Analyze a Paradigm Shift

Course Guide

      Your journal writing assignment for this week is to analyze a paradigm shift.  You can either analyze one you choose or simply use higher education over the Internet as a current paradigm shift and analyze.

     Paradigms are model or standard ways of doing things.  Archetypes,  like paradigms, are standard ways of seeing the world.  If you look at a clock, chances are you will either see a sweep hand or a digital read out.  The sweep hand is an analog archetype representing a world in continuous movement and change.  The digital read out is a digital archetype representing a world of  discrete units, either/ors, and on/offs.  Thermostats are analogue; light switches are digital.  

 T. S. Eliot said, "The pre-logical mentality [paradigms, archetypes] persists in civilized man, but becomes available only to or through the poet [the creative thinker]."  How does the world around you access your pre-logical mentality?  When a poet (or advertiser) uses an image that  frequently occurs in myth, religion, and folklore with the intent of awakening strong primitive emotions in the reader or viewer,  is she trying to get at that pre-logical mentality. 

     Modern advertisers and large corporations (mass education) sell products through archetypes.  Remember how angry the public was when Coca Cola (the Coca Cola and the bottle symbolizing the first, the best, and, when it falls out of the sky,  " the drink" of the gods)  produced  another   "classic"  version of coke. The pre-logical emotions we formed between the ages of 8 and 16 were not to be trifled with.  There is only one true coke, one true first date (with coke) one first kiss (and coke).

     It is probably true that if any recognizable sensory experience occurs frequently enough to a pre-logical mentality, that sensory experience (whether  Christ on the Cross,  Lilacs in spring, thunderclaps, or watermelon) will engender a strong emotion.  Poets, lyricists, and advertisers use these archetypal experiences to arouse your emotions.

     Now, where is all this going.  You are currently learning within an educational paradigm which is now shifting.  The archetypal four-walled classroom is sharing educational space with the virtual classroom.

      Spend some time in your journal and write about how you think Internet instruction is shifting the education paradigm.  Note how the  paradigm is shifting.   Mass education that once took place in a classroom with four walls can  now  be done electronically, at a distance, within the comfort of your home or personal space.  What are the costs  and the benefits? I hope through this exercise you will better understand your learning paradigm.

Other current paradigm shifts:

Access to information (whether fact or fiction).
Climate as Global.
Virtual reality.
Artificial Intelligence.
Why cultures collapse.
Learning (knowledge poured in (rote learning) or brought out (Plato's soul movement/experience).

A students response to the writing assignment

 The paradigm of traditional classroom-based education has taken a dramatic shift in the past few years with the growing popularity of the Internet. In the fall of 1997, 6,065 students took distance learning courses in Washington community colleges. By the fall of 1999 that number had almost doubled to 12,000 students. (And what do you think the number is for fall 2014?  Find out and get an extra credit point rc.) But, as with most transformations from one model to another, there are both pros and cons in this new education method.

The convenience of learning without time and place restrictions is one of the driving forces behind the success of this paradigm shift in education. Without the requirement of attending classes at a specific location at a specific time, Internet classes now provide an opportunity for the non-traditional student to earn college credits.

No longer is a student forced to select a college near home. With more Internet colleges and classes coming online at a rapid pace, students aren’t limited to an institution that is physically located in their area. Internet education vastly broadens the choice of where to participate in classes. Also, from a college’s standpoint, their database of students could include learners from anywhere in the world.

However, to be successful in Internet-based education, a student must be motivated and interested. I personally don’t consider this as a con, but to the student who can’t work independently, Internet education isn’t a viable option. (This is becoming more true as students opt for the convenience without good computer reading and writing skills--rc.) Learning outside the traditional classroom setting can be difficult for students who cannot think and work on their own or are not self-motivated. Just as in the in-class setting, an Internet learner must have the self-discipline to commit to setting and maintaining a schedule that allows for keeping pace with the class.

The highest cost I see with Internet education is the lack of social interaction. Social skills and relationships are not developed in Internet education to the same degree as with the traditional face-to-face in-class learning atmosphere. Students rarely, if ever, personally meet their classmates or the instructor. Although I prefer to take online classes because they fit into my work and personal schedule, I do miss the social interaction that takes place in the traditional on-campus classroom.