Day 1

Post-Formalist Group 1

Our group is talking about pluralism in post-formalism. Educators were talking about culture and variety; they would love to see themselves facilitate rather than performing as authority, bring tools to people and make things with them. They also questioned about the university system, such as curriculum and framework - or no framework and no hierarchy at all. And they also doubt of the level of difference among every teacher - same course name but different content. They were also struggling between being a guiding or a helper. I love to understand how educators are thinking as they are a giver and I am fascinated by how they review the education environment and their work. International thinking is a beautiful term which never exists and there is no one-way solution. Regards of variety, culture experience and on the boundary, there are many details to discuss. we can not cover all the aspect but we see what is happening and we can adjust direction (in an own decision), somehow it is still open end.

Post-Formal > Automation

First I would like to acknowledge this wiki tool and ether pad, and the action of multiple entries happening simultaneously was slightly disorienting for the first 5 minutes. I quickly recognized the genius of it and fell into the flow of the typed conversation happening between Tina, YaLi and I. Even though we were all listening to the same conversation, and even picked up on the same key points, we processed and interpreted the very same info slightly differently, or from a different angle. At some point, Tina would even finish my sentence or place quotation marks where needed. It was awesome to see this process unfolding, and it even distracted me momentarily from the actual conversation taking place… Dialogue began with a brief discussion of what is post formalism? what does it mean within the historical, social, and educational context? What was the root of formalism in the first place? and how is it perpetuated within the cannon of design that prevails. It was noted that post formalism is not the disregard of formalism, but rather testing its limits. The group further discussed the role of educator and the expectation of students to develop projects and portfolios, whereas educators approach teaching as providing/exploring thinking tools and process strategies… The Sub Group soon emerged as the conversation leaned toward automation. With the meaning of the word automatic, to conduct a single or series of actions without human interference/interaction; the group began to discuss the automation performed by A.I. artificial intelligence and the quality of work performed by AI as being neither right or wrong. Some examples suggested that logarithms in actuality performed aesthetic functions; or cases in which outputs outsmarted the humans that inputed the algorithm. The role of cognition in performing labor, the very reason humans unburden themselves of menial tasks and construct AI to perform the undesirable; and to consider the act of labor as learning rather than as punishment. Consider the automated human, the conscious and unconscious act of driving in LA traffic; the symbolism of traffic lights that trigger us to stop and go, an automated process that does not require us to be cognitively present…

Post-Formal > Pluralism

Educators engaged in a very interesting conversation about how their role can shift to encourage diversity and pluralism in the classroom. Participants questioned the idea of a curriculum, but acknowledged that without structure, the learning environment would be chaotic. Could students create their own curricula? Or is it possible to create a framework that can surround each student, but give individuals the freedom to create their own personal sub-framework within? This could be based on their individual personality, needs and interests? How can educators cultivate an inclusive environment where all cultural backgrounds and points of view are considered? Seems like the ultimate goal is to see the students and faculty as horizontal, (no one person knows more than the next). I see the logic in this mentality, but feel that as a student, entering a new environment, guidance and structure is what I am seeking. What about basic formal skill and the ability to articulate your thoughts, process and outcome? Are all these things subjective? I am confused about the boundaries between where this could be applicable.

I understand the fallacy of hierarchy in terms of age, experience, history, etc., but somehow I think it is necessary. Maybe there is a balance between authority and student? No one is “better” or “worse”, but there is still skill being passed on. (But what is skill?) I also question how the structure of the classroom (and what happens within that structure) will function or carry on into the real outside world. What happens when everyone is simultaneously the teacher and the student? And does that relate to what is happening on the outside? Also what propels the discussion forward if there is no hierarchy?

Breaking down this kind of system and reorganizing it seems like a very complex problem.