Happy New Year! I know I’m not alone when I say this year HAS TO BE better than last. What a crazy year 2020 was; one to re-account for the grandchildren for sure!
I’ve caught up on quite a bit of reading over the holiday. So many titles include the word “rethinking” in light of the 9 month pandemic and its future influence on our lives. I just read an article called, “Rethinking Campus Spaces.” There were specific imaginings of what common spaces and residence halls on college campuses will look like in the Post Pandemic Future (PPF). Phrases like “doing more in less space,” and “saving money and preparing for uncertain future” were thrown around a bit.
As I’ve spent 2 years in higher education now, as a community college administrator, I’m fascinated with how the future might fold community colleges into their “at-home learning and working environments.” Make no mistake. The perceivable separation that used to exist between work and home or school and home have now merged. When we are released back into the wilds of our office spaces and classrooms, will we want to go? This is what we are all holding our breath about, ESPECIALLY in higher ed, with our disastrously low enrollment rates as of recent. How will we arrange ourselves and our daily lives in our new future? How will our “rethinking” transcend for public schools and institutes of higher learning? I’ve often thought higher education as being caught in some kind of time warp, trapped in hierarchical admiration of dusty books and dusty lectures. In the last two years, I feel my perception has been validated.
Not to say higher education, especially community colleges, aren’t working hard (very hard indeed) to stay abreast of modern educational pedagogy. But, if you peer closely at the delivery systems of colleges and universities, you do have to wonder, “how’s that working for ya?” Whatever happens in our educational spaces, we must “rethink” our own perceptions on how it’s supposed to be. Ask, “how CAN it be?’ Wildest imagination stuff is what I hope for.