If Carnegie units of academic time are fundamental to defining a baccalaureate degree, then how can we make them work for us and for our students?
The Carnegie hour is a unit of time that standardizes academic study across institutions. Established in 1906 as means to calculate retirement hours earned, Carnegie hours are now often required on syllabi. This way, students (and accreditation agencies) know how many “instructor-led” class hours to expect and how many “independent student learning” homework hours to schedule.
Educators have been critical of standardized measures of academic time since these hours were instituted. Even Carnegie has called for their revision. Others counter that they are so embedded in how higher education measures, well, everything—student learning, academic terms, job descriptions, full-time faculty employment (FTEs), TIAA retirement earnings, national accreditation assessments—that untangling higher education from this constructed 50-minute “hour” is practically impossible.
Continue reading “Can the Carnegie Hour Support the Vocation of Student Learning?”
We can’t always control the roles that choose us, but they are “places of responsibility” nonetheless.
Part 2 of a series describing an electronic “vPortfolio” (vocation portfolio) developed at Augsburg University and centered on five metaphors for vocation: place, path, perspective, people, story.
A second metaphor for vocation is place. Understanding this metaphor cultivates the sense that “I’m in the right place.”
The metaphor of place is most at home in the Lutheran tradition, reflecting Martin Luther’s (1483-1546) revolutionary argument that God equally values all roles, that of parent as well as priest, that of shoemaker or brewer as well as monk or nun. Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) identifies these roles as “places of responsibility,” where one might serve both God and neighbor. In language prominent in the vocation movement in American higher education, theologian Frederick Buechner (b. 1926) defines vocation: “the place God calls you to is the place where the world’s deep hunger and your own deep gladness meet.”
Continue reading “Vocation Virtually: Place, Roles, Responsibilities”