Blog Post

Death to the Syllabus!

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 14 December 2007



Death to the Syllabus!
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 90
Posted DateFriday 14 December 2007 22:11 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://amps-tools.mit.edu/tomprofblog/archives/2007/11/834_d ... 
PeopleAlfie Kohn

When people tell that they are returning to college to earn a further qualification, I am always pleased for them but at the same time shudder a little inside as I could never ever do it myself and the whole idea fills me with foreboding. When I study a subject I want to be free for the learning to take me where it leads me - to follow an emerging path to make new connections and actually create new knowledge. I would hate to be restrained by a syllabus.

And so, although horrified at the extent to which some educational establishments take the syllabus, I was rather pleased to come across this article on the subject as it means some educationalists are well aware of the problem and are working to change things.
The implicit message of the modern course syllabus is that the student will not do anything unless bribed by grades or forced by threats.
Alfie Kohn had a lot to say on this subject in his book Punished by Rewards and I have written a great deal on it too.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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