Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm not an edupunk

"edupunk" is an idea that's been tossed around recently on Twitter and various blogs.

It seems to resonate with a lot of folks, embracing the ideas of do-it-yourself, anti-authority, share and share alike, and so on. The anti-corporate part of it resonates with Blackboard-bashers as well.

But though I share many of these values, I'm just not comfortable with the label. It carries a lot of baggage. We don't really want total anarchy in the classroom, do we? We do have goals and objectives for our students, don't we? We may rebel against giving multiple-choice tests, but we do want students to know that the Civil War happened before WW2, right? Is CBGB really a learning environment that we want to emulate, with used needles littering the vomit-stained floors? (Given, there are some students stuck in facilities not much better.) Is Sid Vicious really a better role model than Jaime Escalante?

I just can't get into punk as a model for learning. I never was a punk; I never wanted to be a punk. But what if we took some of those ideals and recast them slightly?

Yeah, that's it. I'm not an edupunk. I'm an edufolkie.

Besides, at my age it's a lot easier to grow a ponytail than a mohawk.


Tad Suiter said...

You know, there are musicians who bridge the gap between folk and punk (which I have long argued is a permutation of, or even a genre of, folk music...). You may want to check out:

Jonathan Richman
Camper Van Beethoven
Husker Du's acoustic work-- there's some great acoustic songs on "Candy Apple Grey" and "Zen Arcade"
Various Antifolk performers...

If this all comes to hair-splitting over musical tastes, it quickly dilutes the strength of the concepts that has made the term catch the blogosphere on fire...

Alec Couros said...

Nice post, Corrie.
I may be returning a very similar post ... but more on the punk side. :-)

Tad Suiter said...

Thanks for your reply over in my blog...

Two other things that passed through my mind when you mentioned you grew up listening to country and folk (I did too-- my first concert was Joan Baez):

1) Johnny Cash is totally punk. Wearing all black, singing in an atonal voice over a loud jangle about drugs, booze, and murder? Totally punk.

2) The punk rock mecca CBGB's (RIP) name was an acronym-- for Country Blue Grass Bar.

shi said...

edupunk, edufolkie, edurock, eduhiphop, eduthrash, eduhardcore, eduemo.

i'm unsure when the labels will end as i'm unsure why there is a need to label anything at all.

oh wait, it is the human need for association isn't it? :}

Jared M. Stein said...

I have a hard enough time getting instructors to accept the educational technology premise without bothering the whole matter with an obtuse and unnecesarrily abrasive label like "edupunk".