michaeLgraneY - 09:51am Apr 4, 2004
everyone! I am simply transcribing my notes from class on Thursday and
adding my own thoughts to what was said. I hope it sounds right and if
it does not please forgive my poor interpretation of what I heard. –
PS- I very much dislike the term "Program", can we say experience instead?
Recognition to Patience:
Recognition is different things to different members of the community of learners who sign up for the class. It is based on Frierian relationships meaning, you learn what you want/need or are called upon to learn on your own and make your own interpretation! In this respect everyone including faculty are learner-teachers. This deconstructs the typical teacher-student relationship. The faculty in Recognition do not lead participants in learning and are not there to tell you what to do or how to do it but they may suggest places to begin, continue or finish your quest for learning when asked. They are always learning along with you. Some of the participants in Recognition/Patience are there to attend every class, they share in dialogue and query each other and the faculty. Other learner-teachers do not like class-room scenarios and want to go about their process on their own, un-interrupted by class-room dynamics. Both types of participants find a welcome place in Recognition/Patience as well as those in-between. Whatever your motivation for joining the experience it begins with the invitation to join the community and create your own structure. Your academic life is your own responsibility so don’t expect to be told what to do. Attendance is an invitation you come or go as you like. This enables some to pursue learning at other institutions as well as Evergreen and still stay in Evergreen!
Topics of dialogue in the class range from Western Science/Culture to Native American and other Traditional Technologies/Culture; a huge field. There may be 5 different conversations going on at the same time and people will drift in and out of the circles of dialogue as they like. All are welcome and all are accepted. One of the most important things we learn in this experience is how to be good listeners. The development of listening skills enables us to be comfortable with very different people and very different knowledge. This comfort is based on self-acceptance and helps us on our journey into community connection with other learner-teachers that makes our life more exciting through communal learning/growth. Again, the faculty is there to support your independent search for knowledge and do so in a non-judgmental way often responding with "that sounds great". The whole pace of learning in this experience is different as the emphasis is made on the development of relationship and making time to connect with others learning and each other. In real-life this equates to a systems-theory approach to your entire experience at Evergreen!
Each year you are offered a list of reading that may be used to construct a skeleton for continued exploration. One of the great points of the experience offered is that one has time to process information, follow hunches and intuition and to make connections to pre-existing learning. This is the way to deep knowledge about any subject! The invitation to gather is here. Feel free to bring your learning back to the class to share or not. As the class is based on invitation the process is a ceremony and participants will get a feel for this when they choose to attend. We must remember that all of our Western Science and Technology, while it has brought us much, has not kept our air, water and land clean, nor kept our elders honored nor kept our youth from violence and addiction. The basis for this lies in a thought pattern/structure. In Recognition/Patience you are offered the opportunity to re-align your thought process at a foundation level that will allow "change to take hold and drive", it is emotional, exciting and even spiritual for some! We learn to take care of the future by taking care of NOW!
June 11, 2003
Respect Course Evaluation
School Year – 2002-2003
True education is never static; it moves and expands to every part of a person’s life, involving every facet of a person’s character in change. The freedom to choose books, interest, and to be supported by classmates and instructors in personal growth, as knowledge and experience develop conflict, was sometimes hard, but always exciting.
Starting a study with a list of books to read brought Evergreen College’s active method of learning into reality and was a good way to start a new program. Reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, Paulo (2002) Contnuum International Publishing Group, NY) brought with it a confidence and opened a pathway leading to a freedom in learning that allowed the experience of learning to mean as much as the academic study. Intelligence Reframed Gardner, Howard (1999) Basic Books) routed out and defined unknown talent. The Dancing Wu Li Masters (Zukav, Gary (1979) William Morrow & Company, NY) opened the mind to new ideas, allowing the enchantment of things never imagined to be thought about and pondered; opening up the imagination. Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States” (2003, HarperCollins) opened up a view of history not thought about and brought a critical attitude toward the indoctrination of others by those in power. Enothography, A way of seeing (Wolcott, Harry F (1999) ALTAMIRA PRESS, Walnut Creek, CA) placed a critical eye on how one understands and writes about another culture. Sunday Native American studies added to their reality as stories were told about generational hardship and the ability to survive. Dancing with knowledge and the experience of learning accessed a reality only known by those who dare to be truly educated.
The liberty to choose an area of study was and is important to be able to develop a life style, which embraces learning as it treasures the freedom to do so. Volunteering to work
at the Department of Corrections in presenting a Leadership and communications program allowed a world of accepted oppression to be seen and experienced. To read about oppression and to be able to interact with compassion and empathy toward men who experience it every day are different aspects of learning, which together allow the mind, emotions and physical acts of compassion to work together. The heart-felt appreciation of the inmates is overwelheming and motivates the compassion of the volunteer to try to connect in a way that makes a difference; sometimes it is just being there, as many of the inmates have no connection to the reality of the outside.
Interaction with the hurt and pain of others demands movement toward lessening of the destructive influence. The belief that knowledge builds paths that lead toward freedom and away from defeat guided the reading of books to be able to answer questions and build trust. Sixty-six percent of all inmates at Stafford Creek Corrections Center have committed a sexual crime. Obtaining knowledge from books allowed a connection to take place that nurtured understanding and healing. Reading How to Work with Sex offenders (Flora, Rudy, LCSW, ACSW, (2001) Haworth Clinical Practice Press, and Binghamton, NY) taught basics for those who work for Criminal Justice, Human Service, and the Mental Health professions. It defined the crime, the agencies involved, the role of the therapist and standards in treatment. Understanding Child Molesters (Leberg, Eric, (1997) SAGE Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA) informed of the psychology of manipulation, principles for relating to the offender, and community based custody. Treating Child Sex Offenders and Victims (Salter, Anna C. (1998) SAGE Publications, Newbury Park, CA) make a distinction between offender, victim, spouse, family therapy and issues. Attending interactive seminars provided for the human service worker included: DOC Employment Security workshop, Eleventh Annual Children’s Justice Conference, and Counseling victims of Sexual Trauma, and opened up understanding to conclude treatment of the offender and the safety of children is a community problem that needs a community solution.
No interest in the aspects of community is complete without experiencing the making of a community. The strong ties that were forged when lives are shared and diversity of interests celebrated opens up the soul to the need for the support of one for the other and builds a safety net that allows risks to be taken. To watch the Native American women talk and laugh, of things in common, gave the courage to put one’s self out there and connect with others. The Native American ceremonies of healing, cleansing and celebration echoed in the hearts of many who participated and the characteristics of community made their connection in the soul.
Communication of ideas, information and the needs of humanity demands participation in computer technologies. Building Web pages, using PowerPoint and the web to gain research information are today as much a part of education as reading books. The encouragement and guidance of the instructors to use varies technologies gave the class more opportunities to display talent and was informative and exciting to watch.
Does not education in its most
profound sense involve knowledge, interaction with others and personal
change and growth? Does it not contain the confidence to deal with life
on its terms? To take risks? If this is the case, this year at
evergreen has been a year of education surpassed by none.