08 December 2008

Frustration with higher education

I'm only one week away from finishing my first full term with Capella University online. It's been a very bumpy start. The course I have enjoyed the most was historical foundations in American education. For that one, I did some in-depth study of the content and was able to apply the skills I was learning to the research I did. One drawback was that the professor experiences a personal problem just before the midway point of the course. At that time, his feedback (that had been otherwise timely, engaging and helpful) all but disappeared.

The leadership course that was the beginning of my program did prepare me to be a more analytical thinker regarding leadership decisions. It also encouraged me that any teacher can take a leadership role in his or her work environment. Still, some of the content seemed redundant and not well structured over the ten weeks.

Educational funding was the nightmare before Christmas! The instructor provided feedback so late in the game that frequently I found myself having missed the mark on assignments or discussions. He seemed to assume that everyone coming into the course should already have an extensive knowledge of the complexities of federal, state and local educational funding as well as of litigation and legislation about equity and adequacy in education. Asking him for help was not unlike asking my socks for help. You know: six weeks after you got rid of the solo sock, you found the mate behind the dryer. Unless Capella goes to significant lengths to restructure the presentation and study of course content, I would not recommend it to anyone. Unfortunately, modified or not, it still is a core class for the EdS in Curriculum and Instruction.

Fortunately, in all my classes I stayed engaged in all the weekly discussions no matter how confused or frustrated I became. I've turned in all my assignments on time and did my very best to include all the points of discussion based on rubrics and checklists provided in the course rooms by the instructors.

According to my academic counselor, my future courses will allow me to tailor my research more closely to my teaching field (art education and French/foreign languages). I do hope that will be the case.

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