There’s a term for teachers which has been in vogue for a while: learning managers. At the Central Queensland University, for example, you can get a Bachelor of Learning Management, which is a standard education degree.
I have to say I’ve never really warmed to the term very much. I get the philosophy behind the terminology, being about “student-centred” rather than “teacher-centred” classroom strategies and such, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m not the “manager” type.
My Head of Department is a natural-born manager. Organisation is in her blood. The more things she has to organise, the happier she is.
I must be the bane of her existence because one of my favourite sayings is a quote by Douglas Adams: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
I’m more the artsy, intuitive type: I’m idealistic, impractical, have a bedroom messy enough to rival any teenager’s, and cannot spell the word “deadline” without using a dictionary.
A weird side-effect is that, since I know what I’m like with deadlines, I never set an assignment and then just assume that my students will just go ahead and hand it in on time. So I nag and harp on at them about their deadlines probably twice as much as other personality types who take organisation for granted.
About a week ago, I came across an alternative term: learning designer. I don’t remember where I saw it, but it fires my imagination in a way that learning manager just doesn’t.
While learning manager sounds highly efficient and practical, learning designer appeals to that creative, mess-making impulse in me that wants to get in there, build something, and come out with my face and clothing covered in paint.
Learning designer makes me want to build an artist’s studio for lesson planning.
If I take my planning and apply to it the idea of learning design, suddenly I feel like I’m planning a painting, sculpture, or composition. To paint a good picture or compose a good musical work, you need a clear sense of structure, balance, and motif. So, messy though the process might be, the result wouldn’t be messy: just the opposite.
In theory, anyway.
Learning Management, Learning Design by Gabrielle Deschamps is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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