To read much of the literature and coverage about various aspects of the “completion agenda,” I get the feeling that everyone pushing the agenda sees completion as simply filling the student bucket. You see, apparently to be successful college graduates, students just need to complete 120 credit hours for the bachelor degree (or half for the associate degree) . In order for them to do this efficiently, they need only to do so in proper order and always taking 15 credits a semester so they can do it on time.
That’s all. It’s quite simple.
Students are empty buckets to be filled. Nothing else needs to happen.
I don’t have any transparent buckets to make my point. However, in honor to the Chronicle’s coverage of student drinking on campus, I will use instead the “student as pint glass metaphor.” In the photograph I have three glasses of what is, at their most simple, three glasses of sugar-water, with yeast.
From left to right: a half a cup of white cane sugar, water, and yeast; 12 ozs of two-row Briesse malt, water, yeast, and hops; and finally, a delightful Black Sky PA (which also has alcohol).
What’s the difference? Clearly the first two are just raw ingredients dumped together. But they meet the standard of a certain amount of sugar, water, yeast, (and hops in the middle glass) to fill the empty container.The sugar water will someday result in fairly tasteless alcohol product. The second will result in a soggy mess absent any real brewing to extract the sugar from the hulls of the malt, with probably an unpleasant alcoholic taste sans brewing.
The third glass, the very black, very tasty IPA is the result of careful attention, requisite ingredients, and TIME. Time to ferment. Time to carbonate.
Time to be. Time to enhance. With care and monitoring throughout that time.
If the parallels aren’t clear, I’m not sure I can write enough words to help.
Education at any level is not a mechanistic, factory process. Even if filling the pint glasses according to a recipe was enough (and I doubt it ever will be), the glasses are able to get up and walk way, or change size, or be resistant.
Let’s try to remember that, okay?