Monday, December 16, 2013

New School History Reflections

China on the horizon has got me wondering if there isn't, perhaps, something a little Maoist about the exercise of having students generate and share a final "personal reflection" at the end of each class enumerating what they've learned and how they've been changed... Happily the students at The New School aren't particularly interested in saying what they think you might like to hear! Some highlights from the New School history class reflections:

Through the readings given in class, the interviews done for our projects and the research done for the final websites, I was able to learn more than I thought I would. 

This course has given me much knowledge on subjects I otherwise would have not taken the time to explore. 

I noticed each week that if I had done the reading the lecture was a bit redundant and if I hadn’t I still didn’t feel lost. Good tactic for a lecture class seeing as I think only --- and I did the readings ever. 

[T]hose who read about the history of The New School’s bachelor’s degree program are likely to be impressed by the integrity and disregard for convention that it has consistently displayed. I know that I am. 

The university wasn’t and still isn’t afraid to try something new and different and teach subjects that many people don’t take seriously. Unfortunately I think it’s lost a lot its “street cred” because so many people don’t even know that it exists. 

These students are being good sports about a course they took only because it was required, and for what it's worth pretty much all of these reflections arrived attached to an email with a message to the effect of "Thanks for a great course!" or "Thanks for a great semester." While many of the reflections have not yet been submitted (they were due at 4 this afternoon) I doubt any will trump this summation of the course:

I feel this [history] makes The New School look as if it is a wonderful changing environment but all of its changes may not be for the best, and that the history of The New School may or may not be better than the future of The New School.

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