An Open Letter
To our students,
We write to all of our current students. Perhaps you’re enrolled in only a single LDT course. Or perhaps you’re enrolled in a certificate or graduate program, or maybe you are committing years to doctoral study. We also write to our future students, learners whom we’ll meet this coming summer term and also throughout the next academic year. The effects of this pandemic will ripple for many months, and we want you to know how we will support your meaningful contributions to our courses and many areas of study.
Because the truth is: You are the people who are reshaping and redefining education at every level. While you are students in our program’s courses, you are also embedded in many other communities busy creating engaging, ethical, and equitable learning that transforms education.
We also know that your academic and professional commitments are complemented by richly-textured personal lives. And the coming months may mean that you face unprecedented challenges at home and in your family. So we just want you to know how we will respond when those challenges arise.
We will privilege care. Care for your well-being—in all its many dimensions and expressions—is our paramount commitment to you.
We will invite your feedback. We will make mistakes, so we will ask for your help to actively improve the quality and relevance of our course activities, assignments, and assessments.
We will listen to your concerns. And we will draw upon your contributions as co-designers of meaningful learning opportunities. Now, more than ever, is a time for us to be your responsive and respectful partners.
We will be flexible with expectations. If you have questions or concerns about assignments, deadlines, requirements, details, norms, technology, or anything else, please ask.
We will be reflective. Just as we foster critical inquiry among students in our courses, so too will we honor the critical need for reflection as we all move forward together.
With you, we will be creative. We will pursue human solutions to the messy work of teaching, learning, and research in our courses.
This is our pedagogy. This is our stance as your educators, as your advisors, and as your advocates. This is our commitment to you today, for as long as we experience the inevitable effects of this pandemic, and for the future.
Joni Dunlap, Brad Hinson, Remi Kalir, Sean Michael Morris, Rebecca Schell, Laura Summers, Brent Wilson