Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Crapola Valley College “happening”

One of Lake Erie's ghost dogs
     Today, the IVC community got an email alerting us to an IVC “Happening”:
IVC Happenings: Welcome Dr. Victoria King Heinsen to Irvine Valley College
     Gosh, what’s that all about? Well, we’re told something remarkable. We're told that
Heinsen's publication
Dr. Victoria King Heinsen visited Irvine Valley College (IVC) this week to study more about Dr. Patric Taylor’s [Taylor would seem to be IVC’s Theatre Production Manager, a classified employee] technique for teaching course critical vocabulary in action. The method entails professors posting the words in the classroom and during lectures pausing for a moment and asking a random student to define one of the selected words. By the end of the semester, the words should have jumped into students’ long-term memory, Dr. Taylor says. Dr. Heinsen will take what she has learned back with her to Terra State Community College in Ohio, where she will implement it in the fall. Her visit was made possible through a grant from Concordia University in Portland, Ore., where Dr. Heinsen is an online master’s of education professor.
Two things:

     First, Taylor’s “technique for teaching course critical vocabulary” sounds, um, odd. Memory tricks, eh? Writing vocabulary words on the board? Students spouting memorized verbiage? College is not about vocabulary words and flash cards. I’m sorry, but this "defining words" routine sounds like subcollegiate crapola. Natch, it fits in with some past IVC "happenings" at Glenn Roquemore Mediocre Astounding Inventions College.
     Second, it turns out that this Victoria King Heinsen is some kind of flake. At the Reb’s suggestion, I looked her up. Amazon indicates that she has published one book, and it is about—ghosts. Yes, ghosts:
Heinsen and Taylor
Ghosts and Legends of Lake Erie's North Coast (Haunted America)
     The residents of Lake Erie’s North Coast have trouble leaving even after they die. The area is flooded with the spirits of locals, some friendly, some not. See the sorrowful eyes of the Hauntingly Beautiful High School Student, who floats the corridors looking for her lost boyfriend, and head to an old Port Clinton hotel to watch the ghost of a maintenance man wander haphazardly through the inn, making routine repairs. Read about the figure that lurks in the clock of the Port Clinton Courthouse every night, never moving, simply watching, until disappearing with the sun. Local ghost tour guide Victoria King Heinsen has a personal connection with every story, and her firsthand accounts will turn every paranormal skeptic into a believer.
     —Don’t think so.
     Heinsen's Concordia U is a private, Christian university. Lutheran. Conservative Lutheran.
     An Education professor, eh? Why am I not surprised? Ghosts, SLOs, floating dead students, memory tricks, lurking "figures." Yeah.
     Good grief. (See EdDreck)

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Groundbreaking stuff indeed. NOT! What more should we expect from a guy who acquired an online Ph.D. from Walden U? He's also a "pal-o-glenn," so there ya go...

Caspar the Friendly Ghost said...

Boo!

Anonymous said...

What classes does he teach?????

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't knock what you haven't tried! I wrote the words "critical thinking" on the board, spoke them aloud three times, and when I turned around twice, not only could the students say the words themselves, but they were thinking critically! 21st century teaching. Gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

On his FB page Taylor identifies himself as a "Teacher/Director" at the Performing Arts Center at Irvine Valley College. So I guess he does teach something.

Anonymous said...

According to this article from the Ottowa newspaper "The Beacon" touting Dr. Heinsen's grant, Taylor is identified as a "professor at Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California." Misrepresentation? Mistake? Misunderstanding? Is he teaching classes? Is he a professor? His status seems critical to this grant.


http://thebeacon.net/beacon-news/news-beacon-business/item/7262-dr-heinsen-receives-grant-for-development-and-research-in-vocabulary

Anonymous said...

What does he teach???? He is not listed in the adjunct list or listed in the catalogue or schedule of classes.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he is a "teacher" or a "professor" in that broad sense of the word - just like everyone is "student." We are all teaching and learning together on this wonderful planet called Earth.

Anonymous said...

Wow, real nice. I guess because PT is not one of your little click of friends he's obviously a fraud and pal of GR. He does teach on occasion and also teaches proper speaking techniques during flexweek, if any of you bothered to read or attend. Most of you could REALLY use his classes. He even had one of our board members attend last time. He started at IVC as an adjunct years ago! Morons!

Anonymous said...

Nice way to knock a colleague down. anonymous bullies.

Anonymous said...

I think he is a professor in his spare time at an online institution. I do not think he teaches at IVC .

Anonymous said...

OK - so he IS a professor at IVC.

Anonymous said...

I saw this announcement yesterday and thought it was odd because of the classroom context - and yes, Dr. Hensein's affiliations with the paranormal. I know Taylor has presented on this topic before (at a board meeting?) but she does seems to suggest that he is a professor here, which, I believe he is not. I think that is problematic. Is he teaching this semester? How did she visit a class?

Anonymous said...

Our college has problems with anti-intellectualism. Perhaps this PT does add value to our campus. I don't know him and wouldn't want to criticize someone whom I have had no interactions with. What I do know is that many of our faculty, both full and PT do amazing things, and they are rarely heralded. If you win a trophy, you get an email. If you do something for a veteran, an email. If you die, an email. Otherwise, you don't get an email because our central leadership neither cares nor even is aware of it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he adds anti-itellectual value. How embarrassing. Who is on board for IVC's new tarrot card reading course? I read about it in the tea leaves!

Has IVC begun developing their new curriculum in Gypsy Cultural studies? I can see it now: Intro to the Paranormal Lecture IPN101, Astrology AST2B, Nomad History NH221, Seminar in Tattoo Creation, Technology and Practice TAT501A, Crystal Balls CB101, Palm Reading PR201, Tarrot Card Lecture TC101, Seminar in Fortune Telling FT101, etc... Perhaps they can dedicate some space at ATEP for TAT501A?

Anonymous said...

Would it surprise you that Heinsen also received her degree from Walden? She is not listed in the Concordia-Portland faculty and is a adjunct instructor of English at Terra Community College. Her name is not listed in their Spring schedule. Her vitae does list that she is a substitute teacher in K-12 schools of her hometown. She is also the owner of a B and B in her town.It is called the Marshall Inn.

Anonymous said...

I can no longer be surprised.

Anonymous said...

I bet those two graduated together, that's how they know each other.

Anonymous said...

PT's directorship was originally CL/management, but was seriously downgraded to classified for some strange reason. Still wondering what that was all about.

Anonymous said...

You should go meet Pat he is a good person.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to know what is happening on the campus go to the inside IVC website and peruse the minutes of our steering committees and SPAC.
Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Patric Taylor was full time faculty and is now classified. I worked with him on the study of the vocabulary technique and it works. I tested it and I use it . It was my classroom they visited. This is legit. In fact, he and I have held faculty professional development sessions on it. She saw his published materials and is going to teach it at a community college in Ohio. She happens to also teach online. We worked hard on this. A little disappointed in this reaction :(

Anonymous said...

A thought to consider: most faculty aren't trained in teaching techniques and learning theory - they are masters of their discipline. It doesn't hurt to learn new ways to help our students learn.

Roy Bauer said...

"Most faculty aren't trained in teaching techniques and learning theory." --Yes, and a good thing, too, since most "learning theory" that is produced by schools of education are garbage. To see the fundamental problems that pervade "education" and its so-called "research" consider that education "research" doesn't involve replication!Replication?

Roy Bauer said...

See Failure to Replicate, Inside Higher Ed

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Roy here. Our mission is not about training mocking birds and other such gimmicks. PT's research and findings seem most suitable for acting classes, which IMHO, is much less than anything academic.

Anonymous said...

Find the study, the research, and the results and learn what it is about before mocking it, mocking him, and mocking teaching techniques.

Anonymous said...

http://gradworks.umi.com/35/40/3540353.html

Anonymous said...

These people have doctorates from Walden. Anyone who understands higher education wouldn't pursue these degrees. Perhaps this technique has a place in theatre arts. I don't know the discipline. But these two people have sham degrees and highlighting that with IVCs record of agreements with for profits and lack of intellectual activity on campus is at the crux of it all.

Anonymous said...

Also, check this out: http://my.campuscruiser.com/q?pg=blog&eId=100001256

Patric Taylor was given a surprise gift from the campus to travel to Miami to go to his graduation ceremony? Lets find out more about this please. I hope this was a collection of colleagues and not IVC resources.

Anonymous said...

I worked on this research with Patric - purely as an academic and connection to anything else. His trip was a gift from colleagues. myself included. And Im a faculty member. Wow. I am so shocked and disappointed at the outpouring of distrust and animosity towards a colleague - have any of you spoken to Patric and asked any questions?????? Read his research? Watched the technique?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any links to his research so we can check it out? I tried to look but didn't find anything

Anonymous said...

All I was able to see from that link was the abstract. Quite a lengthy one that covers detailed methodology not usually covered in abstracts.

Roy Bauer said...

I am equally skeptical about for-profits such as Walden, and, again, I'm no fan of educationist research--including this sub-collegiate memorization nonsense--but I am very uncomfortable with the witch-hunt spirit I'm seeing here. (The person who found the abstract did PT no favors.) Let's drop it, please. Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

I think the point you are missing is that people come to college ill-prepared and someone needs to help them. Call it "sub-collegiate" but the fact is that many students need help with basic vocabulary.

In general, being anti-improvement seems kind of elitist as if you are stuck in your old ways. Regardless of the merits of this particular method, shouldn't educators be open to improving? It seems as if you think how to educate is solved. If this is the case, then why have a blog dissenting the very system you are now defending? You might want to re-think this one. You are normally on point, so this stands out as being out of character.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am aware that a portion of the instruction offered at the college is "pre" or subcollegiate because students are ill prepared for college level work. Obviously, I do not object to that instruction. It is important and necessary.
The point is that we want to present a certain face of the college to the public, and the face that is shown all too often is sub-collegiate, as when the biggest thing people hear about IVC all year is that silly "Astounding Inventions" event. That our college president cannot see that allowing that event (and similar events) to serve as the face of the college is problematic is an ongoing theme on this blog. He's incompetent. He doesn't know what a college is or what it is for.
The recent "IVC Happenings" announcement was unfortunate because, once again, it presented IVC to the world as a place where students memorize definitions and regard writers of books about ghosts as scholars. Very embarrassing and not at all accurate. There are some fine good scholars and thinkers at this college, and their instruction is first rate. But you'd never know it based on the publications of Roquemore/Oaks.
I am not nor have I ever been "anti-improvement." You must not be a regular reader. Unfortunately, as I've argued previously, academia seems to operate on the assumption that schools of education produce valid knowledge about learning. Essentially, they do not, and that is because the "culture" of education is anti-intellectual and pseudoscientific.
--RB

Anonymous said...

Your critique of the college President and what they choose to highlight to the public is fine, but in this case you attacked you the wrong party. Glad to see you are pulling back on the original intent.

Roy Bauer said...

This “spouting definitions” approach might be valid in the setting of a basic skills course and I can even see it (only barely) being a small part (certainly not the emphasis) of a college-level course. But I would be very worried coming across an instructor, teaching college-level philosophy (or history or psychology, etc.), whose course focuses on the learning of terms and their definitions, an activity that draws on the "critical thinking" faculties humans share with parrots. (Pace parrots.) Suppose, for instance, that an instructor were teaching the basics of Darwinian natural selection. An understanding of the origins of the problem that Darwin sought to solve and the elements that appeared in the history of ideas that permitted his (and others’) formulation of natural selection cannot be achieved via the learning of definitions, unless we mean, not definitions per se but the fuller understandings that are their context. One who teaches NS is telling a long an involved story, a narrative, a set of problems and solutions appearing over time. Here, understanding is not a matter of “learning definitions.” It is the grasp of a lengthy and complex narrative that continues to this day. The student who understands such a thing is a writer and a thinker, not a reciter.

Roy Bauer said...

I fail to see that I am pulling back from "the original intent." That our college routinely presents this institution as a place for kiddies and bouncie houses and New Age Crapola is an old theme here in DtB. This post is a continuation of the theme. And, as I just explained in two other comments (see), I continue to have a problem with (1) inviting "scholars" who believe in ghosts and (2) college-level instruction (I suspect that this is the case here) that focuses on the learning of definitions. On the other hand, I do not think that we should "go after" Patric Taylor in any way. Despite his curious fixation on "definitions," he may well be a very fine instructor. Let's move on.

Anonymous said...

If you goal is "The point is that we want to present a certain face of the college to the public" no need to argue the merits of a particular scholar or attack your colleagues and create a witch hunt. I get that you're trying to show the President highlights quackery but I think the focus should be on the President. The people involved with this weren't the ones choosing to highlight it. And perhaps if you took more time to look at the research you might find it valuable.

This research is interesting topic but not one relevant to the how the President handles the marketing image of the school.

Anonymous said...

We're at a college. At a college, there's free discussion. People disagree, debate things. If, in reporting yet another incidence of Roquemore and Co's failure to comprehend "college", I mention a dubious "vocabulary" technique and criticize an alleged "scholar" for believing in ghosts, so be it. I did not thereby engage in a witch hunt. Criticizing something or someone is not the same thing as engaging in a "witch hunt," my friend. Not in academia.
I'm afraid that you and I live in very different worlds. That someone has a doctorate in education and tells me that they've been working out a vocabulary learning technique is not, in my world, any reason whatsoever to prick up my ears. It is, rather, a reason to run in the other direction. (See earlier comments re the pseudoscientific and anti-intellectualist "culture" of the education community.) --RB

Anonymous said...

Portraying our classrooms as places where students spout memorized definitions is an embarassment.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when one among us champions some wacky new age philosophy or some gimmicky learning technique it is always someone with a degree in Education? Remember Mathur and his love of New Age self-help gurus?

Anonymous said...

Yes, and some of the Godawful commencement speakers we've had over the years--evidently chosen by the local GOP, or the Chamber of Commerce, not a college.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roy Bauer said...

Let's stay on track, please.

Anonymous said...

Quick thought... At IVC there are no terms on the exams? Is this the same lame philosophy that everyone receives a trophy in little league even if they lose? No wonder IVC has the #1 transfer rate.

Roy Bauer said...

4:36, you really should read more carefully.

Anonymous said...

4:36, have you ever heard of a "false dilemma"? Wow.

Anonymous said...

You should have given him a one way ticket...

Captrain obvious said...

Of course there are "terms" on exams. It's just that the ability to recite definitions is not what is tested. The student's understanding of the subject at hand--the problem of evil, the ontological argument, etc.--is what is tested. Talk about sub collegiate! 4:36, the next time you have a "quick thought," wait for a slower one to come along.

Anonymous said...

Well, PT does look like a real professor. I'll give him that.

Ask no questions, just do what the expert in the white coat says.

Anonymous said...

The ability to memorize things, say, lines in a play, may help one succeed in show biz, but has little value in education. Einstein understood this in elementary school.

Anonymous said...

No reason to memorize phone numbers, passwords, or any of Einstein's theories. Sweet!

Anonymous said...

5:23 Have you ever taken a biology class? Anatomy? Psychology? Sociology? economics? management? No value in memorizing?

Anonymous said...

I am not suggesting that there is no role for memorization in college instruction. Of course there is, but such memorization, to have utility, must be completed by some sort of understanding--a thing that cannot be memorized. If you have any familiarity with education reform in the U.S. in the last fifty or so years, you'll know that a consistent problem in American education is the over-reliance on "memorization instead of understanding." The memorizing of definitions should not be central in any college level instruction. That is not to say that it does not have a place. For instance, I teach logic, and students must learn definitions of technical terms such as "deductive," "implication," and "soundness." But the ability to spout the definition of "sound" means nothing unless a student can explain why a sound argument necessarily has a true conclusion or why validity is crucial despite mere validity being inadequate to establish a proposition. In my classes, I expect students to explain these things; I do not ask them to recite memorized definitions. --RB

Anonymous said...

Judging by the comments of some of your colleagues, the old deficiency of focussing on "rote memorization" lives, and, apparently, it lives at IVC.

Anonymous said...

That you have to waste time explaining the deficiencies of instruction that focuses on memorization says a lot about your community/readers. Your point about memorization is an old one and a settled matter. Memorization is not substitute for understanding. The clueless need to get up to speed. Perhaps they are too numerous at your institution to have a decent discussion there about the absurdities of the "IVC Happenings" announcement.

Anonymous said...

I saw the announcement and thought it a bit strange that someone would need to travel to the college to see this technique. But, I am a big fan of Patric. He is delightful, and we are lucky to have him at the college. Theater Arts differ a bit from traditional programs.

Anonymous said...

"Delightful" - you're joking right?

Anonymous said...

Do you know the IVC faculty will never accomplish much? Because they are constantly ripping each other apart.
Humanities vs Mathematics, A-Quad vs Counselors, FT vs PT. It is so pathetic.
It is a wonder Kathy is able to accomplish anything in spite of your cannibalistic verbal attacks on each other.
I see a number of faculty at this junior college have a serious lack of self-esteem and ethics.
Do us all a favor and embed the meaning of this term in your miniscule medulla oblongatas, RESPECT.

Anonymous said...

Actually 3:33, IVC (#1 transfer college in the state) has accomplished quite a bit despite the schisms you identify which I don't recognize at all (PT vs. FT? When? Where? math vs. Hum? A-quad vs. Counselors? Huh?)

Everyone seemed pretty united yesterday in Senate (except Kiana and Co.) against Glenn's decision to hire a robot and a laser.

Bonzo said...

3:33, I agree with 3:46: since when is there conflict between FT and PT? I’m in Humanities, and I don’t know what this problem with Math is supposed to be. A-Quad? To whom does that even refer?
Further, criticism is an essential element of academia (have you ever read an academic journal?), as you must know. It is, for instance, a healthy thing to be reminded that a central tenet of criticism of American education is an over-relance on “rote memorization.” How on Earth does a person’s appeal to that idea constitute “cannibalism”? Criticism isn’t the same thing as “attacking,” unless you hang out with the ladies at the Mayberry Garden Club.

Anonymous said...

It's a well known fact that the counselors despise the A-quad statue and that the statue holds them in equal contempt.

Anonymous said...

Where do people come up with this stuff? The A-quad vs. the counselors?

Anonymous said...

The schism between the A-quad and the counselors has to do with the smokers who congregate there and the vending machines - and yes, that strange statue. Plus the missing clock tower.

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding!

Anonymous said...

I have witnessed between other parties verbal attacking, emails, and this two-bit blog. Take a look above in this string of 67 responses. Some can be read as criticism but there are a number of comments here that are disrespectful and cruel.
Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone actually taken the time to read the reviews on Walden U? Their degrees are worthless.

Anonymous said...

It's Pat! (like from SNL), LOL

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