are -- and an even greater amount would be to let us all have a say in which direction we go.

The students organizing in Hamp.Rise.Up are demanding just that: a say in what’s happening. It’s not typical for a college to do that in this dire situation, but we’ve never been typical. What would it mean to have a Hampshire-wide democratic vote on the future of our college? Even if we vote to close the institution in light of unfavorable mergers, what could we teach to the rest of higher education by the process through which we got there?

We are a college that lives our motto, Non Satis Scire: “to know is not enough.” So far, we don’t know much, and that is clearly not enough. But given the chance, what could we create?"
hampshirecollege  2019  michaeldrucker  alternative  education  learning  howwelearn  highered  highereducation  maverickcolleges  experience  experiential  grades  grading  ethics 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Taylor & Francis Online :: The preference for experiences over possessions: Measurement and construct validation of the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale - The Journal of Positive Psychology - Volume 7, Issue 1
"There is growing support that money spent on experiential items increases an individual's happiness. However, there is minimal research on the causes and long-term consequences of the tendency to make experiential purchases. Given the importance of experiential buying for improving well-being, an understanding of the preference for experiential purchasing is imperative. Thus, we developed the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale (EBTS) to measure habitual experiential purchasing. Across eight samples (n = 9634), the EBTS was developed, and shown to be reliable, valid, and predictive of consumer behavior and psychological well-being. An experiential purchasing tendency was related to higher extraversion, openness, empathic concern, and reward seeking. Further, non-materialistic values predicted a preference for experiential purchasing, which led to increased psychological need satisfaction, and, ultimately, increased subjective well-being. The discussion proposes that experiential…"
purchases  openness  extraversion  rewardseeking  empathicconcern  empathy  rewards  delayedgratification  appreciation  ebts  emotions  cv  experiences  2011  raviiyer  paulinapchelin  ryanhowell  spending  money  materialsm  via:aaronbell  consumerism  consumption  well-being  happiness  experientialliving  experiential 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Curiosity Atlas
"Curiosity Atlas is a project to cultivate a community focused on experiential living. We're a group of dabblers and dilettantes who believe life is best lived exploring, learning, moving, creating and connecting locally. We curate and produce unique, hands-on experiences in San Francisco.

Get curious. Roll up your sleeves and try something new."
curiosityatlas  experientialliving  experientiallearning  experiential  experimental  experience  hands-on  learning  exploration  community  social  sanfrancisco 
august 2012 by robertogreco
City Walks and Tactile Experience
"This paper is an attempt to develop categories of the pedestrian’s tactile and kinaesthetic experience of the city. The beginning emphasizes the haptic qualities of surfaces and textures, which can be “palpated” visually or experienced by walking. Also the lived city is three-dimensional; its corporeal depth is discussed here in relation to the invisible sewers, protuberant profiles, and the formal diversity of roofscapes. A central role is ascribed in the present analysis to the formal similarities between the representation of the city by walking through it and the representation of the tactile form of objects. Additional aspects of the “tactile” experience of the city in a broad sense concern the feeling of their rhythms and the exposure to weather conditions. Finally, several aspects of contingency converge in the visible age of architectural works, which record traces of individual and collective histories."
urban  walking  urbanism  cities  tacticalurbanism  materiality  textures  sufaces  porosity  roofscapes  movement  pulse  rhythm  experiential  time  touch  patina  history  atemporality  MădălinaDiaconu  weather  plato  johnlocke  hobbes  vitruvius  sensation  contact 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Brightworks: An Extraordinary School
"Brightworks is a school that reimagines the idea of school. In September 2011, we will offer a one-of-a-kind K-12 curriculum: students explore an idea from multiple perspectives with the help of real-world experts, tools, and experiences, collaborate on projects driven by their curiosity, and share their findings with the world. Brightworks does away with tests, grades and homework, instead supporting each student as they create a rich and detailed portfolio of their work. Brightworks offers a sliding-scale tuition option to all applicants.

At Brightworks, we believe that a school should serve as a learning commons and a community workshop, an intellectual and creative heart of the neighborhood it resides in. Brightworks will also offer after-school, evening and weekend workshops for children and adults."
education  sanfrancisco  curriculum  pedagogy  learning  teaching  experiential  science  schools  schooldesign  lcproject  testing  grading  homework  sharing  collaboration  tcsnmy  community  agitpropproject  the2837university  children  unschooling  deschooling  bryanwelch  alternative  progressive  make  making  doing  thinkering  tinkering  openstudio  gevertulley  brightworks 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Myth of eLearning: There Is No 'There' There -- Campus Technology
"Many institutions are already moving toward more authentic learning & assessment; many faculty members adopting problem-based learning & experiential learning. More major programs …are demanding internships. The move is already underway toward using campus resources more fully, making students' learning experiences more holistic & pertinent to needs of employment patterns…

…gradual shift is toward using full resources of campus & away from classroom-centric thinking…away from learning autonomously to learning collaboratively…all courses requiring more writing.…students addressing problems or cases or field studies or experiments that are not scaffolded by teachers.

Now that we have left behind simplistic 1-dimensional, & kind of depressing, specter of "delivering content" as idea of learning, & have management tools to release learning from classroom-centricity, higher ed will continue to thrive. The US higher ed enterprise is unequalled in the world…and…getting even better."
education  highereducation  highered  learning  experiential  experientiallearning  problemsolving  problem-basedlearning  assessment  authenticity  autonomy  deschooling  unschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  holistic 
january 2011 by robertogreco
City As School - Wikipedia
"City-As-School is a alternative NYC public high school built on the idea that all children learn differently, some learn by seeing, some by hearing, others by doing. The school's stated objective is to help strengthen, motivate & guide students through their high school experience.

While students have many opportunities for in-house classes, experiential learning is the foundation of CAS. Students are required to register for an internship each cycle; a cycle is half the time of a regular semester. Currently, CAS has over 500 open internship relationships.

Graduation from CAS is through a portfolio presentation before a panel of adult and peers.

Some of CAS students are eligible to take classes at local colleges tuition free."
education  schools  nyc  alternative  alternativeeducation  lcproject  internships  jean-michelbasquiat  basquiat  mosdef  adamhorovitz  learning  city-as-school  brooklyn  manhattan  ricksafran  fredkoury  publicschools  experiential 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Mission Science Workshop
...seeks to combine traditional activities in experimental science—use of microscopes, balances, thermometers, culturing plants and animals—with building a variety of projects with clay, wood, and plastic, including pendulums, electric and mechanical toys, musical instruments, and apparatuses that enhance our explorations of sound, light, and color.<br />
In all our activities in the workshop the emphasis is upon learning from observation and direct experience with real things rather than simply accepting the truth of transmitted knowledge, whether the source is books or teachers. Our favorite quote is from physicist Richard Feynman: “Science doesn’t teach anything, experience teaches it.”
parenting  homeschool  unschooling  science  sanfrancisco  dansudran  missionscienceworkshop  lcproject  education  learning  handsonlearning  handson  schools  teaching  children  alternative  alternativeeducation  experiential  scientificmethod 
december 2010 by robertogreco
A place to awaken S.F. kids' inner Einsteins
"Those are magic words to Dan Sudran, 64, who conducted the balloon experiment the other day in the Mission Science Workshop he runs in a former high school auto shop on Church Street in San Francisco.

Sudran's do-it-yourself laboratory is to science what a wizard's lair is to sorcery. Complete animal skeletons hang from the ceiling or from perches - a cow found in the Salinas Valley, an ostrich acquired by way of Sudran's butcher, a dolphin donated by a guy in Bolinas.

There's a mummified cat that a janitor found at a middle school, its fangs still agape in terror. A pelican in dramatic rigor mortis is available for inspection. Bones, flippers, femurs, hooves, teeth and beaks are arranged in evolutionary order on a table. Donors include bears, pigs, sea lions, armadillos and humans."
via:caterina  parenting  homeschool  unschooling  science  sanfrancisco  dansudran  missionscienceworkshop  lcproject  education  learning  handsonlearning  handson  schools  teaching  children  alternative  alternativeeducation  experiential  scientificmethod 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Views: The 20-Something Dilemma - Inside Higher Ed
"rigid scripting of childhood & adolescence has made young Americans risk- & failure-averse. Shying away from endeavors at which they might not do well, they consider pointless anything w/out clear application or defined goal. Consequently, growing numbers of college students focus on higher ed’s vocational value at expense of meaningful personal, experiential, & intellectual exploration. Too many students arrive at college committed to pre-professional program or major they believe will lead directly to employment after graduation; often they are reluctant to investigate unfamiliar or “impractical”, a pejorative typically used to refer to liberal arts…Ironically, in rush to study fields w/ clear career applications, students may be shortchanging themselves. Change now occurs more rapidly than ever before & boundaries separating professional & academic disciplines constantly shift, making flexibility & creativity of thought that a lib arts education fosters a tremendous asset…"

[via: http://ayjay.tumblr.com/post/1375094336/the-rigid-scripting-of-childhood-and-adolescence ]
education  learning  liberalarts  humanities  highered  demographics  childhood  adolescence  unschooling  vocational  training  colleges  universities  whatmatters  flexibility  tcsnmy  riskaversion  risk  failure  risktaking  experience  experiential  experientiallearning  exploration  whatdoiwanttodowithmylife  2010  parenting  youth  life  lcproject  deschooling 
october 2010 by robertogreco
adaptive path » blog » Henning Fischer » Mission Bicycle and Adaptive Path: Experience Design in Retail
"As we talked the idea of a collaboration between Mission Bicycle and Adaptive Path began to take shape. Zack had plans for the shop’s interior design, but the experience of the retail environment was still missing. The goal was to design a simple retail experience that would help customers assemble their perfect, custom bike. Some of the fundamental questions that needed to be answered were:

* How do you showcase and sell a great but complex product in a constrained environment? * How do you create a space that extends and supports other brand experiences? * How do you sell in-store if you’ve only sold online?"

[via: www.brianoberkirch.com/2009/12/19/zacks-bike-shop/ ]
design  experiencedesign  bikes  experience  ux  adaptivepath  experiential  servicedesign  missionbicycle  biking  sanfrancisco 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Cognitive Edge: Huginn and Muginn
1.don't teach ICT as "body of knowledge"? 2.computers and broadband a universal right 6.Teach about human beings not computers 7.Don't ossify past in current teaching....conclusion:we need to sacrifice an explicit non-experiential approach"
education  schools  gamechanging  technology  children  experiential  experience  lcproject  chilren  learning  curriculum 
october 2007 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read