Cool: The Plaid Avenger is doing an IAmA on Reddit.
I’ve never taken his World Regions class, although I’ve attended it a handful of times. He presents the material in a way that’s interesting, engaging, and entertaining, without cheapening the acquisition of knowledge or stapling gimmicks onto it.
His experiments in education made me curious enough to show up a handful of times (even though I’m not enrolled), and because of that I a starting point for exploring world regions and became much more curious about the subject.
There’s a certain class of stubborn, elitist, entitled professors (and other professionals in education) who pop up in almost every article about “the future of education,” who share their self-centered opinions that education doesn’t need to change, and that students would consider it a privilege to be allowed to learn at their fine institutions, if only they weren’t so distracted by reality.
Not every professor is like that, but the ones that are hide behind that excuse to suck, to be lazy, or to stay the same in the face of so many crazy changes. And sometimes, that’s justified. Everyone loves security and no one wants the discomfort of changing something that’s always been the same.
But I’ve always admired that Boyer never hides behind those excuses. He puts the learning of his students first, finds ways to teach them that they’re likely to learn from, and prioritizes facilitating that above the personal stability and comfort that he could easily excuse himself into in his work.
My generation is just a stop-gap solution for all the change that’s happening. It’s going to get much harder, maybe impossibly harder, for our traditional “education systems” to stay the same and still be valuable to the next generation, a generation that lives in the changes instead of having to adapt as our educators adapt. A young creative class that learned how to learn on their own and are producing creative work that sharpens and proves their skills, long before their livelihood depends on it.
If you’re a newly-minted professional in any kind of education, you’d do well to watch what this guy does. You’ll be more valuable than that crop of educational snobs if you actually know how to teach in the ways students are already learning.
Here’s the IAmA thread on Reddit again. Go check it out.