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Committees February 7, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Information.
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committee  While sitting in a very early meeting this morning, I witnessed the crashing and burning of my optimism. I watched it gradually transform itself into cynicism. The real question in my mind is whether it is a temporary state.

I am part of a committee charged with trying to get the college to be more responsive to the community of educators. We are trying to show that if there is a concern on the part of community members about how we are training teachers that there is some sort of mechanism in place that will help to change our program.

This morning I listened to an Assistant Superintendent pose some sincere questions to department chairs about how to change the program. His questions were not out in “left field? and were based on sound thinking, personal insights, and the needs of his district. The reaction was nothing short of numbing. Without anyone saying a thing the ideas were carefully plucked from the air, folded, and placed aside.

If this is how reasoned suggestions from the field are being treated, then what is the purposed of inviting feedback at all? If change can only come about when faculty believe they are the only ones able to initiate the change, then what is the purpose of eliciting insights from our colleagues?

Perhaps, some might say, it is to get a sense of what is happening in the field. Perhaps we need to hear comments to get a general “feel? for the community. Perhaps education is just too slow, lumbering, and glacial a beast to expect anything to change quickly. Perhaps I will just pull back and observe for a while.

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