ERIC Number: ED437117
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Jul
Caring, Community, and Transcendence: Developing Spirit To Improve Learning.
Smith, Myrna J.
This paper discusses how faculty can and do develop a spirit in the classes they teach and thus become more effective teachers. This paper focuses on classes at a community college and at a university. Faculty and students from all types of college and university classes were interviewed. The classes studied were imbued with a breath of life, a spirit that not only supported learning but also the students themselves. From these observations, the paper lists three qualities that gave these classes that spirit, that breath of life: caring, community, and transcendence. These three serve as an antidote to alienation, isolation, fear, and more common motivational tools that tend to distort rather than nourish true learning. Faculty should not be concerned about alienation just because of its relation to school violence; they should be concerned because alienation impedes learning. The three college teachers described in this paper all worked against alienation by caring for their students, forming communities in their classrooms, and elevating their subject matter beyond the mundane. Their classrooms were places where spirit, that elusive quality, visited and sometimes, in magic moments, even prevailed. (VWC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Issues of Education at Community Colleges: Essays by Fellows in the Mid-Career Fellowship Program at Princeton University, 1998-1999; see JC 000 068.