This liberal conception of the university no longer has currency…I have no time here to defend this liberal conception and so I shall simply say that my deep regrets about the strike concern the extent to which it opened the floodgates for its rejection.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
Molnar promoted a curriculum based on Althusserian philosophy, claiming that knowledge was produced, uncertain and contextual, and was always ideological. Rather than learning to emulate academic masters and to parrot their knowledge, under Molnar’s scheme, students would be assessed in groups as they tackled complex topics collaboratively. Many philosophers on staff supported Molnar’s proposal, agreeing that new knowledge would be best produced by those who can easily depart from tradition, on the basis of individual inquiry and personal discovery. It was in the youth movements of the period that challenges to accepted ideas were being produced and many philosophers wished to encourage the new knowledge that emerged. Under this scheme, student choice would be the best way to determine the curriculum of each. Philosophy students, in the growing participatory atmosphere, agreed:
The proponents of compulsion commonly rest their case on various value judgements, for example that the compulsory courses are more intellectually valuable than some of the options which a student, given a greater range of choice, might make.
The university has … [an] obligation to go out and speak as honestly, persuasively and precisely as it can to prospective members, offer an invitation and not rely on educational conscription.
[footnotes removes...available on request]
Just as the university serves the nation, so the “good” teacher serves the university by instructing his students efficiently in those skills whose acquisition the nation has already made a condition of his entry to the university. Some departments and some teachers resist this atmosphere; others accept it, or encourage it by continually complicating the lives of staff and students with regulations and forms.
When you walk in the front door of the Free U, you leave outside the formal distinction between students and teachers … The group studies what the people in it decide they want to study… The way they tackle it is decided by themselves on the spot: not by someone else beforehand. The “course” is what the people in the course group make of themselves.
Anyone can run a course, provided he [sic] can get students
The Free University…is not an academy for instruction in doctrinal truth…and it is not the answer to the mass university…we now think of ourselves more as a conscience than a catalyst for the mass university.
Sunday, 23 May 2010
I shall vote against this course. I have a feeling about it. It doesn’t smell right.
Professor O’Neil has made it clear that be believes the best decisions can only be made by those with the highest rank.
It is the nature of the case that we don’t have a long history in the subject. There are no established, recognised authorities to whom we can appeal.
The kinds of things that bodies like yours usually consider, don’t apply in this case. This, of course is not to argue that whether or not we are competent is unimportant or undecidable, but rather that you aren’t the proper people to decide it.
We feel, then, that those who are in a position to judge our competence have already done so. This week we will be asking these people to demand of Professor O’Neil that we are immediately appointed.
After the defeat of America by Vietnam, the attack [on the university] was renewed, amplified, and intensified, by feminists. Their attack has proved far more devastating than that of the Marxists…Of the many hundreds of courses offered to Arts undergraduates in this university, what proportion, I wonder, are now not made culturally-destructive, as well as intellectually null, by feminist malignancy and madness? One-third? I would love to believe that the figure is so high.
How absurd to give such a course, how presumptuous of two women graduates to suggest that they could give it! That’s what you get if you allow professors to have no more than one vote among many.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
"There is no time to undertake fresh research or writing in 2010 when we are filling in forms (for the second or third time) explaining the significance of something we wrote in 2003."
Monday, 17 May 2010
Not exactly the same, is it?
Rather than face the challenges of new ideas and dissent, Melbourne University has decided that one of the ways to keep the dull old place ticking over is to empower itself to exclude “outside agitators”.
We are asking that the university experience cease being one of passive knowledge gaining and that staff and students can be creative and responsible for decided what should be learnt and how it will be learnt, free from the present stultifying nature of this university.
It is ironic that, after the decades of building a structure by which university knowledge could be directed to support the nation, the character of that knowledge changed. It changed in a way gave it a new construction: instead of national, truthful, civil and purposeful, knowledge could be subversive, individual, creative and contingent. Through these characteristics, claimed students and non-professorial staff, new kinds of knowledge would be enabled. The key obstacle was that group charged with the job of defending the old kind: the god-professors.
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Students were in the role of peasants, there were lords and peasants…and professors would expropriate people’s work and use it in a very feudal way.
I consider this exam to serve no educational purpose as all. I sit it under duress, because no creative alternative has been offered.
Firstly, the constitution of the individual as a describable, analysable object…in order to maintain him in his individual features … under the gaze of a permanent corpus of knowledge; and, secondly, the constitution of a comparative system that made possible the measure of overall phenomena … the calculation of gaps between individuals, their distribution in a given ‘population’
It was an incredible, creative time with people writing poetry. For the first time students had control of something that was ours. Actually it is incredible what creativity comes out of people when they’re in control of even a small part of their destiny.
Three detectives and eight uniformed police with paddy wagons were ready. Interestingly, they were prepared to use the armed forces of the state to uphold the examination system.
Learning has developed into a one way traffic from powerful to powerless. Students have been conditioned all their lives to believe the god teachers and be good receivers of knowledge. Students’ self-confidence is constantly undermined by teachers until they reach the stage where they will not challenge the teachers.
To speak of the calculation, quantification and measurement of one’s personal development or fulfilment is nonsense.
Exams enable students to put off their work until the end of the year and that strikes me as an immensely valuable thing...if you [have] a system of continuous assessment...you have a pretty hard life. I like for the Faculty of Arts the idea that you sit around for a long time discussing things in coffee shops and pubs and quadrangles and anywhere else that you can get some seating and, finally, towards the end of the year you've got to get some work done... That's a good way, I think, to conduct an Arts education; students educate each other in the course of this.
[footnotes have been removed. please contact me if you are interested in them]
[footnotes have been removed. please contact me if interested in them]
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
The chief librarian and his nebulous associates … have treated students as morons – not worthy of consultation or consideration in what is essentially their own problem. We as students will rebel against these insults.
…to ensure that there is not a flood of applicants to enter Sydney University from people who have completed first year at NSW and Macquarie. The resolution was not passed to exclude a student like Victoria Lee who had easily made the quota for this university.
Dr Matheson said that student exchange of ideas was such that if one university put 20 students on its Council, all universities would be under pressure to do the same. In these circumstances, exchange of information and experience between universities was vital.
Their contributions were critical without being constructive, often being related to the issues of society at large over which universities have no control.
[footnotes have been removed from this posting. Please contact me if interested in them]
Self-management of universities goes hand in hand with a general movement to extend the principle of self-management throughout society.
SDA unequivocally states that it stands for the destruction of this university, as it stands for the destruction of the social system to which the university is a willing bootlicker.
Education (in the true sense) and criticism are hostile to the interests of capitalism and such a change in the University is a threat to the continuance of the privileged and powerful elite which constitutes the ruling class.
[Footnotes have been removed from this posting. PLease contact me if you would like them]
Monday, 10 May 2010
All revolutions are confused, and most carry within them the seeds of their own undoing. It is futile to appraise them as if they were calmly thought-out plans for reform. Their significance lies in the vital impulses behind them rather than their explicit proposals or demands.