What do we want our learners to become?

On Saturday, Feb 9, 2013, I attended an excellent regional workshop sponsored by the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (formerly known as Project Kaleidoscope, or PKAL). Participants responded to four questions key to the focused and successful process of planning and assessing learning spaces:

  • What do we want our learners to become? 
  • What experiences make that ‘becoming’ happen? 
  • What spaces enable those experiences?
  • How do we know? 

Note that the first two questions need to be tackled before space planning begins.

The first question generated some spirited discussion, with inspiring results. Here are some sample posters:


image: what do we want our learners to become?
We want our learners to be…. ethical, intentional, respectful, self-aware, self-assessing, global citizens, and resilient global citizens, critical thinkers, collaborators, and creators of new knowledge.
image: what do we want our learners to become?
We want our learners to be….. critical consumers of content, contributors to a community, able practitioners, self aware and reflective, flexible and adaptable, fearless communicators and listeners, and ethical.

image: What do we want our learners to become?
We want our learners to be… focused, imaginative, able to ask questions about what they imagine, problem identifiers, able to know when they don’t know, ask for help, read non-verbal communications, successfully communicate( including nonverbal), agree to disagree, think about and practice sustainability, confident scientists, comfortable in ambiguity, unafraid of failure, aware of their surroundings (with global perspective), community builders, science literate citizens, socially responsible, successful collaborators.

image" What do we want our learners to become?

We want our learners to be…. creative, original, flexible, interdisciplinary, confident, risk takers, communicators, ethical, civic-minded, reasoners, aesthetic, thoughtful, curious, engaged, team players, leaders, participants, collaborative, affiliated.
image: What do we want our learners to be?
We want our learners to be…
risk taker + agility = creative
resourceful + confident = effective problem solver
inspired + empowered = contributor
communicator + diverse perspectives = integrator
all with a purpose — to serve the community.

Richard Lariviere, President of the University of Oregon

Richard Lariviere is President of the University of Oregon and a visible leader in the transformation of higher education in the 21st century. He has an unwavering commitment to public research universities as global knowledge engines that change lives and benefit society. His vision for academic excellence includes everyone, including undergraduates.

Earlier this week, President Lariviere was given notice that his contract won’t be renewed.  This is a travesty and the campus, alumni, and donor communities are rallying in protest. Within hours,  blogs were published, twitter feeds and hashtags launched, and a branding campaign designed by the  School of Journalism and Communication. The UO Senate started a petition that garnered over 4,000 signatures in its first two days. Teach-ins and marches are booked for next week.

My message to the Governor, Chancellor, and OUS Board is pasted below. Please consider sending a message of your own.


Subject: Lariviere decision
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 17:10:09 -0800

Dear Governor Kitzhaber, Chancellor Pernsteiner, and members of the OUS

I am writing to express my deep disappointment and concern with your
decision to end Richard Lariviere’s contract as President of the
University of Oregon.

Higher education is in a period of profound and disruptive change.
During the next decade, public institutions like ours face further state
disinvestment, societal expectations for higher quality and lower cost,
demands for accountability, and competitive threats from for-profit and
online enterprises.

Richard Lariviere is exactly the kind of president we need to survive
and thrive through this period. He has the essential leadership
qualities of vision, creativity, passion, inspiration, and courage in
full measure. He is a powerful advocate for the life-changing impact of
higher education, research, and scholarship on individuals, communities,
and society. What some of you may not know is that he also has an
exceptional understanding of the strategic importance of networked
information and communication technologies in the 21st century research
and education environment.

Richard Lariviere is a role model for higher education leaders
everywhere. Instead of letting him go, the Board should recognize his
transformational leadership and celebrate his success. For the sake of
the UO, the OUS system, the people of the state, and the larger
enterprise of public higher education, please reconsider this decision.


Andrew Bonamici

An Aristocracy of Brains?

As the next installment from the plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose department, here is an interesting excerpt from an article in Old Oregon, Vol. V, No. 3 (December, 1922). The author, Colin V. Dyment, was professor of journalism, Dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, a member of the inaugural University Library Committee (1921), and coach of the men’s soccer team.

How does this compare to current conversations about selectivity in admissions, state expectations of public universities, elitism (real or perceived), and academic standards?

Rebooting the Past… FIG readers  take note —  this issue of Old Oregon also includes an essay by Lucile Saunders, “Glimpses of the Southern Continent.”

Apologies for the screenshot (jpeg image) — please let me know if you need the text transcribed.

excerpt from Old Oregon, December 1922
excerpt from Old Oregon, December 1922