SSI | Week One | 21012014

… I got through the night without mentioning Darwin.

Sarah’s question about our roles and responsibilities, as teachers, as students, or as scholars (the term I said that I prefer to use), has occupied me since we met last Thursday.* As has my challenge to Gary and Joss about the tasks we were assigned; if you remember, I reminisced that they reminded me of English comprehension exercises from school.

At the time, I responded to Sarah with something about co-learning, the freedom to learn with and from one another, as equals… I think I may have even mentioned ‘plural subjects’. On reflection, I wish I had had the presence of mind to ask the group to indulge me while I tried to unpack Sarah’s question with a few questions of my own, and then that I had given Sarah’s question the time, space and consideration it deserved. This is exactly what Sarah and I usually do when we are riffing together. In the event, I did what most people do in such situations, and simply said the first positive sounding thing that came into my head. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

So, I’d like to ask the group now if we might assign some time during tonight’s session to Sarah’s question. If we decide that now is not the right time, I’d like to suggest that we do schedule a time to return to it during our course, and offer this as a starting point.

By the way, this request is also, in part, my response to my comment about the nature of the activities we did last week.

But I did mention Ben Folds, Damn.

* I’ve also been thinking about Jane’s related question about whether the SSC has any leaders… but that will have to wait until the next time Jane can join us.



2 thoughts on “SSI | Week One | 21012014

  1. Hi David, The reason why the first week’s class was design they way it was, is because, well, it was the first week. We anticipated having a number of new scholars joining the SSC for the first time, who may not have been in a seminar situation for some time if at all. The idea behind the plan was to create a safe (i.e. familiar) structure to get to know one another, get to know the SSC and approach the texts. It was designed in that way, in the knowledge that the second week would focus on pedagogy and start to unpack ways of teaching and learning and reasons for working differently in class. Tonight’s class will be an opportunity to discuss this and negotiate between ourselves how the remaining eight weeks (the real substance) of the course will be facilitated, what kinds of ‘tasks’ there might be, who will take responsibility for what, and so on. I hope weeks 3-10 will be quite different to the style of the first week, but I also hope that the first week was run in a way that made people want to stick around, rather than immersing them in an unfamiliar learning experience.

  2. Thanks, David, that’s a great idea. I am also tempted to ‘explain’, but would much rather hear the questions you had. I suspect my question is closely related to Jane’s, so perhaps these would be good themes to explore when we are all next together.

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