Source: Bright Spots: STEM Week
Looking at a continuously changing world we can’t miss what is happening in education. Not only we are teaching different subject matter in our schools but we are doing it in a different way too. Great Britain is leading the way with these innovative programs.
Nothing stays the same, the only constant in life is change. How we cope with change is a reflection of our intelligence. Be it analytical intelligence or emotional intelligence. Developing skill and competencies for change is what for me is developing intelligence. The aptitude for adaptation.
As we live in a world that is continually changing we get anxious and afraid. We want to be in control, and we believe that the easiest way to control is to keep things as they are, to keep them stationary without change. An impossible task.
Going to the circus is a great experience because we see change first hand. We experience the moment when jugglers, trampolinists, trapeze artists, and everyone on scene are moving. Life is in a way like participating in a circus, many times it has been used as a metaphor. Planning is necessary but being ready for the unexpected is also part of the experience. Being prepared is more than having a program for the show in our hands. It requires an attitude.
As we experience a dynamic world today, with socio-economic-political forces many times out of our control, we need to be prepared. Prepared with a plan, and with the right attitude for experiencing the unexpected. This is where having core values that lead and enlighten our way is crucial, values that reinforce our humanity and by doing that reinforce the relationships we have. Relationships at a diverse level of interaction, work related, family, friends, and neighborhood. Technology is as has always been part of that interaction. From direct to indirect communication, now of course with the use of cyber-space that is changing the dimension of size, things are now closer and get here sooner. Distances are shorter and times are smaller.
If there is one thing I have learned is that as times are changing there is not effort capable of stopping the change so there is only one thing left, the intelligence for adaptation.
This last Friday we had a conversation about the realities that surround Warner Pacific College-WPC at our monthly Faculty meeting. Our small group was given the task to analyze what is the reality related to place. As a context for our conversation we were given some ideas developed by CREDO a consulting firm specializing in higher education.
WPC is located in SE Portland. If we use a radius of about 100 miles for our impact we see that there is diversity involved, so our conversation converged in the analysis of how we at WPC are and can be prepared for this diversity. How the academic programs that we offer can target this diverse population. How can we develop new academic programs that better suit the needs of this diverse population.
One of the members in our small group mention the metaphor of having a discussion or a rolling train. The train is already moving and we are forced to adapt to the fact that it is already moving. This comment about the metaphor allowed me to mention a physical fact about reality: We live in a Space-Time four-dimensional reality. Time has to be part of our conversation.
Even though I mention the need to include time it felt to me that my colleagues didn’t get it. They omitted to share to the whole meeting this need to include time in our analysis. This is what I think about including time in our conversation.
Life is ever changing. WPC mission statement (Warner Pacific College is a Christ-centered, urban, liberal arts college dedicated to providing students from a diverse background an education that prepares them to engage actively in a constantly changing world) clearly articulates the need to prepare students not only to be ready for change but also to be part, to engage in this change.
What is then the context related to time that we have to analyze? What are the circumstances that surround us and our students that are changing? What kind of convictions, knowledge, competencies, skills, and tools are now modeling and constructing the pedagogical reality relative to how we now engage in the world?
These are questions among others that should be analyzed and answered. These answers will help WPC looks at the needed changes relative to academic programs. Academic programs that will produce capable professionals. Ethical professionals with a strong liberal arts foundation that will enhance our society, as students become positive and ethical agents of change.