How about a little humor in higher education?

January 22, 2014, 7:52 am

logoAre you like me, and think that higher education could benefit from a sense of humor? That we’re hearing lots of dystopian stories about how bad things are but little about what people – individual people – are doing to effect positive change in their situations? If so, you might find this upcoming workshop called There’s Something Funny About Higher Education appealing. Blurb:

This spring, the satirists behind the humor blog The Cronk of Higher Education at will launch a workshop series “There’s Something Funny about Higher Education” to ignite a spirit of creativity, optimism and humor in the ivory tower.

“We started CronkNews in 2009 with a mission to generate dialogue and healthy laughs about the world of colleges,” said editor-in-chief Leah Wescott. “Poking fun at problems is fun, but making meaningful changes requires a certain skill set.”

A small group of 15 There’s Something Funny participants will meet in Indianapolis to learn and practice a specific creative action process they can take back to their campuses to promote innovative problem solving. Workshop activities are based on the scholarship of creativity researcher R. Keith Sawyer, the innovative practices of the IDEO design firm and the improv philosophy of Tina Fey.

With articles like “University Grants First PhD in Undecided” and “New Dean Waits Patiently to Learn His Opinion from VP” the Cronk is in good position to offer this workshop.

I don’t make a habit of plugging seminars or workshops, but this one strikes a chord with me. Maybe the one thing that bothers me the most about the current atmosphere in higher ed is the almost total lack of optimism, humor, and entrepreneurial thinking. I like the phrase “seizable idealism” that the workshop web site uses. And I think any higher ed workshop organized around such ideas is worth considering.

The registration is limited to only 15 people and is a pretty good bargain at $50 a head. It’s taking place in Indianapolis on March 30 and you can sign up here.

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