Bass: Questioning a Text

The two “questioning strategies” in Bean’s  “Chapter 4: Questioning a Text” I chose are “Examining a Writer’s Credibility and Appeals to Ethos” and “Examining a Writer’s Appeals to Reason or Logos.” Ethos means character while logos means reason(hence the titles.) After watching Randall Bass’s TEDxGeorgetown and reading his “Disrupting Ourselves” essay, it is clear that the two go hand in hand. In both of these messages he expands on three major points: post-course era, expanding our conception of teaching, and the new nexus.

In relevance to Bean I decided to keep it simple and follow the “for writing and discussion” sections. Bass is clearly knowledgeable considering he is an associate professor of English and vice provost at Georgetown University, and Executive Director of Center for New Design of Learning and Scholarship. I’d assume he likes teaching and improving the higher education system; it is the main point of the two works I have read. He is in favor of change and recognizing its significance. He believes in progressing and keeping up with the times. He refers back to how much has changed in just 10 to 20 years. His approach is very calm, but informal. He seems to be a likeable man. I would not mind having him enlighten me over some coffee.

Bass wants educators to understand the importance of using integrative thinking and experiential learning to re-shape higher education. He uses several different images to help better understand the message he is trying to get across. All of which were convincing and backed up with solid evidence. His assumptions of future education add up making it easy to connect the evidence to them. He has been in this business for years and clearly knows what he is talking about.

Although the message is mainly directed towards educators, I enjoyed watching/reading him. It is comforting to know that people like him exist in the world. People who work towards positive changes and have the students best interest at heart is truly inspiring. He understands that the world is changing at a rapid pace and is already preparing for what the future has in store.

One thing that stuck with me from the video was his wife, Professor Heidi Elmendorf’s idea of the three ways to teach that hit the “sweet spot” of knowledge. He further adds that the colors around each of them had importance as well. When shown on a piece of paper the center of the three colors were black. When light was shed on them the center was white; “the white space of formation, the white space that then becomes the canvas which students have the chance to paint themselves, to author themselves.”

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