Openness in education readings… Week 7

This particular activity happened to be very interesting for me.

Not because of the readings in itself which provide a range of views on the subject, nor was the problem of being fairly dated readings a problem that I see more often than desired on the course design, but the tone and nature of the papers provided an eureka moment connecting an old idea I had when I did my postgraduate degree in philosophy and religion.

In those days we were studying christian ethics and more specifically issues like abortion, euthanasia. In one of the modules we came across the Australian philosopher Peter Singer, who basically argued that most problems in Ethics lie in our belief that life is «sacred»… If you lift the sacred status to the way we value life, many of these problems will be seen differently.

I felt outraged at the time for what I thought the argument was a slippery slope to a society without values, however with time I saw what he did, by uncovering the unmovable sacred principle and devoid it of value, the problems that lie beneath take a different perspective. In a way for argument sake seeing this value as an obstacle and removing its sacred status provided freedom to see the problem differently…

When I realized this, I immediately thought, but that is not the only sacred value in our society…
Private property is another, and if we remove the importance of that value altogether we will see the problem of Private Property / and its prodigal son Copyright differently…

And in a way the Creative Commons License did that for the digital world, not as its main intention but as a way to overcome a stumbling block in fast software and content development…

Then a series of Post titles came to mind:

  • Is the copyright dilemma a moral dilemma?
  • What are the key values at stake?
  • Can the oversight on copyright issues provided by the blanket of creative commons enough to free us completely and see pedagogy from a different perspective?
  • What do we mean when we say free education?
  • Should education be free?
  • If we argue that education has a cost, who picks up the tab?

Not sure if I will write any of this, but the inspiration came…

The readings:

Cormier (2013), What do you mean… open?

Is good to see how the term was coined and a bit of history. It also transpires a bit of cynicism when it shows the road to the term open.

CNN-1333 Open Course (2012), The extended argument for openness in education.
More technical than inspiring this text helps to clarify a few discrepancies on the term open.

Gourlay (2015), Open education as a ‘heterotopia of desire’.
This is a good paper to read, and seems to be written by a person who feels threatened by the new technology! Full of platitudes and excuses, is difficult to read because I have the suspicion that the author misquote many great thinkers

Weller, Jordan, DeVries, & Rolfe (2018), Mapping the open education landscape: citation network analysis of historical open and distance education research
This is an excellent approach to the history of what today means open, which by large is not a clear definition.

Tait (2018), Open Universities: the next phase.
I have to read this but next week is looming onto us and may have a pass on this one, only to probably discover later that it is a key paper to read!

Time will tell.

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