Bringing in an Engineer to talk to the students is not going to get them interested in becoming an engineer. Most of these students cannot see this in their future. It is not real to them.His notion of what needs to be done is this:
I believe we need to change the methods of our teaching first. We need to give the students a way to express how they feel. We need to listen to them. We need to talk with them, and not at them. We need to present ourselves as learners also. We need to let them know that their voice is just as powerful as ours. We need a collection of voices to make learning more powerful to everyone. We need to invite schools to be more proactive instead of reactive. Until this changes, I don't see the students changing.I couldn't agree with Woody more. Even though I teach adults, my program is set up the same way Woody's is. We talk to the students. We decide what they need to learn. We do not really feel a need to give them a voice in anything that goes on.
I wonder what would happen if I were to throw the "curriculum" out the window and teach students, not some material that they may or may not need or want. I try to adapt what I do to make it more meaningful to them, but my students still have to take the same tests as everyone else. If I don't cover the same material, they are at a real disadvantage. If I try to cover it in a different way, they may have a real understanding of the material but be unprepared to answer the fill-in-the-blank questions on the test.
I would love to teach in an environment that valued learners more. It would be messy, and it might be more difficult to prove to funders that learning had taken place. But I think, given time, we could develop a really excellent program that met students where they were and took them to where they wanted to go. That is a program I would be proud to be associated with.