May 14, 2011 by admin Filed under MACAE's Future
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Ruth Stevens on Sat, 14th May 2011 3:45 pm
What is the future of MACAE? We had a discussion today, Saturday. We didn’t come to any conclusions. We are struggling forward. Would you like to participate in further discussions? Send an email with your thoughts & contact information….there can be many ways to get involved….email@example.com
Nancy Herther on Wed, 18th May 2011 12:54 pm
The landscape keeps changing. Just look at these pieces of the puzzle from recent papers:
1. Volunteering as a way to keep connected, build skills, etc., in this economy. From the St. Paul paper (@http://www.twincities.com/ci_18076437?nclick_check=1)
2. 2010 census is showing that ‘Minnesota and Wisconsin’s populations are getting older, becoming more diverse and moving away from the traditional family structure’ (http://www.twincities.com/ci_18046671?IADID=Search-www.twincities.com-www.twincities.com)
3. Asian populations – as well as from Africa and others – are changing the racial/ethnic mix in our area as well. (http://2010.census.gov/news/releases/operations/cb11-cn89.html)
Many challenges and potential responses. However, the needs are real and the opportunities are many!
Ruth Stevens on Tue, 31st May 2011 8:54 pm
This is the beginning of a great discussion, I agree.
For me, you’ve hit on the head the difference between MACAE and other groups….other groups are very specialized. When I attend a MACAE conference, I feel like there is some over-arching theme, something that touches learning and education in a very broad way, unlike the other groups. Other groups talk about very specific aspects of learning and teaching. Not to say any one is better or not better. But when Everything I go to is about what I can use tomorrow in the classroom, I miss that bigger piece that is more like the puzzle of life, the broader thinking. I suppose not everyone enjoys or has time for that.
Our world is becoming so specialized, I am afraid that my world will become too small, too narrow, too confining. Sometimes I need the nitty gritty, and sometimes I need broad strokes. Sometimes I feel like I get too much of the ‘in the trenches’ stuff, and I really want to play with ideas.
In my experience, the people I interact with through MACAE are very good at playing with ideas!
Kim Johnson on Tue, 31st May 2011 9:29 pm
Per Ruth’s suggestion, I am posting this email sent earlier today:
Thank you for including me in this email; I am sorry that I was unable to make the meeting and discussion. Looking through the notes, it seems to me that the group has identified the key issue that I see facing MACAE: identity. It is a struggle for me to clearly articulate what MACAE is and how it is different from other organizations in the state. For example, I belong to three statewide organizations:
1) MinneTESOL for ESL educators (www.minnetesol.org)
2) MNADE for developmental educators (www.mnade.org)
3) Literacy Action Network for ABE (www.literacyminnesota.org)
MinneTESOL now hosts a conference of nearly 500 teachers (with active adult and college ESL Interest sections) and the ABE Summer Institute (hosted by Literacy Action Network and the MN Community Ed Association) also host a conference that gets 400-500 participants. MN also has a MN Corrections Education Association and the MN Community Education Association. There are probably others that I am not aware of. My point is that there are currently multiple, specialized professional organizations for educators with a focus on adult teaching and learning. I joined MACAE a few years ago, but have never really been clear about what MACAE has as a focus or what MACAE offers as a professional organization that I am not already getting elsewhere. I’ve not attended the last couple of conferences because I already have so many conferences, just can’t do everything, and MACAE doesn’t seem to offer me anything unique or different.
It seems to me that any discussion of the future of MACAE must begin with this question of identity. What is MACAE? What need/niche does this organization fill? What does MACAE offer to members that is different from what practitioners can get elsewhere?
Thanks for listening, and I’d be interested in hearing from others!
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