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Home arrow Sociology arrow Holistic engagement : transformative social work education in the 21st century
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A Deliberate Pedagogy. Introducing the Hidden Curriculum, Social Pedagogy, and the Common Third

METTE CHRISTIANSEN

INTRODUCTION

“I don't know how you do it! I'm so overwhelmed.” I am in between classes the first semester as a student in my Master of Social Work (MSW) program and I am thoroughly discouraged and close to tears. I cannot keep up with the work required, and I am watching my peers, who all seemingly have no issues keeping up. They participate actively in classes and respond articulately to questions from the professor. When I ask my peers how on earth they do it, the essence of their answers surprises me: They just pretend when there is work that they do not get to. “You mean to say that you fake it in class?” I ask. “Yes ... , you have to! There is no way you can possibly do all that work,” they reply. I am further startled during a break in another class. We are chatting outside, and there is a general discontent with the way the professor is teaching the material. This professor has asked all of us to hand in an index card at the end of each class providing her with feedback on her teaching. When I hear my peers' concerns, I suggest that they just write these concerns on the index card so the professor can address them in class. They respond, “Oh, no, I'd never write something like that! I want a good grade!” I marvel at other students asking the professor how long the assigned papers are supposed to be. I think “Are you kidding me?!? This is graduate school!” I cannot believe that adult students act so immaturely, lack such independence, and behave as if they cannot think for themselves. I find myselfjudging these students and feel even more alienated in the educational program in which I am enrolled.

 
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