9.154 independent learners

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 13 Sep 1995 20:15:55 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 154.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: Dana Paramskas <danap@uoguelph.ca> (28)
Subject: Re: 9.150 threats to the academy

> --[3]------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 13:32:17 -0500
> From: Geoffrey Rockwell <grockwel@mcmaster.ca>


> 2. As to whether the traditional methods of teaching (recitation, lectures,
> and seminars) are threatened by technologically mediated methods I suspect
> that we need not worry as much. In my limited experience you have to have a
> live person with expectations of the students to get them to do much more
> than play, whether it is on a computer or not. At some point the student
> needs to know there is a person who will praise or critique them.

Without wishing in any way to deny the very cogent arguments presented
(and which I have deleted to save bandwidth), may I beg to differ? The
model presented here is that of the teacher as the only source of
knowledge or judgement. Students are seen as incapable of seeking
knowledge/information on their own, or of evaluating what they find. May
I remind the sender about... um... *books*? Put together a student and a
good book (not the how-to manuals cited, but hard-core books such as
Shakespeare, Plato, [fill in your book of choice here]). Are we really
saying that such intellectual stuff needs to be filtered thru a teacher
for it to be accessible to students? And, as a consequence, can we not
expose students to the information (as varied in levels of excellence as
the choice of books today) available on the WWW, and let them wrestle with
the ideas thus presented?

Dana Paramskas
French Studies
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada