Student Experience – By Andrew Rikard Dec 24, 2015

Student Experience – Writing prompt: University of Chicago alumna and renowned author/critic Susan Sontag said, “The only interesting answers are those that destroy the questions.” We all have heard serious questions, absurd questions, and seriously absurd questions, some of which cannot be answered without obliterating the very question. Destroy a question with your answer. (University of Chicago)

Over the past year, I’ve taken my first halting steps into the Higher Education conversation. As a student, I’m either a token of “the student experience” or an audience member at a gathering run by educators for educators. In their conversations about digital tech, progressive pedagogy, and the inevitable lack of funding, one educator will ask another, “How might we reimagine Higher Education in the digital age?”

We’re asking this question with the wrong group of people present. I can’t help but imagine what the answer would look like if the mainstream student body, given power over the national conversation, joined with these progressive pedagogues to reimagine Higher Education. Gathering together as educators is potentially ignoring the most involved group of stakeholders. Reflecting on this year, we, the students, are asking who has the power to reimagine higher education.

In my experience, there seem to be two generalizable conversations in higher education. On the one hand, you have the mainstream, student-driven conversation around issues of identity, privilege, and social justice: racial, sexual, economic, environmental, etc. It is primarily critical and reactionary. On the other hand, you have the more niche, faculty-driven conversations around issues of progressive or regressive pedagogy, active/passive educating and digital teaching/learning. Students protest cultural spaces. Educators reimagine intellectual spaces.

As we students propose new structures for cultural spaces, we need to be present for the recreation of these intellectual spaces.

Student Experience – Read the entire article, here