Monday, August 31, 2015

Give Us a Voice in Our Own Future

The Chronicle of Higher Education
August 26th, 2015

It’s 4 p.m. at a university medical center. A team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and administrators gathers to discuss best practices for patient care. A voice cuts in: "I felt as if everyone was rushing in the radiology department. That’s when I felt really uncomfortable." The voice belongs to a patient. Her comment shifts the conversation — abstract until now — to a new focus: this particular patient’s experience. Patients’ voices — once marginalized in medicine’s hierarchical structures — now help shape medicine in meaningful ways.
Like patients offered the chance to participate in their own care, graduate students should have a voice in the future of higher education. The point here is not that doctoral students are like patients — most good pedagogies begin by dismantling such an idea — but that participants with little power within an organization can be a vital resource of information and insight.

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