Paradigm shift anyone?

August 31, 2007

As one gets older your ideas about and perceptions of the world changes Currently I am returning to college for the third time. The first time I attended college I studied chemistry and physics right after high school. My first foray into the world of post high school learning, as for most undergrads, focused on grades and just getting out. I realized that most industries will teach you the specific knowledge that you need to do the job they hired you for. So in light of this I did not care if my professors wanted me to knit them a sweater for their cat, as long as I eventually got the BS in chemistry and got out in the real world I did not care what I was getting from the class.

Later in life, 3 years to be exact, I decided that industry was not for me and I needed to go back to school and I would venture into the world of high school science education. This foray into an environment of learning was different in that I knew I needed a certain set of tools to be successful in my own classroom. Most of my education was concentrated on being prepared to deliver my material in the most efficient/timely manner. My major emphasis was making sure I was trained sufficiently to meet state learning goals and how to handle discipline issue in my classroom.

I returned to school two years ago with a different learning goal in mind. After teaching for a few years and reading The World is Flat I realized that the administrators did not have all the answers to educational questions and they were just complying with their job duties to meet state/community standards and . As a technology oriented person I noticed a huge hole in the way that things could be and the current state of affairs. So I set myself upon the path to explore these things by pursuing my doctoral degree from UK.

This time my focus of my learning has changed yet again. In my classes now I focus on the real life application of the information of that I am getting. I feel that I have eventually learned that everything is subjective and to look at all the variables in a problem to find a solution. I know realize that the information that I am gaining is useful but only for a limited time since technology changes at a rapid pace and will continue to do so.

In hind sight I think that I am also reconciling my deterministic viewpoint of a scientist with the real world application of education. So my paradigm and approach to things has definitely changed instead of using the things I learn in classes to one specific topic that the instructor wants us to look at now I can see the interconnectedness of knowledge and the dynamic nature of the world we live in as a whole.

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