"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ADLT 650 final reflection

This class pushed me to challenge myself, my ideas.  Sometimes I forced myself to read with the text (Kirsch//Perfect Storm), sometimes I questioned my ability to read against the text (Janks). I struggled mightily with the 123 project, because it seemed to want to be everything at once, while being incredibly constrained by 10 minute presentation times and a five page conclusion. I got emotional listening to Dr. Michaelson tell us that sometimes the best you can do is be a compassionate human. I learned more about my ideas about social justice, deepened my understanding of what literacy means, and how it fits into a broader perspective of diversity.  There was enough course material in this one class for an entire PhD program, and I could see that sometimes in Dr. Muth's face when he'd writhe in agony, hands on his face, trying to use puny and insufficient language to explain how we could fit something so enormous into a one-semester class, or a ten-minute presentation, or a brief summary final paper.

Sylvia Clute gave me some hope last night that starting small with social justice initiatives is the only possibility.  She gave me the hope that maybe there are solutions to poverty, imprisonment, and a punitive-based capitalist society.  I guess for the first time I felt like maybe it's possible to fight the good fight, after all.

Finally, as always, I made new friendships with classmates, and learned so much from listening to all of us work things out in group discussion.  Social constructivist learning has impacted me greatly, especially once I knew what to call it.  Learning with one another, seeing things from a different perspective, hearing things through the lens of a surgeon or an ESL teacher or a civil engineer... I will always remember those moments when we're all so caught up in the subject that we're stumbling over one another, fighting to get our ideas out, struggling to fit what we thought we knew into a larger schema that keeps growing and changing and evolving.  That's what I'll take away with me from this class.


  1. This is a great reflection summarizing our semester, Caitlin. You have captured so many of the ups and downs of the semester, and you painted the picture beautifully. I learned so much from this class, both from the readings and the diverse opinions shared in the class, that my brain is still full! Looking forward to summer session with you (fingers crossed that they don't cancel!)!

    1. Are you taking 640 the tech class? PLEASE SAY YES. I basically want you to be in all of my classes for the rest of the program, Jen! xoxoxoxo

    2. Awww... I don't think I take any classes with the word "tech" in them. I'm in the HRD track. If our summer class doesn't make it in May, then I think I'm going to sign up for the change class. Can't go the whole summer without class! Then I'm in Dr. Muth's 601 in the fall. I like to take things out of order. :) I have plenty of classes to go so I'm sure we'll have more fun together!! xoxo

  2. Caitlin, thank you for these beautiful words--well, except the part about me writhing in agony! I'm glad you took hope from Sylvia Clute's session--I am writing a thank you letter to her and would love to include some of your comments, if that is OK with you.
    And speaking of compassion--I learned yesterday that the word comes from the Latin com (with) and passion (pain). Thus, compassion basically means 'holding on to pain'. Interesting, yes? Have a great summer!! Bill

  3. Caitlin- what a great wrap up! I too, enjoyed the insight that Sylvia brought into our last class and must say this semester has been wonderful! I felt like there was an extra dimension added to our class simply due to the diverse pool of students. Opinions were shared respectfully and every side was heard from folks with different viewpoints.

    Thanks, Dr. Muth for job well done, and I hope to see a lot of you in my future courses!


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.