I just enrolled in the Visions program at UNC-G and if all goes well and I’m accepted in 2015, the classes I’m taking will transfer in to the Doctorate in Philosophy In Educational Studies with a concentration in Cultural Studies program. A part of their program overview, “The program in cultural studies is concerned with the breadth and depth of what is fundamental to educational practice-its ideology, philosophical assumptions, and moral claims-and is grounded in the study of education and culture with a particular interest in the integration of the arts, humanities, social analysis, and moral inquiry. ” There is also a strong focus on cultural values and social justice, which I want to explore and learn about on a much deeper level. It just feels so good to be back in a classroom around people who are so passionate about learning process–who want to know more–and explore as much as they can. I’m sure I’ll be back in school for a while, especially if I am taking one class at a time which is totally cool with me. I wanted to find a program to challenge me in the topics I already found myself drawn to and reading about in my free time. As soon as I pulled this program up I knew immediately it was the one.
I’m taking a class called “Passionate Pedagogies” and so far we have read such inspiring writings by Paulo Freire, Darder, Kathleen Wiler, and Dr. Bettez. There are so many concepts from these readings that have challenged me to the core–ideas which beg for me to reassess my views and approaches to the world. Quite overwhelming knowing that what I once knew may have only scratched the surface of the scope of things to learn within this topic alone. Another classmate so wonderfully described education as colors–and the more you learn the more colors you are able to add to the palette of life. Inspired by the visual of adding more depth and vibrancy to the world surrounding us through learning. It’s can all be such a beautiful place…
A theme that crossed all topics and was of particular focus to the articles we have read is the notion of ‘love’ or unity, which is the very thing we need to overcome fear and isolation. We are social creatures and need a social network to thrive. We discussed today the things that separate us. The -ism’s in the world, the power structures, frameworks that we learn from the day we are born. In any environment where people come together be it in a classroom or a work environment we need to first allow everyone to feel they are in an environment where they are taken for who they are, respected, shown compassion, and trust that their ideas are considered and accepted by the group. In class Dr. B modeled that behavior by allowing us to come up with a list of things that we were needing from the others in the group. I have added all the themes that our class came up with to this blog post and have posted this up on my desk. What are the agreed upon norms we all set up for our homes, work, classrooms? What baggage do we walk in those spaces with? Learning to understand the connectiveness of the world and being able to prove this early on within a working group can allow the group to get past any notions that can separate or create ‘fear’ and quickly create relationships that establish a fertile ground in which growth can occur.
One of the most striking realization after class today was the fact that humanity is driven by the head–but what is important is the connection to the heart. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in data and facts that we lose sight of the very thing that make us human, our ability to love.