This is the challenge we each face as future faculty. I truly appreciated Seth Godin’s manifesto and hope that I can meet his challenge. In the field of public administration, I am often surrounded by others who want to measure the value of work on the cost-benefit basis. I think there is far more to governing people than just a cost-benefit. Fortunately, I subscribe to a worldview that allows me to accept other ways of being and thinking. So the notion of leading a class or seminar through an exploration of ideas that allows them to connect the dots is thrilling. I wrote earlier in the semester that I wished there was a place to practice some of the teaching methods we are discussing. Now, I realize that is neither necessary nor sufficient to inspire learning. Being present in the moment and guiding the exploratory process of learning is really the key to inspiring learning.
“Persistence in the face of a skeptical authority figure is priceless” Many have identified the challenge with this approach is getting it through the gate-keepers of the institutions at which we might teach. I agree, it is daunting to think about taking a “radical” approach to education. But it is more important to comply for the sake of a tenure position or to inspire learning. As Palmer argues we are the institution. If we don’t speak up and spark the interest and intelligence of our students, then nothing will ever change. That to me is a sad state of affairs.