Final Thoughts in Connecting the Dots

We read a couple interesting articles this week that each carried their own impact. In “A New Professional: The Aims of Education Revisited”  by Parker Palmer, the author talks about how current individuals of institutions give said institutions more power than they should. Additionally, the author describes a few “must haves” when it comes to developing the “new professionals”. The second one talks about taking students’ emotions as seriously as their intellects. Palmer then cites the example of the surgical resident being referenced throughout the article mentioning that her feeling overwhelmed at work in the institution pushed her to shut down and shut up. In response to both points I mentioned about power and emotions, I must say that I see this EVERYWHERE. It is like a poison seeping into the veins of all the nascent graduate student from any and all departments.

I love this push back towards allowing values and honor to have a stand in our role as the “new professional”. I have seen an astounding lack of values and honor in some of the classes friends or I have either taken. I think there is a level of value and honor that comes with taking on the responsibility of being a teacher at any level. We all have some connection with the rest of the people in our little world. What we say, how we teach, who we push, will have more of a rippling impact than we can truly comprehend.

In Dan Edelstein’s “How Is Innovation Taught? On the Humanities and the Knowledge Economy“, the author discusses the power of humanities education and using it to teach innovation. He is preaching to the choir with his rationale. I thoroughly believe in the idea of a well-rounded student. I would be arguing for the other side too if needed. This will sound cheesy, but is a tree not stronger with roots that are thicker and numerous?

I would very much like to become the “new professional” discussed in Palmer’s article. I have a lot to learn and do to become what he describes, but I see that as an opportunity for growth, not as a hurdle.

5 thoughts on “Final Thoughts in Connecting the Dots”

  1. I agree that it’s amazing to see ethical lapses that we sometimes see in academia. I like to think that they are the exception rather than the rule! It’s up to us to model the behavior we want to see in others.


  2. I think you wrote a nice reflection. As we transition from student to teacher or new professional, we go from a world of rules and codes of ethics into a new world where these things may not be a clearly defined or enforced. It’s incredibly important that we strive to bring ethics and honor into our new workplace. Integrity is vital for people to respect who you are and the work that you do. It’s something that should become more integrated into our lives, at all levels, during the transition from student to working professional.


  3. I have to agree with you that a student is stronger if they have a more diverse perspective. However, it is up to the student to want those skills rather than us forcing it on them. For me particularly, I was forced to take courses outside of engineering in my undergraduate. I chose the easiest ones, and I can tell you I cannot remember anything useful. However, in graduate school I decided that a well-rounded individual is a stronger individual. Therefore, I took this course and other courses to expand my understanding beyond the technical realms and engineering. I have found the experiences to be rewarding.


  4. “is a tree not stronger with roots that are thicker and numerous?” I see students in my class shrug off certain classes (specifically students who aren’t in the liberal arts arena) and I just can’t seem to understand why they can’t find at least one positive thing in those classes. Obviously I’m biased being a public relations major with minors in psychology, sociology, and marketing, but isn’t there something to be learned in every class? If I walked into a class that I had absolutely no prior knowledge of, I’m sure I could walk away with at least some small piece of information that would benefit me in some way. Being open to learning opportunities appears to be far more of a challenge than actually learning sometimes. I only wish my students could take the opportunity to explore stuff outside of their major without feeling it was a waste of time or unnecessary.


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