The Chronicle of Higher Education began a series last week titled “College, Reinvented“. In addition to 15 thought provoking articles suggesting how higher education should change (for instance “Grades Out, Badges In” and “Ditch the Monograph”), the series is also soliciting designs for new models. “If you could start your own institution of higher education from scratch, what would you build,” it asks. “Sketch out your idea—in prose or poetry, a picture, a video, or even a song—and send it to us.” Five will be published online, and one will be awarded $500. It’s the beginning of a populist think tank of sorts.
I love this idea. Since leaving the high school classroom in 2003, I have been imagining how school could work differently — how, in fact, it DOES work differently in many other areas of our lives (I explored this earlier this year at THATCamp SE with “Graded By The Street: Experiential Learning”). Institutions give us a wealth of stable structures (like windows, bathrooms, presidents, and libraries), but they also can present certain economic and pedagogical obstacles. In fact, Hybrid Pedagogy began after a series of conversations with Jesse about what our ideal school would look like.
The best THATCamps inspire work beyond their boundaries. I propose that we spend one session doing three things: 1) mapping the ideas already presented on “College, Reinvented,” 2) exploring the spaces that those pieces ignore, and 3) deciding what we (as individuals, as a large group, as teams) want to do to extend the reach of this inquiry beyond the contest (a blog, a report, an initiative?).
Oh, and we could also submit something(s). The deadline is Nov. 1. Submissions can include poems, videos, songs.