Carnegie Professor of the Year Speaks at TTLC 2018
By many standards, Dr. Michael Wesch is considered a very good teacher. He has won several major awards, including a national Professor of the Year award. But when he began to measure his success based on his students’ self-perceptions of their happiness and success, the results were mixed. Some of his “best students” have struggled to find their way. They aced quizzes in the classroom but struggle with real-world challenges. Meanwhile, some of his worst students are thriving in the real world. To find out more about how and what his students were really learning in college, Dr. Wesch started doing true ethnographic fieldwork among students.
From these studies, he found that those who are successful find that what was most important was not the stuff they learned, but how they have changed. Technically speaking, they moved beyond “routine expertise” and skills toward what researchers call “adaptive expertise”—a capacity to address novel, messy, complex problems that are frequently encountered in the real world. These students moved from “strategic learning” to “deep learning.” But they say it much more simply. They went after, and received, what they call a “real education.”
So, what is a real education? Why does it matter? And what can we do to provide one for our students? Join us in revisiting these questions with Dr. Wesch through his recorded presentation at the 2018 Transformational Teaching & Learning Conference.