This is a quick sketch of a far more comprehensive series of thoughts I've been swimming in for the past... I don't know how long. It's about curriculum design (or redesign). One metanarrative we sometimes say is that "faculty make the curriculum for the students" -- in other words, it's by the faculty and for the students, and those are three distinct and separate things.

This is a true statement. But it's not the only true statement we could make.

1. Curriculum is also "for the faculty" -- we teach things based on our own learning/career/etc. goals, we assign people to instruct classes we think they'll learn from, we go into teaching and curriculum design experiences as growth opportunities for ourselves as well.

2. Curriculum is also "of the faculty" -- our course designs come from our prior experiences, interests, history; we bring ourselves into the room. (The same course taught by 2 professors in different sections... is not the same course at all.)

3. Curriculum is also "by the students" -- they give suggestions, shape the course, TA it, send feedback, set up out-of-class study sessions, pass notes around, etc.

4. Curriculum is also "of the students" -- they bring in hopes and dreams and aspirations, baggage, preparation and/or lack thereof, relationships, skills, temperaments, vocabulary... the classic experience of teaching 2 sections of the same course in one semester and having the sections be wildly, wildly different? That's this bit.

("for" and "of" and "by" all blur together, too, as you may have noticed.)

So basically, curriculum is by, for, and of both faculty and students -- and being willing to (at least temporarily, mentally) suspend those boundaries has intriguing implications for the student/faculty relationship/roles -- much closer to a junior/senior partnership than the usual high power-distance separation. Which is transformative for students from an empowerment and identity perspective, for faculty, for the curriculum... etc.

If I had to summarize about 50% of what I'm working on now, this would be it.