Re: The school game

Gretchen Rich (grich@HU1.HURON.EDU)
Tue, 13 Aug 1996 13:10:12 -0500

On Mon, 12 Aug 1996, Eric Crump wrote:

> What I mean by learning refers to the first case above: creative
> negotiation of situations. If learning occurs by fulfilling assignments,
> it's not of the same order or quality. Learning, it seems to me, is best
> when pursued rather complied with, when the pursuit is fueled by
> curiosity rather than obedience.

I think we are on the same thread of thought,Eric. I, too, prefer the
creatively curious means of learning. I think, however, that we need to
define the terms for the students--to prevent the misconceptions the
traditional students always seem to make about parameters of the
assignment and its expected product. I remember quite distinctly the
incident when a nontraditional Nursing student disagreed with me over an
assignment in our Composition 2 course. She raised unholy cane--and not
the sugared variety--when I put a B on the paper she had turned in,
stating that she had produced twice the amount of pages that I had asked
for and therefore should have received an A. I told her mass was not
necessarily the best means of evaluating writing, but she insisted I had
not made the parameters clear. Since she was the only student in
the class to hand in 20 pages of drivel, I thought I had made my point
with the assignment. I told her to redo it, as I recall. Eventually she
completed the course, but it took some rather explicit instructions about
how the product should look and read before I could finally send her off
into the world. I,too, have finished with assignments in the classroom.