Generations take different paths for wisdom, professor says

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Dr. Marcus Embry, English professor at the University of Northern Colorado, talks about the importance of teaching methods that encourage students to want to know more about a subject after they leave the classroom Sept. 26 in Moody. Embry spoke on “Free Speech Sublation in the Latinx Classroom,” which is part of the Free Speech Conference. Sergio Medina

Students need to pursue in growth, rather than just understanding the material.

By Jon Hernandez

Wisdom is communicated by older generations explaining their experiences to younger generations, Dr. Marcus Embry, English professor at the University of Northern Colorado, said Sept. 26 in Moody Learning Center.

“Wisdom is contained in the experience of me telling you what I’ve experienced, and from what I’ve experienced you will have gained wisdom from me,” Embry said to about 40 students at the Free Speech and Sublation In The Latinx Classroom event, as part of the Free Speech Conference.

Embry has a Ph.D. from Duke University and has been teaching at the University of Northern Colorado for 25 years. He has published Contemporary American; Latino and Latin American literature.

Embry explained the younger generation shares their wisdom today by sharing their stories on social media such as Snapchat and Instagram.

“The whole selfie generation, that’s not our generation; that’s your generation,” he said. “We’ve moved past being able to communicate lived experiences to you and call it wisdom; to your generation creating some kind of other wisdom.”

After a class, students will leave the classroom saying to themselves that they understand what they just learned.

Embry wants to know how can students leave the class wanting to learn more.

“As soon as you say you understand, people leave you alone. Are we providing an excuse for people to walk away and not come back to it?”

Students do not need to understand more. Students need to pursue growth.

“I teach tension. I want to get students to a point to where they need to go figure out more. I don’t want you satisfied. I want you walking out wanting to know more.”

To complete this process of growth, teachers need to encourage students.

“We need to teach better and encourage students to have passion, believe in them, and teach them this the journey we’re on,” Embry said.

“To teach, you got to have faith in your kids.”

The students need to know that the teachers believe in them.

“That’s our job as teachers — to believe in them and give them the opportunity to realize what they can be. I encourage my students to be brilliant,” he said.


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