Friday, August 01, 2008

Who will change the University...You?

Yes the University model needs changing – but to what? We can all cite the problems – as articulated in Carl Wieman's recent article on New University Education Model Needed but the solution continues to evade us. Might it be that we are the wrong one’s to come up with the solution to the problem that “we” are part of and contribute to? Imrevensoo, posted a comment to Wieman’s post citing a number of insightful quotes - "We can't solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”Albert Einstein. Perhaps the "we" who created the problems are not the "we" who can solve them. Physicist Mano Singham: "No great scientific advancement has ever been made by anyone whose thinking has remained kosher. The problem is, the intelligentsia is dominated by danger zone IQ holders (125-140), a species capable of enough reason to be useful in maintaining an accepted model, but utterly useless in formulating new ones. Good stewards make crappy iconoclasts. It takes a solid paradigm inventor to shake things up. Given some years after any old model is replaced with a better new model, the stewards defend the new model as rapidly as they defended the old one." It may well be the students who are the "solid paradigm invetors" - as it should be they will teach us what should be. We would do well to listen and help them structure the solutions.

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