Rita F. Pierson menghabiskan seluruh hidupnya di ruang kelas sebagai pendidik, mengikuti jejak kedua orangtua dan kakek-neneknya. Rita F. Pierson, seorang pendidik profesional sejak tahun 1972, mengajar di sekolah dasar, menengah, maupun sekolah untuk anak berkebutuhan khusus. Dia juga seorang konselor, koordinator ujian dan wakil kepala sekolah. Dalam setiap perannya ia selalu membawa energi baru, selalu menunjukkan keinginannya untuk mengenal murid-muridnya, menunjukkan kepada mereka betapa tinggi kepeduliannya dan mendukung mereka untuk tumbuh dan berkembang.
Selama dekade terakhir, Pierson melakukan lokakarya pengembangan profesional dan seminar untuk ribuan pendidik. Terutama untuk siswa-siswa yang selama ini sering ditinggalkan atau kurang pelayanannya. Topik kuliahnya antara lain adalah “Helping Under-Resourced Learners,”“Meeting the Educational Needs of African American Boys” dan “Engage and Graduate your Secondary Students: Preventing Dropouts.”
Rita Pierson meninggal dunia Juni 2013.
“Parents make decisions for their children based on what they know, what they feel will make them safe. And it is not our place [as educators] to say what they do is ‘wrong.’ It’s our place to say maybe we can add a set of rules that they don’t know about.” — Rita Pierson
The author of this article tried to deconstruct the deep/surface learning concept through a phenomenography perspective. After deconstructing the concept he used it as a metaphor to question the power within higher education development of discourse. In order to do that, the writer first explained the reasons why he chose the terms of ‘deep’ and ‘surface’ learning as a metaphor and then he continued by describing the definition of deep/surface learning. Finally, he proposed an argument about the relationship between the discourse and the power.
Deep learning concept refers to a process of learning which one tries to understand the material and build the meaning so that students can apply the knowledge in another situation. While in a surface learning, a student would just try to remember the facts or the materials. Many previous studies encouraged students to move from surface learning into deep learning style.
Also, according to many previous studies, the concept of deep learning is better than the surface learning. This raised a question and critiques about the ‘truth’ of this concept. Using phenomenography to capture the ‘Other’ voice, the writer then tried to deconstruct this concept. According to him, we as a researcher cannot fall into two binaries of categories such as deep and surface and defined them as deep learning is good and the other is bad. Because even in surface learning, by memorising fact over and over again will lead to deep learning as well.
Using this deep/surface metaphor, the writer then asked the reader to have a critical thinking especially in the power within the higher education. Who have the authorities to speak about the truth? The higher education development discourse mainly dominance by white people (from western culture) who have more access to the media such as academic journals and conferences. Therefore, they have more chances to speak about their education development. The author strongly suggested opening our view to those people who were marginalized. To share the power and encouraged the ‘Other’ to present their perspective, interest and develop their own teaching and learning interpretation.
Webb, G. (1997). Deconstructing deep and surface: Towards a critique of phenomenography. Higher Education 33:195-212