Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-02-28

  • Wondering why I just saw a wooly bear caterpiller walking on the snow. An omen? #
  • Warm and rainy tonight in Gotham. Lots of fun at the Tunnels. #
  • At the post office. The guy in front of me is wearing flip flops; he can catch mice with those long talons of his. #

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-02-27

  • I like the term “trainwreck.” Quite clever. BTW, listening to Amy Winehouse. #
  • Listening to tv in the background. “You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace. You will lead them all to their end.” #
  • Working on a consulting project with a tight deadline. I hardly have time to Tweet. I really need some peanuts. #
  • And in a blink, today is done. #

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-02-26

  • Adam Lambert on American Idol is amazingly good. Far above the others tonight. #
  • The 5th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry #QI2009 just released the preliminary program #
  • I decided not to renew my #ASTD membership. Just do not find enough value for the cost. #
  • Got my hair cut this evening. Much shorter. #
  • Meetings, meetings, meetings. #

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The Worth of Humanities in a Postmodern World

I have been asked at times to explain my blog’s by-line:

Research and Practice in Postmodern Learning

and have found it as much as a challenge to do so as it is to define postmodernism itself (BTW, I do like Lyotard’s definition in The Postmodern Condition, “incredulity toward metanarratives”). I enjoy researching and living a life of education in ways that challenge the established worldviews.

Case in point, check out the article in yesterday’s NY Times, In Tough Times, the Humanities Must Justify Their Worth. The days of believing:

the critical thinking, civic and historical knowledge and ethical reasoning that the humanities develop have a different purpose: They are prerequisites for personal growth and participation in a free democracy, regardless of career choice

may be nearing an end, especially as these previously unassailable virtues are now being challenged (such as by the economy, which does not generally pay people for having these virtues). The idea that a humanities background may not be considered particularly valuable any more is a postmodern thought. We have always assumed that this value is beyond doubt (right up there with democracy is always the best form of government, free speech is good, and it is a bad idea to sell wine in supermarkets in New York).

Postmodernism as a philosophy of practice is both critical as well as constructivist (I wonder if any of my students are reading this?), and basically challenges established worldviews as frameworks of power imbalance and limited perspective. I like considering this, researching this, practicing this, and trying to introduce this in my teaching to help my students to see the complexities in the teaching and learning process that are often under the surface of clearly articulated objectives, assessment plans, and nodding heads.

BTW, I also believe it is easier to challenge and knock the humanities after having completed two graduate degrees in the humanities and knowing enough about them to know I really know very little. I suppose this is a little postmodern, too . . .

Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2009-02-25

  • President Obama just said the US does not torture, and he is making that commitment tonight. Thank god some sense back in the White House. #
  • I hope the President holds the banks accountable. After wasting the first huge amount of money on them, they still won’t give me a break. #
  • Barack Obama is such an engaging speaker. Does he effect any of you in the same way? #
  • Watching President Obama on tv, for his speech to Congress. #
  • Working lunch meeting. Still have to finish my performance review . . . #
  • Busy morning of meetings. #

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