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Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting 2005 LIBERAL EDUCATION AND THE NEW ACADEMY: Raising Expectations, Keeping Promises Context.

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Presentation on theme: "Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting 2005 LIBERAL EDUCATION AND THE NEW ACADEMY: Raising Expectations, Keeping Promises Context."— Presentation transcript:

1 Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting 2005 LIBERAL EDUCATION AND THE NEW ACADEMY: Raising Expectations, Keeping Promises Context Diversity: Reframing Higher Education for Civic Learning in a Diverse Democracy Thursday, January 27, :45-4:00 PM John A. Saltmarsh, Project Director, Campus Compact Roberto A. Ibarra, Special Assistant to the Provost, University of New Mexico Dan P. Young, Director, University College Academic Programs, University of New Mexico

2 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY 1.STRUCTURAL DIVERSITY 2.MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY 3.CONTEXT DIVERSITY

3 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY STRUCTURAL DIVERSITY Characterized by:  compliance-oriented Affirmative Action,  support programs created to recruit/retain underrepresented students/faculty and  to help people overcome barriers for access,  success is measured by increasing the numbers of under represented populations.

4 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY STRUCTURAL DIVERSITY Basic Assumptions:  Assimilation  Critical Mass  Remediation

5 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY Characterized by:  infusing diversity via cultural customs into our institutions,  valuing underrepresented populations for potential to recruit and retain others,  initiatives that contribute toward enhancing campus climate and,  more awareness of multicultural issues.

6 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY MULTICULTURAL DIVERSITY Basic Assumptions:  Celebrate differences  Multicultural awareness  Improve campus climate  Achieve critical mass  Affirmative Action compliance

7 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY CONTEXT DIVERSITY Characterized as:  An emerging paradigm that emphasizes reframing rather than reforming academic cultures to meet the needs of all populations and especially underrepresented groups.  Striving to create a learning community with myriad ways to attract diverse populations and have them thrive in an academic or workplace environment.

8 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY CONTEXT DIVERSITY Characterized by:  attempts to change academic culture to address the needs of the recent demographic shifts in US populations over the last few decades. attracting thriving  Shifting diversity initiatives from current concepts about recruitment and retention to concepts that emphasize attracting and thriving.

9 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY CONTEXT DIVERSITY  Results are measured not only by how well we attract diverse populations, but also by how well we enhance our campus cultures to improve upon the academic and work performance among all students, faculty and staff. building diversity into the context of the higher education system, our learning community and beyond.  The focus is on increasing diversity by building diversity into the context of the higher education system, our learning community and beyond.

10 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY CONTEXT DIVERSITY Basic Assumptions:  The concern for access and achieving critical mass are no longer the main problems.  The lack of underrepresented populations is a symptom not the problem.  Underperformance issues and conflict over the cultural context of higher education surface as major problems.

11 DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY CONTEXT DIVERSITY New solutions:  find creative ways to generate systemic change in campus climate and academic cultures,  Reframe (expand/shift) pedagogy and curriculum without giving up good educational practices,  Include a variety of cultural contexts, learning/teaching styles that serve the needs of a growing multicontextual population.

12 THE EMERGING MULTICONTEXT WORLD A growing number of individuals now entering higher education bring with them a mix of individualized characteristics described as their cultural context

13 THE EMERGING MULTICONTEXT WORLD These learned preferences influence how they interact and associate with others, use living spaces, perceive concepts of time, process information, respond to various teaching and learning styles, perform academically or in the workplace, and include many other cognitive factors that were imprinted on them in childhood by family and community and continue to help shape their world view.

14 THE EMERGING MULTICONTEXT WORLD Cultural groups that exhibit low context tendencies include Northern European populations, such as English, German, Swiss, and Scandinavian people. US populations are varied and exhibit to varying degrees the low or high context imprinting of their heritage. Mainstream American culture is primarily low context. North American men are generally more low context than North American women.

15 THE EMERGING MULTICONTEXT WORLD Cultural groups that exhibit high context tendencies include Asians, Arabs, people from other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-based countries, Africans, Latin Americans, and native North American Indian groups. High context populations are increasing in the United States and in the world.

16 Low Context High Context Multicontext Low Context High Context Multicontext ACADEMIC SYSTEMS LC disciplines – mainly sciences, engineering, math Scientific thinking is emphasized Academic/teaching style is technical Science relies on Linnean- style taxonomies ACADEMIC SYSTEMS HC disciplines – mainly humanities, education, liberal arts Practical thinking is valued Academic/teaching style is personal Science includes folk taxonomies

17 Reframe (expand/shift) Pedagogy and Curriculum Connecting Context Diversity to Teaching and Learning Designing High Context Educational Experiences High Context Education and Civic Learning

18 Teaching and Learning Teaching and Learning LOW CONTEXT Knowledge is obtained by logical reasoning Analytical thinking is important Students learn best by following directions Learning is oriented toward the individual Creative learning process is externalized HIGH CONTEXT Knowledge is gained by a gestalt model Comprehensive thinking is important Students learn best by demonstration Learning is group oriented Creative learning process is internalized

19 Cultural Context and Cognition Cultural Context and Cognition The individual’s cultural context shapes and influences basic assumptions about the nature of truth and reality and the origins of knowledge. High Context Education Makes use of multiple streams of information that surround an event, problem, or question for the purpose of creating meaning out of the context in which it occurs. Oriented toward connection between the knower and the object (or subject) of knowing – the context for knowledge. Experience of a process of knowledge creation. Low Context Education Filters out conditions surrounding an event, problem, or question to focus on objective fact. Oriented toward detachment of knower and the object (or subject) of knowing – the context for knowledge. Application of objective procedures for obtaining and communicating knowledge.

20 Learning for the 21st Century “People worldwide need a whole series of new competencies... But I doubt that such abilities can be taught solely in the classroom, or be developed solely by teachers. Higher order thinking and problem solving skills grow out of direct experience, not simply teaching; they require more than a classroom activity. They develop through active involvement and real life experiences in workplaces and the community.” John Abbott, Director of Britain’s Education 2000 Trust, Interview with Ted Marchese, AAHE Bulletin, 1996

21 What We Know About Promoting Learning: [Cognitive Sciences Suggest Six Foci] 1. Approaches that emphasize application and experience; 2. Approaches in which faculty constructively model the learning process; 3. Approaches that emphasize linking established concepts to new situations 4. Approaches the emphasize interpersonal collaboration; 5. Approaches that emphasize rich and frequent feedback on performances; 6. Curricula that consistently develop a limited set of clearly identified, cross-disciplinary skills that are publicly held to be important. *source: Peter Ewel, “Organizing for Learning.” AAHE Bulletin, December, 1997, pp. 3-6

22 Connecting Context Diversity to Teaching and Learning National Survey of Student Engagement National Benchmarks for Effective Educational Practice Level of Academic Challenge Active and Collaborative Learning Student-Faculty Interaction Enriching Educational Experience Supportive Campus Environment

23 Connecting Context Diversity to Teaching and Learning “Complementary learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom augment the academic program…service-learning provides students with opportunities to synthesize, integrate, and apply their knowledge. Such experiences make learning more meaningful, and ultimately more useful because what students know becomes a part of who they are.” (2002 NSSE Annual Report)

24 Connecting Context Diversity to Teaching and Learning Faculty of color and women are more likely than their counterparts to value and use integrative learning activities and create active and collaborative learning experiences. (findings from the 2004 NSSE and FSSE - Liberal Education, Fall 2004.)

25 Experiential Learning Theory Kolb’s Learning Cycle Ibarra’s Multicontextual Model HIGH CONTEXT Concrete Experience (do it) Reflective Observation (watch it) LOW CONTEXT Abstract Conceptualization (go to a lecture/read a book) Action Experimentation (take a lesson)

26 High Context Education and Civic Learning “We know, for instance, that students can be engaged in a range of effective practices and still not be learning with understanding; we know that students can be learning with understanding and still not be acquiring the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are related to effective citizenship.” (National Survey of Student Engagement, 2002).

27 High Context Education and Civic Learning From the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Service Learning Course Design Workbook (2001): “We conceive of ‘civic learning’ as any learning that contributes to student preparation for community or public involvement in a diverse democratic society. A loose interpretation of civic learning would lead one to believe that education in general prepares one for citizenship in our democracy. And it certainly does. However, we have in mind here a strict interpretation of civic learning – knowledge, skills and values that make an explicitly direct and purposeful contribution to the preparation of students for active civic participation.”

28 Civic Learning Knowledge historical, political, and civic knowledge that arises from both academic and community sources. Skills  critical thinking skills  communication skills  public problem solving  civic judgment  civic imagination and creativity  collective action  coalition building  organizational analysis Values Values specifically as they relate to democracy: justice, inclusion, and participation.

29 Designing High Context Educational Experiences An educational experience infused with high context characteristics might include the following elements:  Relational learning – interpersonal interactions.  Problem solving – exploring questions through experience.  Collaborative learning.  Develop understanding with partners.  Short-term interpersonal feedback.  Interrelationship of affective and cognitive development.  Resolving conflict and dealing with contention.  Participating in long-term relationships with formal obligations.  Process is as important as product.  Knowledge is created (not consumed).  Knowledge is interdisciplinary.  Research is applied.

30 Designing a High Context Educational Experience Consider a course (or program) that you are currently teaching - Does it reflect high context or low context teaching and learning? What alterations/adaptations could you make that would make it more of a high context educational experience?

31 Why High Context Education? (A realignment or balance.) Engaged learning (motivation, retention, persistence, life-long learning) Connects with the multiple learning styles of students. Addresses the cognitive preferences of underrepresented ethnic and gender populations in higher education associated with high-context cultures. High-context values of collaboration, inclusiveness, community involvement, and comprehensive/systems thinking are the foundations of civic engagement in a diverse democracy. Implications for which students thrive in higher education, who pursues careers in academia, and the kind of scholarship that faculty undertake.

32 IMPLEMENTATING MULTICONTEXTUALITY at the University of New Mexico A COGNITIVE/ CURRICULAR MODEL

33 Learning Cycle Phases— 1. Experiential Ground; base of knowledge, skill, experience; current context—the present here and now 2. Abstraction from experience, attending, foregrounding; induction 3. Conceptualization; organization of concepts; representation 4. Application; testing conceptual knowledge in the real world; deduction; doing Pattern Matrix Experience Abstraction

34 Pattern Matrix Experience Abstraction LOWCONTEXT HIGH CONTEXT

35 HIGH V. LOW CONTEXT LOW CONTEXT Dualities are contradictory Knowledge is abstract Process is linear Knowledge exists for its own sake Typical of university courses, especially in lower division HIGH CONTEXT Dualities are complementary Knowledge emerges from concrete experience Process is cyclical Knowledge has purpose Found in some graduate, upper division or honors courses

36 PLANNING FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING 1. Starting Point Academic Discipline Intriguing Question Real-world Situation 2. Development of Starting Point Exploration and Expansion Focus

37 What is “Experiential” about Experiential Learning? experiential learning is learning that takes place within and through a complex, real-life context experiential knowledge is both abstractly patterned and experientially grounded knowledge achieved in experiential learning has purpose experiential learning emerges from a real-life context; therefore experiential learning – tends to be multidisciplinary – embraces surprise – seeks to make sense of a range of perspectives

38 Robert A. Ibarra Beyond Affirmative Action: Reframing the Context of Higher Education University of Wisconsin Press, 2001


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