robertogreco + credentials   80

Noel Ignatiev’s Long Fight Against Whiteness | The New Yorker
“In the eighties, the economy began to shift. Automation took root, and plants began laying off workers. Contemplating the large, industrial workforces of prior decades, Ignatiev had been able to imagine workers forming councils, seizing the means of production, and deposing their bosses. But, as factories emptied out, he no longer knew where to look. In his forties, he, too, was laid off. He decided to go back to school. A friend from S.T.O. who had been admitted to Harvard’s Graduate School of Education persuaded the administration to admit Ignatiev, despite the fact that he lacked a bachelor’s degree. Ignatiev enrolled, then transferred to the history department, where he worked toward his doctorate.

Ignatiev was now a student at the most prestigious university in the world. But he still believed in creating literary projects unencumbered by the traditional press and its credentialled demands. In 1993, he and his friend John Garvey, a former New York City cab driver whom he’d met on the radical labor circuit, started Race Traitor, a journal with the motto “Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.” John Brown, the white man who led a small militia of black men as they raided an arsenal, at Harpers Ferry, in hopes of sparking an armed slave rebellion, became their lodestar—an example of what it might look like to reject one’s whiteness. Ignatiev and Garvey, who is also an editor at Hard Crackers, called for an “abolition of the white race.” This prompted the expected outrage from right-wingers, who heard a call for extinction, but also upset liberals, who saw them as impractical troublemakers.

In 1995, Ignatiev finished the dissertation that would become “How the Irish Became White.” Not long ago, someone asked him why he had written the book. “The country is divided into masters and slaves,” Ignatiev wrote:
A big political problem is that many of the slaves think they are masters, or at least side with the masters at crucial moments—because they think they are white. I wanted to understand why the Irish, coming from conditions about as bad as could be imagined and thrown into low positions when they arrived, came to side with the oppressor rather than with the oppressed. Imagine how history might have been different had the Irish, the unskilled labor force of the north, and the slaves, the unskilled labor force of the South, been unified. I hoped that understanding why that didn’t happen in the past might open up new possibilities next time.

The book was a hit, by academic standards. Ignatiev now had a powerful platform. But he was also a decade removed from the steel mills, and he was unsure how much a book could really do. Privately, he questioned the value of his new life in the highest reaches of the academy. His on-campus provocations—which included a 1992 incident in which he called for the removal of a kosher toaster oven in a student dormitory—only caused bewilderment among students and administrators.

By 1998, it was time for him to move on. He accepted a post at Bowdoin College, a small school in Maine that mostly catered to white New England prep schoolers. The first class he taught there was a freshman seminar on the making of race; his most adoring student that semester was me, a naïve, vain eighteen-year-old Korean immigrant from North Carolina who desperately wanted to live outside the confines dictated by his race and his own privilege. Ignatiev, with his stories of working in the steel mills, his scorn for credentialled people, and his unwavering belief that a society free from white supremacy was possible, provided a model of a life worth living. I attended all of his office hours, learned to idolize John Brown, and read everything he put in front of me. In my dorm room and in the cafeteria, I talked excitedly to my confused friends about revolutionary politics and abolishing whiteness. At the end of that year, I dropped out and enrolled in Americorps, in hopes of becoming a radical.

I learned, ultimately, that I didn’t have the strength of his convictions. I could never see a new society in my co-workers or, perhaps more importantly, in myself. Even so, I kept looking for traces of what Ignatiev was talking about. There are moments—observing a seemingly small gesture of kindness between two protesters in St. Paul, or noticing the elegant design of the food halls at Standing Rock—when some great possibility seems to reveal itself. When that happens, I think immediately of Ignatiev and his belief in the revolutionary potential of ordinary Americans.

Acouple of months before he died, I drove up to see Ignatiev at his home, in Connecticut. His illness prevented him from swallowing, but he wanted to cook dinner for me in his back yard, where he had fitted a large wok over a rusty propane ring. “Even though I can’t eat anymore, I still find it relaxing to cook,” he told me. As we chopped up the vegetables in a light rain, we talked about all the things we had discussed in his office—John Brown, labor movements, the need to break away from credentialled society. Just as he would a few weeks later, at Freddy’s Bar, he expressed doubt about whether his work had amounted to anything.

I am not so vain as to believe that Noel’s influence on my life provides proof that his work, in fact, made a difference. If his ideas about whiteness and of “white privilege” became fashionable within the academy, they later took on forms he could barely recognize, and oftentimes, despised. He was bewildered by the rise of a style of identity politics that reified the fictions of race and, through its fixation on diversity in élite spaces, abandoned the working class. And as a lifelong radical he took little solace in the rise of a young, insurgent left drawn to the reformist revolution of Democratic Socialism. These movements, I imagine, must have felt like defeats to Ignatiev. We are very far from the abolition of the white race, and there are very few people who believe that changing the minds of five, much less five hundred thousand people, could potentially revolutionize the world.

And yet, from another perspective, there is no political or literary trend—or President—capable of derailing Ignatiev’s true lifelong project. In his writing, and in Race Traitor and Hard Crackers, Ignatiev demonstrated the transformative power of working-class stories. His radicalism was always tethered to specific people, who, in their own ways, inspired sympathy and a desire for connection. That specificity will always be relevant; it may be especially so at a moment of cynical alienation, when identities have become recitations rather than communities. There is enduring power in the narratives he collected and shared—the stories of people he met as a child, in Philadelphia, or in the plants and mills of Chicago, or in his classrooms. My favorite of these stories is included in the introduction to “How the Irish Became White”:
On one occasion, many years ago, I was sitting on my front step when my neighbor came out of the house next door carrying her small child, whom she placed in her automobile. She turned away from him for a moment, and as she started to close the car door, I saw that the child had put his hand where it would be crushed when the door was closed. I shouted to the woman to stop. She halted in mid-motion, and when she realized what she had almost done, an amazing thing happened: she began laughing, then broke into tears and began hitting the child. It was the most intense and dramatic display of conflicting emotions I have ever beheld. My attitude toward the subjects of this study accommodates stresses similar to those I witnessed in that mother.

Sometimes, while walking around gentrifying Brooklyn, I will see young, white progressives talking to the people whom they are displacing. There’s an officiousness—an almost disingenuous toadying—to these interactions that I, with my modern, fashionable prejudices, find a bit funny and gross. Do they believe that the contradictions between their stated politics and their actual lives can be cleansed through ritualistic bonhomie? Or are they just saying an extended goodbye to their temporary neighbors? Ignatiev might have looked at those same conversations and seen people who desperately wanted to be saved from their whiteness. He might have walked by, with a generosity of spirit that I do not possess, and dropped a few leaflets at their feet, filled with enthusiastic, optimistic provocations, and unreasonable demands.”
jaycaspiankang  2019  noelignatiev  irish  history  race  racism  whiteness  marxism  socialconstructions  society  class  radicalism  us  clrjames  work  labor  privilege  whiteprivilege  behavior  expectations  falsehoods  kingsleyclarke  affirmativeaction  sto  johnbrown  johngarvey  credentials  convictions  kindness  democraticsocialism  abolition  abolitionism  organizing  workingclass  cv  classwarfare  radicals  unschooling  deschooling  labormovements  connection  sympathy  alienation 
24 days ago by robertogreco
Why Equity Has Been a Conservative Force in American Education—And How That Could Change - Next Gen Learning in Action - Education Week
"By Jal Mehta, an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the co-director of the Deeper Learning Dozen

Over the past 15 years, at least since the passage of No Child Left Behind, equity has been more of a conservative than a liberating force in American education.

It started with good intentions. The idea was that some students, particularly students of color and poor students, historically had been ill-served by our school system. When Ted Kennedy and George Miller joined their Republican colleagues in supporting No Child Left Behind, they did so out of a belief that it was a continuation of the civil rights movement—a way to use federal power to support an equity agenda.

But that's not how it played out. The consequence of holding everyone accountable to low level tests in reading and math, without building any of the supporting structures, climate, or culture that would enable those results, is that schools serving disadvantaged students narrowed the curriculum and focused disproportionately on test prep, whereas more advantaged public schools and private schools had flexibility to continue offering a richer and more holistic educational approach.

Even as the legal requirements for NCLB have ended, the mindset has persisted. Urban schools and districts continue to be run in more authoritarian ways than their suburban counterparts, and students in disadvantaged schools continue to be more subject to test-driven pressures. When we run institutes at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on "deeper learning," we tend to attract folks from more privileged public schools and private schools here and abroad. In contrast, when we offer institutes on data-driven instruction or school turnarounds, we tend to attract people serving students of color in high-poverty public schools.

The consequence is that equity has become, more often than not, a conservative force in American public education. The effort to close achievement gaps has in practice doubled down on the century-old industrial model of schooling, leaving in place all of the essential elements of its grammar: teaching as transmission, batch processing of students, conventional assessments, tracking and leveling, and all of the rest. Anything that moves away from those assumptions—like project-based learning, problem-based learning, interdisciplinary learning, authentic assessment, or constructivist pedagogy—is seen as "risky;" something that is "OK for the privileged kids" but somehow distracts from the real work of closing achievement gaps on state-sponsored tests.

I've come to think that the reality is close to the opposite. The existing system, for all of its warts, works well enough for the privileged kids. They know how to play the "game of school," and thus they learn what they need to learn to get the grades and credentials they need to head to college and beyond. It is the kids who are disaffected from school who are most in need of a new approach. For them, finding a way to make school more relevant, more student-centered, more connected to their purposes and passions, is not a luxury but a requirement. Ironically, the more we double down on closing achievement gaps within the existing grammar of schooling, the more difficult we make it for ourselves to transform schooling into a more purposeful, relevant, and engaging institution.

There is an alternative, well-developed in some circles, but just recently entering broader reform discussions.

Equity as liberation.

This approach has entered the mainstream education space over the past five years from places like the National Equity Project and equityXdesign. The roots of it are old, drawing on Paulo Freire's ideas of "problem-posing" education and education as a force for liberation, and they run through the writings of folks like Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Pedro Noguera, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Theresa Perry, and many others. The idea here is that equity is a lens, a way of seeing how power is distributed, whose voices are being heard, which ideas are being represented, and whose interests are being served. It relies more heavily on what Shane Safir calls "street data" (the lived experiences of students in schools) than "satellite data" (test scores). It sees diversity as an asset—where our different lived experiences and funds of knowledge create rich opportunities for mutual learning—which is a profoundly different stance from the deficit approaches that have become standard in these discussions. It takes seriously the idea that education should liberate, meaning create ways for students to take agency to transform their lives and the world around them.

Taking this stance also implies a different way of working. Fundamentally, many gap-closing approaches take a fundamentally old-style command and control orientation for granted. What is to be known is determined by the district or the state. Students don't know this knowledge when they start. Teachers don't know how to deliver this knowledge. The solution is tighter implementation chains—from districts into the heads of teachers and then into the heads of students. This prescription is compounded by urgency; we are told that students have no time to lose so vertical hierarchies are the most efficient way to get things done.

A better approach would start with a different set of assumptions. There is lots of knowledge in the system, held by both teachers and students. This knowledge is also more heterogeneous than what is known by the district: Older teachers may have wisdom about teaching practice, younger teachers may have learned non-Western history in college, and students may know things about their neighborhoods and communities that are invisible to teachers and administrators. Good leadership would tap into these centers of knowledge and connect and build upon them in ways that are likely to lead to mutual learning for everyone.

It also would imply a different approach to change. Much of the traditional literature assumes that the leader is the hero, the members of the organization are the resistance, and the central challenge is to achieve "buy-in" via "change management." A liberatory design approach, by contrast, assumes that teachers and students would like to develop engaging, meaningful learning experiences, and that the problem is not them but the institutional structures and culture of schools that constrains them. Such an approach would foreground the lived experiences of students and teachers and invite them to help redesign schools in ways that are more purposeful and humane. Rather than act on students, teachers, and communities, we would work with them.

Liberatory design would also create an attractive symmetry between adult learning and student learning. If we want classrooms where students are seen as capable meaning-makers and teachers are facilitators of that learning, then districts need to treat teachers as capable meaning-makers and themselves as facilitators of teacher learning. Taking this point seriously would require districts to rethink many of their assumptions, large and small, spurring a shift from a bureaucratic to a professional mode of social organization.

Engaging with the lived experiences of students would also force us to think harder about whether students' full selves are welcomed into schools. This is relevant for all students, but particularly for students of color. One of my favorite ethnographies of schooling is Angela Valenzuela's Subtractive Schooling, which shows in excruciating detail the ways in which the mostly Mexican-American students in her research have to forego critical parts of themselves to show up in school. Ta-Nehisi Coates' memoir similarly recounts how his inquisitive stance was not welcome in Baltimore schools that repressed questions and rewarded compliance.

We could create schools that reverse this cycle; many in the sector already have. They start from what should be an uncontroversial idea—that students learn best when they feel affirmed, recognized, and welcomed into the spaces in which they are learning. Diversifying the curriculum does not mean lessening the rigor of that curriculum; rather, it potentially enables more students to do rigorous work by creating subjects worth investing in. And when we do that, ironically, we have a much better chance of closing conventional achievement gaps, because we have created welcoming, inclusive spaces where students can do their best work.

Equity can be either a conservative or a liberating force. Which one is it in your school?"
equity  achievementgap  education  policy  jalmehta  via:derek  2019  liberation  conservatism  curriculum  nclb  rttt  intentions  civilrights  testing  standardizedtesting  reading  math  schools  schoolclimate  testprep  inequality  authoritarianism  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  publicschools  privateschools  data  poverty  us  transmission  interdisciplinary  constructivism  pedagogy  credentials  paulofreire  pedronoguera  jeffduncan-andrade  glorialadson-billings  theresaperry  power  shanesharif  experience  diversity  discussion  agency  horizontality  leadership  communities  change  management  institutions  culture  schoolculture  liberatorydesign  ta-nehisicoates  baltimore  compliance  curiosity  inquiry  rigor 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Great American Meritocracy Machine – alex posecznick
"Cheating is a thing. It happens a lot. A few years ago, I was having a conversation with Gregoire, who ran the testing center at an institution I will call “Ravenwood College.” Although Ravenwood accepted SAT and ACT scores, they also had their own in-house entrance exam which was administered on site. Gregoire was meticulous in proctoring exams, checking paperwork and especially photo identification carefully. He recalled one time, when an applicant claimed to have left her ID in the Office of Admissions and said she would be right back. Later, the applicant returned with the ID and escorted by an admissions counselor, but it was an entirely different person.

She tried to persuade Gregoire that he was mistaken – that they had just spoken and she had come back as instructed. But he responded, with a roll of the eyes and a dry comment: “Okay, who did you get to take your exam for you?”

Sound familiar?

The Operation Varsity Blues admissions scandal has splatted hard in the middle of the media, and already faded from our attention. Several days of non-stop coverage and opinion, followed by fatigue. Our attention is nothing if not fickle. It is outrageous that wealthy elites and influential celebrities and their consultants have falsified documents and bribed coaches so their kids can go to extremely selective universities. And it makes sense that this would catch our collective attention. The story fundamentally undermines our trust in American meritocracy.

Maybe it should. Maybe that’s a good thing. Because the most noteworthy thing about the scandal is not the cheating. There are other important observations to be made. And there have been many who have made important observations about how affluent families already game the system in entirely legal ways. But there is more still to consider here.

I’ve spent a lot of my professional life around colleges and universities and seen wonderful and transformative things happen there. But we have to also recognize that a big part of what colleges do is sort students into piles based on merit. “Going to college” is one sort of meritorious pile that employers pay a lot of attention to; and in some circles the most relevant pile is which college we went to. And even affluent parents are under a tremendous amount of pressure to make sure their kids are sorted into the most distinctive pile. There is thus a lot of consequence here.

The contradiction, however, is that the more people obtain degrees, the less distinctive those degrees become. This pushes people to find new ways to be distinctive: a degree from this elite college, or perhaps a master’s degree. But this is an anxiety-fueled, credentials arms race – and although it can benefit colleges and universities financially, I’m not sure it is sustainable. How many loans can the average American family bear?

Elite institutions flourish when demand is high and admission low. Demand is measured by how many people you reject every year. But admission offices need to constantly balance the demands of coaches, wealthy donors, trustees, campus executives, ranking metrics, and alumni. One’s job could be at risk if the wrong donor is unhappy, or if the institution falls in a popular ranking system. We therefore need to acknowledge that colleges and universities are not the ivory towers we like to pretend they are. Not any longer. Colleges and universities are extremely competitive, profit-focused enterprises that must reconcile competing aims: educational mission on one side and market on the other. The big secret is that admission offices are under as much pressure as parents are.

This pressure shifts in less-selective spaces, but does not diminish.

Less-selective institutions flourish based on higher enrollments, because their budgets are so closely tied to the number of students sitting in their classrooms. Such institutions may have some strong standing locally, but like “Ravenwood” College, are not household names across the country. For these colleges, the consequence to a bad year could be layoffs, contractions, budget cuts, or closures. In fact, Ravenwood itself experienced some of these challenges. And this is increasingly a concern: by some accounts, private colleges are closing at the rate of 11 per year!

Public universities are not cushioned from such pressures either; many states have so severely cut funding to public higher education in recent years that they must learn to play the market like private institutions. Colleges and universities want to appear distinctive for the same reasons that we all do.

In short, we have built a massive, comprehensive infrastructure to “objectively” identify, evaluate, measure, and sort us into piles. And this sorting machinery involves high school administrations, college recruiters, College Board test designers, marketing teams, private test prep centers, university administrations, college athletics, federal regulatory agencies, voluntary accrediting agencies, magazine publishers, student loan lenders, employers, faculty, students, and their families.

Attending college does not define our value as human beings, but it would be naïve to pretend that there was no consequence to how we get sorted. When employers take note of a particular name or brand, what they are really interested in is how we’ve been continuously sorted into the right bins across our lifetimes. This scandal (and the many editorials since it broke) has revealed that this infrastructure is not objective. The notion of meritocracy has long been at the heart of the rhetoric of education in American society, but is that machinery broken?

Students of history should know that we’ve never had an objective, merit-measuring machine; this is not the story of national decline that some have been preaching. As many have been pointing out, affluent families systemically use their resources to give their kids advantage all the time – and always have. There are boarding schools, expensive test-prep programs, legacy admissions, private counselors and coaches, private violin lessons and extravagant service trips to other countries that make for a great personal statement. And despite some recent and limited interventions through affirmative action, communities of color have been systematically and appallingly excluded for centuries.

Operation Varsity Blues reveals that although the meritocracy machine is powerful and active, we should not always accept it at face value. Not only in elite space, but at all levels, we must recognize individuals for their achievements while weighing them critically and skeptically. In short, the best measure against a broken meritocracy machine is vigilant, morally-grounded people willing to challenge what they see. As long as we have the credentials arms race, there will be cheats and scammers – and the most noteworthy part of this scandal is not that some cheated, but that the wealthy perpetrators will face consequences.

Unless of course the siren call of some new big scandal distracts us."
meritocracy  colleges  universities  highered  highereducation  2019  operationvaristyblues  alexposecznick  markets  degree  sorting  ranking  rankings  society  degreeinflation  employment  elitism  objectivity  testing  standardizedtesting  cheating  credentials  scams  corruption  admissions  anxiety  education 
april 2019 by robertogreco
The Trouble with Knowledge | Shikshantar
"First Main Trouble with Knowledge and Education is Dishonesty

I do believe that one aspect which characterizes education, development and the production and dissemination of knowledge, in today’s world, is the lack of intellectual honesty. This belief is an outcome of reflecting on my experience during my school and university years and my almost 40 years of work. The dishonesty is connected to the values, which govern the thinking and practice in the fields of education, knowledge and development (mirroring the values in dominant societies and serving mainly the lifestyle of consumerism): control, winning, profit, individualism and competition. Having a syllabus and textbooks, and evaluating and judging people (students, teachers, administrators, and academics) through linear forms of authority and through linear symbolic values (such as arbitrary letters or grades or preferential labels), almost guarantee cheating, lack of honesty, and lack of relevance. (The recent reports that cheating and testing are on the rise in the Maryland and Chicago areas are just one example that came up to the surface. And of course teachers, principles and superintendents were blamed and had to pay the price.) I taught many years and put exams both at the level of classrooms and at the national level, and I labored and spent a lot of time and effort in order to be fair. But, then, I discovered that the problem is not in the intentions or the way we conduct things but, rather, in the values that run societies in general and which are propagated by education, development and knowledge -- among other venues. Thus, the main trouble with knowledge and education, is not so much their irrelevance or process of selection or the issue of power (though these are definitely part of the trouble) as it is with the lack of intellectual honesty in these areas. Giving a number or a letter to measure a human being is dishonest and inhuman; it is a degrading to the human mind and to human beings. Grading, in this sense, is degrading. It is one of the biggest abuses of mathematics in its history! Moreover, as long as the above-mentioned values remain as the governing values, education will continue to be fundamentally an obstacle to learning. Under these conditions, talking about improving or reforming education is naïve at best and hypocritical at worst. At most, it would touch a very small percentage of the student population in any particular region. Of course, we can go on putting our heads in the sand and refusing to see or care. But one main concern I will continue to have is what happens to the 80 some pecent of students whom the “compulsory suit” does not fit. Why imposing the same-size suit on all bodies sounds ridiculous but imposing the same curriculum on all minds does not?! The human mind is definitely more diverse that the human body.

Labeling a child as a “failure” is a criminal act against that child. For a child, who has learned so much from life before entering school, to be labeled a failure, just because s/he doesn’t see any sense in the mostly senseless knowledge we offer in most schools, is unfair – to say the least; it is really outrageous. But few of us around the world seem to be outraged, simply because we usually lose our senses in the process of getting educated. We are like those in Hans Christian Anderson’s story that lost their ability to see and had to be reminded by the little child that the emperor is without clothes.

Most people in the educational world (students, teachers, administrators, scholars, suprintendents, …) are dishonest (often without realizing it) either because we are too lazy to reflect on and see the absurdities in what we are doing (and just give to students what we were given in schools and universities, or during training courses and enrichment seminars!), or because we are simply afraid and need to protect ourselves from punishment or from being judged and labeled as inept or failures. This dishonesty prevails at all levels. I had a friend who was working in a prestigious university in the U.S. and who often went as an educational consultant and expert to countries to “improve and develop” their educational systems. Once, when he was on his way to Egypt as a consultant to help in reforming the educational system there, I asked him, “Have you ever been to Egypt?” He said no. I said, “Don’t you find it strange that you don’t know Egypt but you know what is good for it?!” Obviously, the richness, the wisdom and the depth of that 7000-year civilization is totally ignored by him, or more accurately, cannot be comprehended by him. Or, he may simply believe in what Kipling believed in in relation to India: to be ruled by Britain was India’s right; to rule India was Britain’s duty! In a very real sense, that friend of mine does not only abstract the theories he carries along with him everywhere but also abstracts the people by assuming that they all have the same deficits and, thus, the same solution – and that he has the solution.

Let’s take the term “sustainable development,” for example, which is widely used today and it is used in the concept paper for this conference. If we mean by development what we see in “developed” nations, then sustainable development is a nightmare. If we all start consuming, for example, at the rate at which “developed” nations currently do, then (as a friend of mine from Mexico says) we need at least five planets to provide the needed resources and to provide dumping sites for our waste! If “developing” nations consume natural resources (such as water) at the same rate “developed” nations do, such resources would be depleted in few years! Such “development” would be destructive to the soil of the earth and to the soil of cultures, both of which nurture and sustain human beings and human societies. The price would be very high at the level of the environment and at the level of beautiful relationships among people. Thus, those who believe in sustainable development (in its current conception and practice) are either naïve or dishonest or right out indifferent to what happens to nature, to beautiful relationship among people, and to the joyful harmony within human beings and between them and their surroundings. Nature and relationships among human beings are probably the two most precious treasures in life; the most valuable things human beings have. The survival of human and natural diversity (and even of human communities) are at stake here.

We do not detect dishonesty in the fields of education, knowledge and development because usually we are protected (in scools) from having much contact with life, through stressing verbal, symbolic and technical “knowledge,” through avoiding people’s experiences and surroundings, through the means we follow in evaluating people, and through ignoring history (history of people, of ideas, …). The main connection most school textbooks have with life is through the sections that carry the title “applications” – another instance of dishonesty. During the 1970s, for example, and as the head supervisor of math instruction in all the schools of the West Bank (in Palestine), one question I kept asking children was “is 1=1?” 1=1 is true in schoolbooks and on tests but in real life it has uses, abuses and misuses, but no real instances. We abstract apples in textbooks and make them equal but in real life there is no apple which is exactly equal to another apple. The same is true when we say that Newton discovered gravity. Almost every child by the age of one discovers it. (When my grandson, for example, was 15 months old, I was watching him once pick up pieces of cereal and put them in his mouth. Everytime he lost a piece, he would look for it down, never up!) By teaching that Newton discovered gravity, we do not only lie but also fail to clarify Newton’s real contribution. Similarly with teaching that Columbus discovered America …. Everyone of us can give tens of examples on dishonesty in the way we were taught and the way we teach."



"Second Main Trouble with Knowledge and Education: Lack of Connection with the Lives of the Social Majorities in the World"



"Building Learning Societies

From what has been said so far, two main approaches to knowledge and learning can be identified: (1) learning by doing; i.e. by the person being embedded in life, in one’s cultural soil. In this approach, learning is almost synonymous to living, and (2) the formal approach, which usually starts with ready pre-prepared content (usually fragmented into several subjucts, and usually put together in the absence of the two most important “actors” in learning: teachers and students). This approach also embodies tests and grades."



"Finally, I would like to affirm -- as a form of summary -- certain points, and point out to the need of dismantling others:

1. We need to dismantle the claim that learning can only take place in schools.

2. We need to dismantle the practice of separating students from life For at least 12 years) and still claim that learning is taking place.

3. We need to dismantle the assumption/ myth that teachers can teach what they don’t do.

4. We need to dismantle the myth that education can be improved through professionals and experts.

5. We need to dismantle the hegemony of words like education, development, progress, excellence, and rights and reclaim, instead, words like wisdom, faith, generosity, hope, learning, living, happiness, and duties.

6. We need to affirm that the vast mojority of people go to school not to learn but to get a diploma. We need to create diverse environments of learning.

7. We need to affirm our capacity for doing and learning, not for getting degrees.

8. We need to affirm and regain the concept and practice of “learning from the world,” not “about the world.”

9. We need to affirm that people are the real solution, not the obstacle and … [more]
munirfasheh  education  unschooling  schooling  schooliness  deschooling  diplomas  credentials  wisdom  degrees  faith  honesty  generosity  hope  learning  howwelearn  love  loving  lving  happiness  duties  duty  development  progress  excellence  rights  schools  community  learningcommunities  lcproject  openstudioproject  grades  grading  assessment  dishonesty  culture  society  hegemony  knowledge  influence  power  colonization  globalization  yemen  israel  palestine  humanism  governance  government  policy  politics  statism  children  egypt  india  westbank  religion  cordoba  cordova  gaza  freedom  failure  labeling  canon 
february 2019 by robertogreco
David Graeber on a Fair Future Economy - YouTube
"David Graeber is an anthropologist, a leading figure in the Occupy movement, and one of our most original and influential public thinkers.

He comes to the RSA to address our current age of ‘total bureaucratization’, in which public and private power has gradually fused into a single entity, rife with rules and regulations, whose ultimate purpose is the extraction of wealth in the form of profits.

David will consider what it would take, in terms of intellectual clarity, political will and imaginative power – to conceive and build a flourishing and fair future economy, which would maximise the scope for individual and collective creativity, and would be sustainable and just."
democracy  liberalism  directdemocracy  borders  us  finance  globalization  bureaucracy  2015  ows  occupywallstreet  governance  government  economics  politics  policy  unschooling  unlearning  schooliness  technology  paperwork  future  utopianism  capitalism  constitution  rules  regulation  wealth  power  communism  authority  authoritarianism  creativity  neoliberalism  austerity  justice  socialjustice  society  ideology  inequality  revolution  global  international  history  law  legal  debt  freedom  money  monetarypolicy  worldbank  imf  markets  banks  banking  certification  credentials  lobbying  collusion  corruption  privatization  credentialization  deschooling  canon  firstamendment 
january 2019 by robertogreco
'The connection between education and democracy should be clear'
"Simon Creasey meets the academic calling for teachers to revolt against the ‘pedagogy of oppression’ and demand due payment for their overlooked role in underpinning democracy

Henry Giroux wants teachers to mobilise. He wants them to rise up and launch a revolutionary movement in order to eradicate what he calls a “pedagogy of oppression” that has permeated the education system, both in the UK and in his native US. Teachers and teachers’ unions should work with parents to pressure governments to focus education on creating “informed citizens”, he says, not learning-by-rote simply to get students to pass their exams and become workforce-ready.

This is a push for change that Giroux has been working on for some time. He currently holds the McMaster University chair for scholarship in the public interest, in Ontario, Canada. But he has been an education academic for decades and penned numerous books. He’s insistent on this course of action because “you cannot have a democracy without an informed citizenry”.

“We live in a culture that thrives on ignorance, refuses to invest in education, flees from the obligations of shared citizenship and ignores what it means to provide a decent life for everyone, especially children,” says Giroux.

“[In this environment,] politics degenerates into a pathology and education is reduced to a form of training.”

'We need to have a dialogue'
To emphasise his point, he cites the election of Donald Trump – a president who is on record claiming that he “loves the poorly educated”.

“[Trump’s election win] is not just about a crisis of politics; it’s about the crisis of education, it’s about the crisis of civic literacy,” he says. So, how do teachers contribute to putting this right?

As a starting point, he thinks a discussion needs to be had about the true purpose of education. “We need to have a dialogue about what teachers can do to, in a sense, ensure that education is viewed as a public good and that it is tied to a democratic project that would be used to prepare students to be engaged, critical and informed citizens,” Giroux says. “We’ve got to ditch this notion that the only purpose of education is basically to educate people for the workforce or that the most important aspect of education is learning 25 different ways to teach. That’s just silly, it’s reductionistic and it turns teachers into automatons.

“This type of educational reform is really about deskilling teachers and turning education into an adjunct of the corporate workplace. It kills any notion of the imagination, and what we usually end up with is people teaching for the test. We end up with people basically implementing what I call ‘pedagogies of oppression’.”

Giroux explains that a pedagogy of oppression is one that essentially “assaults” a student’s imagination. “It often emphasises memorisation; it places a strong emphasis on harsh forms of discipline; it can result in enormously unproductive and poisonous forms of racism; it usually teaches for the test,” he says. “It embraces standardisation as a measure of knowledge and it does everything it can to basically shut down any sense of curiosity and any sense of teaching students – and teachers for that matter – what it means to exercise a degree of civic courage, to take risks, to doubt, to in some way be critically conscious of the world, to explore the full capacity of their imagination, and to open the world and themselves in a way in which they can embrace and expand their capacity to be real social-political agents.”

Giroux believes that we should educate educators in a way that enables them to fulfil the “civic purpose” of education.

“I think that increasingly gets lost in the commercialisation, the corporatisation, the commodification and the standardisation of education,” he says. “These are forces that have been highly influenced by a corporate state that doesn’t really recognise the relationship – and doesn’t want to recognise the relationship – between education and democracy, and I think teachers need to seize upon and develop a new language for understanding the purpose of education.”

Giroux identifies another issue: the things that children are being taught in schools typically bear no relation to the world in which they live – a world that is heavily influenced by social media, popular culture and mainstream media.

“To me, this is tragic because when that happens, schools often translate into dead zones of education and spaces of abandonment,” he argues. “They become places that seem irrelevant to young people. They seem to have no meaning except for an elite who need the credentials to get into Oxford, Cambridge, Yale or Harvard.”

He is similarly depressed by what he perceives to be a “deskilling” of teachers that has been brought about by the “audit culture” that pervades the education system in the US and UK. Educators, he believes, should push against or ignore it.

“Teachers can’t just close their door and say ‘I’m going to do everything I can to avoid this’,” says Giroux. “They need to organise collectively. They need to bring the power of a collective teacher’s union, and the power of working with parents and young people, to begin to put pressure on governments because in the final analysis what is at stake here is changing policy. That is, changing policies that are oppressive and endlessly put into play.”

‘Great social movement’

What is important, he says, it that such a reaction is not politically aligned. Giroux explains that “the notion of creating informed and critical students cuts across ideological lines” and that it “should be attractive to anyone who believes that schooling is crucial to creating informed citizens”.

To do this, teachers need to have a clear idea of their larger role in society and this role needs to be self-defined. “Teachers have to become part of a great social movement in which they define themselves as a public resource,” says Giroux.

He argues that, as part of this movement, teachers should fight for policies that advocate more funding for education, more autonomy for teachers and higher pay.

“Teachers should be paid like doctors and they should be professionalised in ways that suggest they are a valued part of any society, which is what they are,” says Giroux. “Schools matter in a democracy and teachers should be one of the most valued groups of people that we have in our society, yet at the same time they are the most belittled, the most dehumanised and the most exploited among professionals – and I think that’s because we have no faith in democracy.

“We can’t seem to make the connection between teaching, education and democracy, and I think that teachers need to make that connection and they need to make it loud and clear. They need to talk about public schools and higher education as democratic public spheres and they need to make clear that what they do is absolutely vital to the nature of society itself – and they need to fight for it.”

Picking sides

Although he concedes that he is “utterly pessimistic” about the changes that have taken place to the education system in the US since the 1980s – the public schools sector in particular – he is quietly optimistic about the future. “I think we’ve reached a breaking point where many people are refusing to accept what we call the ‘school to prison’ pipeline,” says Giroux.

“They’re refusing to accept the racism that goes on in schools with kids being expelled and thrown out of schools, and we have also seen this huge revolt in the US against teaching for the test. More and more people are now realising that education is one of the few protected spaces and battlefronts left over which we can defend any notion of a liberal education. An education that is engaged in creating critical citizens and furthering the parameters of a democratic society.”

Regardless of whether this change is happening as quickly as Giroux feels it must, he is clear that we are at a point where teachers need to pick sides.

“Democracy is in crisis around the world and to address that crisis, education needs to be reclaimed as a moral and political project willing to address the future with a degree of civic courage and educated hope,” he says. “In this case, the struggle to reclaim the democratic function of education is not an option, it is a necessity.”"
simoncreasey  henrygiroux  children  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  teachers  teaching  democracy  oppression  pedagogy  civics  politics  pathology  education  standardization  racism  race  rote  rotelearning  learning  corporatism  memorization  resistance  socialmedia  popularculture  society  elitism  credentials  us  uk  policy  autonomy  unions  organization  2018  sfsh 
february 2018 by robertogreco
The Slow Professor movement: reclaiming the intellectual life of the university - Home | The Sunday Edition | CBC Radio
"You have heard of the slow food movement...now, there's a "slow professor" movement.

Two university professors say they feel time-crunched, exhausted and demoralised. They say they are being asked to be more efficient at the expense of more thoughtful teaching.
"Really, we're being encouraged to stay away from the really big questions because they're going to take too long to think through. You want to pump out as much stuff as quickly as you can. That's going to have a consequence for how thoughtful things are." — Barbara K. Seeber

Maggie Berg, a professor of English at Queen's University, and Barbara K. Seeber, a professor of English at Brock University, are co-authors of The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy.

Berg and Seeger argue universities squeeze as much intellectual capital out of professors as possible, and closely monitor the output of their mental exertions.

They spoke to Michael about their book and their mission to "reclaim the intellectual life of the university.""

[Update: See also: "We need a “slow food” movement for higher education"
https://qz.com/947480/we-need-a-slow-food-movement-for-higher-education/ ]
slow  highereducation  highered  education  academia  reflection  2017  barbaraseeber  maggieberg  deliberation  slowprofessor  productivity  standardization  speed  homogeneity  slowfood  knowledgeproduction  universities  corporatism  corporatization  competition  economics  fastknowledge  research  adminstrativebloat  teaching  howweteach  wisdom  faculty  howwelearn  friendship  benjaminginsberg  management  power  labor  work  casualization  adjuncts  busyness  time  anxiety  stress  davidposen  credentials  credentialization  joy  beauty  transferableskills 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society Schools are...
"Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society
Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets.

Intense book to add to the unschooling shelf. Published in 1972, probably still as radical now as it was then, as many of the “symptoms” of the schooled society he describes have only gotten worse. Some of the big ones, below:

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe you need the society as it is.”
The pupil is… “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work.

“School is an institution built on axiom that learning is the result of teaching.”
Teaching, it is true, may contribute to certain kinds of learning under certain circumstances. But most people acquire most of their knowledge outside school… Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting.

Most learning happens outside of the classroom.
Most learning happens casually, and even most intentional learning is not the result of programmed instruction. Normal children learn their first language casually, although faster if their parents pay attention to them. Most people who learn a second language well do so as a result of odd circumstances and not of sequential teaching. They go to live with their grandparents, they travel, or they fall in love with a foreigner. Fluency in reading is also more often than not a result of such extracurricular activities. Most people who read widely, and with pleasure, merely believe that they learned to do so in school; when challenged, they easily discard this illusion.

“The public is indoctrinated to believe that skills are valuable and reliable only if they are the result of formal schooling.”
School teaches us that instruction produces learning. The existence of schools produces the demand for schooling. Once we have learned to need school, all our activities tend to take the shape of client relationships to other specialized institutions. Once the self-taught man or woman has been discredited, all nonprofessional activity is rendered suspect. In school we are taught that valuable learning is the result of attendance; that the value of learning increases with the amount of input; and, finally, that this value can be measured and documented by grades and certificates.

“School initiates young people into a world where everything can be measured, including their imaginations, and, indeed, man himself…”
People who submit to the standard of others for the measure of their own personal growth soon apply the same ruler to themselves. They no longer have to be put in their place, but put themselves into their assigned slots, squeeze themselves into the niche which they have been taught to seek, and, in the very process, put their fellows into their places, too, until everybody and everything fits. People who have been schooled down to size let unmeasured experience slip out of their hands. To them, what cannot be measured becomes secondary, threatening. They do not have to be robbed of their creativity."
austinkleon  ivanillich  deschooling  unschooling  learning  schools  society  deschoolingsociety  life  living  self-directed  self-directedlearning  schooliness  fluency  reading  howwelearn  howweteach  education  sfsh  lcproject  openstudioproject  children  professionalization  ratings  rankings  grading  hierarchy  credentials  dependency  autoritarianism  freedom  autonomy  institutions  institutionalization  foreignlanguages  talking  specialization  personalgrowth  experience  experientiallearning 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Everything To Like About Kevin Carey’s #EndofCollege And Reasons to Pause — The Message — Medium
"If “The End of College” gives a little love to jobs, it does not give much love inequality. There isn’t a single discussion of any of higher education’s well-documentated fault lines in the entire book. That ommission undermines the arguments chosen to advance the major claim of what technology can do. Take for instance, Carey’s framing of higher education’s skyrocketing cost. He talks about high student loan debt and tuition. But debt and cost are relative. Despite impressive sounding aggregrate numbers about student loan debt the most vulnerable students are struggling with objectively small debt burdens. Making college cheaper by cutting out the expensive campus real estate arms race does not address the fact that cheap is not an absolute value. That is why race, class, gender, and citizenship status are ways to understand how much college costs: they map onto the relative nature of debt. If you don’t talk about why skyrocketing tuition is relative then you aren’t really talking about skyrocketing tuition. And if your argument is built on the claim that it counters skyrocketing tuition, then the slightest tug of the thread unravels the whole thing.

Let’s take another example of how the “End of College” argument talks about jobs. For Carey, the key to changing higher education is employers seeing online degrees as “official”. Becoming official could, indeed, change the game. We call it legitimacy and it is hard to earn, hard to keep but worth trying because legitimacy can turn a piece of paper into currency. If Mozilla badges become the preferred degree for jobs, we may be talking about a big deal. But, again, the challenge is not about quality of teaching or the skills people learn at online colleges. Colleges aren’t even the problem for online degrees’ quest to become official. The problem is that easy access to skills training is precisely what employers do not want. A labor market of all creeds and colors and cultures with objective skills is actually a nightmare for employers. Employers benefit when they can hire for fit and disguise it as skill. If the private sector were interested in skills over racism, sexism, and classism, it need not end college to end wage disparities. Employers could start by ending inequalities among the people they already employ. They don’t because politics makes it so they don’t have to. Carey overstates the private sector’s interest in skills and understates its interest in hiring for who we are as much as for what we know."



"The argument is well aware that political priorities and coalitions produce higher education crises. But what are those politics? The book never says. Of course, other books do say but there aren’t many references of them. A reader who picks up just this one book is going to know a lot more about technology and very little about the politics of how we live with technology.

Just once I would like a technological disruption to be tuned for the most fragile institutions, rather than the most well-heeled. Carey seems to aim for just that. Less well-funded colleges, especially those without the prestige to justify their tuition are squarely in Carey’s sights. The argument is that these schools cannot compete for the best; subsidizing them is throwing good money after bad; and, individuals are better left to their own devices. But even Carey’s choice of George Washington University does not represent the typical college in the U.S. or the diversity of colleges. There is no treatment of historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving colleges, or for-profit colleges. They are in the status competition race, too, with different stakes and different traditions with different importance for different reasons than Harvard or even George Washington University. The institutions, like the students they serve, just disappear in the future. The book is about the end of college but Carey’s higher education future only describes the end of some colleges.

All of that is also fine. Really, it is. Imagined futures can be useful thought experiments, although I admit a preference for those that do not erase people who look like me. But I’m selfish that way.

Thought experiments can be fun and edifying and useful abstractions. I like that about the tech sector’s approach to problem-solving. But in reality, these arguments can also suck the air out of the room precisely when we must make hard, political choices."
tressiemcmillancottom  education  highered  highereducation  2015  kevincarey  disruption  technology  class  inequality  race  politics  policy  meritocracy  future  endofcollege  forprofit  jobs  employment  legitimacy  badges  mozilla  credentials  debt  gender  tuition 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Open Badge Opticks : The prismatic value of badges | Persona
"During a recent Twitter foray, I jumped into an ongoing conversation about where education is headed and the role that badges might play in where education is headed. The discussion stemmed from Kevin Carey‘s insightful and provocative NYTimes article, “Here’s What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen As Official” (based on an excerpt from The End of College.) During that Twitter exchange, Anya Kamenetz (who has recently written The Test) was commenting on Carey’s book and mentioned that she felt that badges have been operating in—and will continue to operate in—perpetual beta. When I asked her why she felt this to be true, she tweeted, “I don’t see the value.” I tweeted back saying that badge value was prismatic. This post is an exploration of that position.

Traveling around the world over the last four years, introducing people to open badges and helping them to understand their possible and actual uses, I’ve had quite a bit of time to listen to questions about badge value. Followers of my blog know that I’ve written about value before here and here, and no doubt will again, but as for my thoughts on that subject right now, in Q1 2015, here’s where I am.

Value can mean so many things to so many people. Of course a generic dictionary definition exists but what does value mean in action? Exactly where does value lie? Just so we’re all on the same page here, here’s my view: value is a thing’s capacity to be perceived and interpreted as having some resonant meaning that translates into a degree of assumed importance. Still, that’s pretty fuzzy, right? That definition is somewhat academic and perhaps still difficult to apply. So let’s take this thing apart to see where the values (plural!) of badges reside.

My primary assertion: badge value is prismatic.
We can’t talk about badge value without talking about a badge’s audience because that’s where the possibility of value is first perceived and then created. Maybe wherever we see the word “value” we can just pop in the word “audience” right before it. That will help to remind us that value is derived by audience interpretation and therefore it is always contextual and situated.

Now, let’s make like Isaac Newton and compose an Open Badge Opticks so as to identify and demarcate the spectral components of badge value.

1. Personal value
First, and I would suggest foremost, badge value is initiated by the earner. This value, the one most often dismissed by critics, is perhaps the most important value of all. Badges represent skills, competencies, activities, and achievements but they also represent the person who has earned them. If by earning a badge, an individual gains greater insight into themselves and their abilities, then the value of the badge is extremely high. This consideration turns traditional learning / achievement on its head because it recognizes that the process of earning a badge can be construed as an intrinsically rewarding effort. So, one form of value is entirely dependent upon the perception of the earner.

2. Institutional value
Institutions that go to the trouble of issuing badges are betting that their badges have value. Another way to think of this type of value is as intended value. Indeed, badge issuing organizations seek to impart their values through their badges. It takes a commitment of time, money, and resources to develop and issue a badge, even more to develop a badge system, so issuing a badge that carries no institutional value is an exercise in waste. The vast majority of the badges currently in circulation have been designed to impart values representative of the issuing organizations.

3. Social value
The social value of a badge is complex. There are a number of ways that badges contain and contribute to social value, including: academic value; professional value; cultural value; and group value. I could probably write a few long paragraphs about each of these types of value but in the interests of brevity and because you’re smart, try thinking through those on your own. I will note, however, that somewhat perversely, the group value of badges appears to be the most under-appreciated of all of the possible values. Considering that society is predicated on the concept of in-groupness and out-groupness, this under-appreciation always strikes me as odd. Badges are indicators of community and consequently carry the values that are related to the communities in which they circulate.

4. Consumer value
We might consider the consumer value the strongest representation of exchange value for open badges. Consumer value might also be thought of as market value. We might ask ourselves, in what way does a badge, or a series of badges, enter the marketplace of conceptual exchange? Is it the same way that we understand the value of a service or good? In the past I have referred to badges as having different levels of currency: some badges might be considered the equivalent of a silver while other badges might attain the lofty levels of high-value paper currency. We’ve long argued that a freely operating badge marketplace will define consumer values over the long haul.

5. Generic value
Generic value is rooted in the desire for a standard exchange rate. Because of that it is the trickiest value of all to imagine and to calculate: within a shifting marketplace where exchange rates vary over time, it’s a challenge to define a firm basic unit of value. This is not unusual: our own monetary system is in constant flux—and our socially constructed understandings of degrees and certificates are as well. A BS from one college is not always equivalent to a BS from another college. Nonetheless, the public perception of badges and their value ultimately will be equated as a generic or system wide value.

Conclusion: a spectrum of value
So here are 5+ areas supporting the idea of prismatic representation of badge value. I sincerely hope that you can now feel comfortable in saying that badges have different perceptual values across their many audiences.

One last note, though, related to my first assertion. Here is its corollary: just as light has a spectrum that includes both visible and invisible properties, so does badge value. More on this in a future post addressing emergent value in and across badge systems."
badges  education  learning  carlacasilli  value  social  credentials  assessment  evaluation 
march 2015 by robertogreco
The Value Problem in Digital Badging | Technology and Learning @insidehighered
"Badging in higher ed is one of those topics where my understanding falls short of my curiosity. It is for this reason that I asked my colleagues Mike Goudzwaard and Michael Evans if they would be willing to write a guest post on some of the issues around badging that our IHE community should be discussing. Mike G. is an Instructional Designer and Michael E. is a Neukom Fellow in the Neukom Institute for Computational Science, and together they are leading the discussion of digital badging our institution. Here is their guest post:

Digital badges are gaining traction in higher education. A learner might earn one badge in a traditional university classroom, another for participating in a MOOC, and yet another from a professional organization for completing a training course.

But now what?

In theory, badging empowers learners to self-direct their lifelong learning by combining badges from different sources and exchanging them for more advanced badges, credentials, certifications, or degrees.

In practice, this rarely happens. Most of the effort in badge ecosystems involves issuing and collecting, and most of the issuing happens within institutions like universities, museums, and professional organizations. The current situation is that digital badges are relatively easy to collect and display, but relatively difficult to assess and exchange, especially across different organizations and institutions.

The core problem is what we call the "value problem" in badging. Which badges are valuable? Who recognizes and accepts them in exchange for more advanced badges, credentials, certifications, or degrees? What badges will actually help you progress toward lifelong learning goals? How can one organization determine the value of a badge issued by a different organization?

The typical response to the value problem is that badges, unlike grades or other traditional credentials, carry metadata that links to evidence of the underlying accomplishments and skills. You can value a badge by looking at the attached evidence.

Badges do carry evidence. But in practical terms, evidence takes time to assess, and time does not scale. Few evaluators, whether they are employers making a decision about accepting a credential, organizations making a decision about issuing a more advanced certification, or learners seeking to find the right path to advance their learning goals, will be able to spend additional time on badge assessment without significant extra cost.

Evaluators need a better, faster way to value digital badges. Until this value problem is solved, the potential for digital badging in higher education will be limited.

To address the value problem, we recently started a project called Open Badge Exchange designed to provide a public, distributed, and shared badge transaction ledger. When badges are successfully exchanged for other badges or digital credentials, a transaction record is written to the shared ledger. Anyone can look up successful transactions for a given badge in the shared ledger, drastically reducing the evaluation time required for digital badges that have previously been exchanged.

Say, for example, that a university accepts a badge in partial exchange for a certification credential. Learners seeking that certification credential can see the successful transaction and choose to pursue the badge that is consistent with their learning goals. Likewise, peer institutions can see the successful transaction and choose to accept the badge into their own credential program with confidence that it has value.

Making transactions visible also creates entrepreneurial opportunities in the assessment of badges. The recent explosion of MOOCs, the rising cost of traditional degrees, and the need to build skills in a rapidly changing workplace challenges universities to "unbundle" the degree into agile learning experiences. But bite-sized learning on its own lacks the narrative of a traditional degree program. Opportunities exist for a trusted institution to bundle and credential a learner-driven, synthesized narrative of lifelong learning achievements. (See, for example, the "credentials for your career" offered by Deakin University sponsored startup DeakinDigital.

Digital badges can empower lifelong learners, but they are most powerful when they connect learning opportunities to valued recognition. Open Badge Exchange seeks to address the value problem by opening up the badge economy, connecting learning opportunities to the assessment of digital badges, and supporting issuing of credentials based on actual exchanges. Whatever the ultimate solution looks like, solving the value problem requires connecting the learners and institutions that give digital badges their value, allowing all participants to collaborate based on real-world information.

What do you think about the idea of Open Badge Exchange?

How is your institution addressing the value problem in digital badging?

Would you participate in Open Badge Exchange?

What do you think is the right way to value digital badges?

How might badge value rankings help learners to set and achieve their learning goals?"
education  badges  learning  highered  highereducation  2015  joshuakim  mikegoudzwaard  michaelevans  credentials  assessment  scale  evaluation  howwelearn  valueproblem  openbadgeexchange  digital 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Why the Landline Telephone Was the Perfect Tool - Suzanne Fischer - The Atlantic
"Illich's achievement was a reframing of human relationships to systems and society, in everyday, accessible language. He advocated for the reintegration of community decisionmaking and personal autonomy into all the systems that had become oppressive: school, work, law, religion, technology, medicine, economics. His ideas were influential for 1970s technologists and the appropriate technology movement -- can they be useful today?

In 1971, Illich published what is still his most famous book, Deschooling Society. He argued that the commodification and specialization of learning had created a harmful education system that had become an end in itself. In other words, "the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school." For Illich, language often pointed to how toxic ideas had poisoned the ways we relate to each other. "I want to learn," he said, had been transmuted by industrial capitalism into "I want to get an education," transforming a basic human need for learning into something transactional and coercive. He proposed a restructuring of schooling, replacing the manipulative system of qualifications with self-determined, community-supported, hands-on learning. One of his suggestions was for "learning webs," where a computer could help match up learners and those who had knowledge to share. This skillshare model was popular in many radical communities.

With Tools for Conviviality (1973), Illich extended his analysis of education to a broader critique of the technologies of Western capitalism. The major inflection point in the history of technology, he asserts, is when, in the life of each tool or system, the means overtake the ends. "Tools can rule men sooner than they expect; the plow makes man the lord of the garden but also the refugee from the dust bowl." Often this effect is accompanied by the rise in power of a managerial class of experts; Illich saw technocracy as a step toward fascism. Tools for Conviviality points out the ways in which a helpful tool can evolve into a destructive one, and offers suggestions for how communities can escape the trap.

So what makes a tool "convivial?" For Illich, "tools foster conviviality to the extent to which they can be easily used, by anybody, as often or as seldom as desired, for the accomplishment of a purpose chosen by the user." That is, convivial technologies are accessible, flexible, and noncoercive. Many tools are neutral, but some promote conviviality and some choke it off. Hand tools, for Illich, are neutral. Illich offers the telephone as an example of a tool that is "structurally convivial" (remember, this is in the days of the ubiquitous public pay phone): anyone who can afford a coin can use it to say whatever they want. "The telephone lets anybody say what he wants to the person of his choice; he can conduct business, express love, or pick a quarrel. It is impossible for bureaucrats to define what people say to each other on the phone, even though they can interfere with -- or protect -- the privacy of their exchange."

A "manipulatory" tool, on the other hand, blocks off other choices. The automobile and the highway system it spawned are, for Illich, prime examples of this process. Licensure systems that devalue people who have not received them, such as compulsory schooling, are another example. But these kinds of tools, that is, large-scale industrial production, would not be prohibited in a convivial society. "What is fundamental to a convivial society is not the total absence of manipulative institutions and addictive goods and services, but the balance between those tools which create the specific demands they are specialized to satisfy and those complementary, enabling tools which foster self-realization."

To foster convivial tools, Illich proposes a program of research with "two major tasks: to provide guidelines for detecting the incipient stages of murderous logic in a tool; and to devise tools and tool systems that optimize the balance of life, thereby maximizing liberty for all." He also suggests that pioneers of a convivial society work through the legal and political systems and reclaim them for justice. Change is possible, Illich argues. There are decision points. We cannot abdicate our right to self-determination, and to decide how far is far enough. "The crisis I have described," says Illich, "confronts people with a choice between convivial tools and being crushed by machines."

Illich's ideas on technology, like his ideas on schooling, were influential among those who spent the 1970s thinking that we might be on the cusp of another world. Some of those utopians included early computer innovators, who saw the culture of sharing, self-determination, and DIY that they lived as something that should be baked into tools.

Computing pioneer Lee Felsenstein has spoken about the direct influence Tools for Conviviality on his work. For him, Illich's description of radio as a convivial tool in Central America was a model for computer development: "The technology itself was sufficiently inviting and accessible to them that it catalyzed their inherent tendencies to learn. In other words, if you tried to mess around with it, it didn't just burn out right away. The tube might overheat, but it would survive and give you some warning that you had done something wrong. The possible set of interactions, between the person who was trying to discover the secrets of the technology and the technology itself, was quite different from the standard industrial interactive model, which could be summed up as 'If you do the wrong thing, this will break, and God help you.' ... And this showed me the direction to go in. You could do the same thing with computers as far as I was concerned." Felsenstein described the first meeting of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club, where 30 or so people tried to understand the Altair together, as "the moment at which the personal computer became a convivial technology."

In 1978, Valentina Borremans of CIDOC prepared a Reference Guide to Convivial Tools. This guide to resources listed many of the new ideas in 1970s appropriate technology -- food self-sufficiency, earth-friendly home construction, new energy sources. But our contemporary convivial tools are mostly in the realm of communications. At their best, personal computers, the web, mobile technology, the open source movement, and the maker movement are contemporary convivial tools. What other convivial technologies do we use today? What tools do we need to make more convivial? Ivan Illich would exhort us to think carefully about the tools we use and what kind of world they are making."
ivanillich  2012  suzannefischer  technology  technogracy  conviviality  unschooling  deschoooling  education  philosophy  history  society  valentinaborremans  leefelsenstein  telephone  landlines  radio  self-determination  diy  grassroots  democracy  computing  computers  internet  web  tools  justice  flexibility  coercion  schools  schooling  openstudioproject  lcproject  learningwebs  credentials  credentialism  learning  howwelearn  commodification  business  capitalism  toolsforconviviality 
july 2014 by robertogreco
William James - The PhD Octopus
"America is thus a nation rapidly drifting towards a state of things in which no man of science or letters will be accounted respectable unless some kind of badge or diploma is stamped upon him, and in which bare personality will be a mark of outcast estate. It seems to me high time to rouse ourselves to consciousness, and to cast a critical eye upon this decidedly grotesque tendency. Other nations suffer terribly from the Mandarin disease. Are we doomed to suffer like the rest?

Our higher degrees were instituted for the laudable purpose of stimulating scholarship, especially in the form of "original research." Experience has proved that great as the love of truth may be among men, it can be made still greater by adventitious rewards. The winning of a diploma certifying mastery and marking a barrier successfully passed, acts as a challenge to the ambitious; and if the diploma will help to gain bread-winning positions also, its power as a stimulus to work is tremendously increased. So far, we are on innocent ground; it is well for a country to have research in abundance, and our graduate schools do but apply a normal psychological spur. But the institutionizing on a large scale of any natural combination of need and motive always tends to run into technicality and to develop a tyrannical Machine with unforeseen powers of exclusion and corruption. Observation of the workings of our Harvard system for twenty years past has brought some of these drawbacks home to my consciousness, and I should like to call the attention of my readers to this disadvantageous aspect of the picture, and to make a couple of remedial suggestions, if I may.

In the first place, it would seem that to stimulate study, and to increase the gelehrtes Publikum, the class of highly educated men in our country, is the only positive good, and consequently the sole direct end at which our graduate schools, with their diploma-giving powers, should aim. If other results have developed they should be deemed secondary incidents, and if not desirable in themselves, they should be carefully guarded against.

To interfere with the free development of talent, to obstruct the natural play of supply and demand in the teaching profession, to foster academic snobbery by the prestige of certain privileged institutions, to transfer accredited value from essential manhood to an outward badge, to blight hopes and promote invidious sentiments, to divert the attention of aspiring youth from direct dealings with truth to the passing of examinations,--such consequences, if they exist, ought surely to be regarded as drawbacks to the system, and an enlightened public consciousness ought to be keenly alive to the importance of reducing their amount. Candidates themselves do seem to be keenly conscious of some of these evils, but outside of their ranks or in the general public no such consciousness, so far as I can see, exists; or if it does exist, it fails to express itself aloud. Schools, Colleges, and Universities, appear enthusiastic over the entire system, just as it stands, and unanimously applaud all its developments."

[via: http://submittedforyourperusal.com/2013/12/03/badges/ ]
williamjames  badges  credentials  credentialization  1903  snobbery  teaching  education  diplomas  highered  highereducation  institutions  institutionalization  exclusion  corruption 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Let's face it. Americans suck at Bureaucracy. | HomeFree AmericaHomeFree America
"We Americans don’t like the idea of making rules to solve every possible problem. If there are too many rules, it chafes our spirit.

We’d rather use our own judgement to make our own decisions and allow others to do the same. Rules in that context are minimal safeguards against egregious behavior, instead of a way to protect against every possible bad decision people may make.

We simply don’t want all of our decisions handed to us, because in most cases, we can do a better job than the bureaucrat or politician that made them. We do this also because we know that when rules replace individual decision making, people end up without the judgement necessary to make good decisions on their own. They become malformed adults, unable to act unless someone tells them what to do or authorizes them to do it.

We don’t like using rules to solve all of our problems because they lock in the present, when we are focused on the future. We don’t like rules because they stop change when we are on a path of constant improvement. We don’t like rules because they assume a pessimism about the future we don’t share.

Of course, attitudes regarding rules are different in other places. There are lots of other countries that actually excel at rulemaking and bureaucracy. The Germans, for example, make rules for their rules. The Chinese invented the bureaucracy that makes and enforces rules. In fact, these countries are so good at making and enforcing rules, they routinely use it to gain economic advantage in the global marketplace.

So, if that’s the case, why are we running most of our economy based on the false assumption that we actually like bureaucratic rules? Why are we investing so much of our time and effort building and paying for the HUGE government and corporate bureaucracies we suck at?

Inertia. Most of the bureaucracy we see today in America is a legacy of the wars of the 20th Century. Bureaucracies got big during the 20th Century because they are so amazingly good at mobilizing a country’s economy for massive destruction of total war they destroyed all of their competition. As a result of this efficacy in waging total war, our bureaucracy grew almost non-stop across the entire 20th century.

However, with the end of the cold war, the need for bureaucracy as a means of waging war faded too. In fact, in today’s world fewer people dying from war than across all of history. We simply aren’t required, out of a need for self-preservation, to have a big bureaucracy in standby mode for the destruction of the world.

This means that bureaucracy is once again, an economic choice: does it help a country become more prosperous or not?

In the case of the United States, that answer should be pretty clear. We aren’t better off with an overarching focus on bureaucracy and the excessive rule-making that goes with it. We aren’t better off with 20 million people in college chasing a credential instead of an education. We aren’t better off with entire segments of the economy, as is the case with healthcare and education, protected from improvement by bureaucratic rules that lock in what we have today.

We should just admit that we suck at bureaucracy and the rules that go with it and try something better.

How? We need an economic focus that plays to what Americans are better at doing than everyone else: creating the future.

Sincerely,
John Robb

PS: The extreme carnage of WW1 came as a complete surprise to the Europeans because their new bureaucracies were so unexpectedly good at waging total war."
2014  johnrobb  bureaucracy  us  germany  rules  rulemaking  judgement  politics  policy  china  inertia  economics  war  change  adaptability  credentials  credentialism 
may 2014 by robertogreco
College is a promise the economy does not keep - Opinion - Al Jazeera English
"Purchasing credentials

College does not guarantee a job. It is debatable whether college - in a time of defunded and eliminated programmes, rampant grade inflation, and limited student-professor interaction - offers much of an education, at least one for which it is worth taking on significant debt. So why go?

People go to college because not going to college carries a penalty. College is a purchased loyalty oath to an imagined employer. College shows you are serious enough about your life to risk ruining it early on. College is a promise the economy does not keep - but not going to college promises you will struggle to survive.

In an entrenched meritocracy, those who cannot purchase credentials are not only ineligible for most middle-class jobs, but are informed that their plight is the result of poor "choices". This ignores that the "choice" of college usually requires walking the road of financial ruin to get the reward - a reward of employment that, in this economy, is illusory.

Credentalism is economic discrimination disguised as opportunity. Over the past 40 years, professions that never required a college degree began demanding it.

"The United States has become the most rigidly credentialised society in the world," write James Engell and Anthony Dangerfield in their 2005 book Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money. "A BA is required for jobs that by no stretch of imagination need two years of full-time training, let alone four."

The promotion of college as a requirement for a middle-class life in an era of shrinking middle-class jobs has resulted in an increase in workers whose jobs do not require the degree - 15 percent of taxi cab drivers, 18 percent of firefighters. More perniciously, it has resulted in the exclusion of the non-college educated from professions of public influence. In 1971, 58 percent of journalists had a college degree. Today 92 percent do, and at many publications, a graduate degree in journalism is required - despite the fact that most renowned journalists have never formally studied journalism.

Journalism is one of many fields of public influence - including politics - in which credentials function as de facto permission to speak, rendering those who lack them less likely to be employed and less able to afford to stay in their field. Ability is discounted without credentials, but the ability to purchase credentials rests, more often than not, on family wealth."
colleges  universities  highered  highereducation  2014  sarahkendzior  education  credentialism  credentials  meritocracy  economics  inequality  employment  work  labor  debt 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Why I didn’t go to grad school the second time. | Ordinary Times
""And then I experienced a moment of clarity. Within my head I heard a dialog with two distinct voices:

“What are you going to do after you finish your Ph.D? Do you want to teach?” said the calm voice.

“Maybe. I don’t know,” said the angry voice.

“Well what do you know you want to do after you get your doctorate?”

“After I get my doctorate I want to build a big boat.”

“Will getting your doctorate help you on your way to building your boat?”

“It might. If I get my Ph.D I might be able to sell more DVDs or a book and get more money.”

“Do you need to get more money to build your boat?”

“No.”

“Is there some reason you can’t start building your boat right now?”

“No.”

“Then why do you want to get a Ph.D?”

“Because I want to show them.”

“Show them what? What do you want to show them?”

“I want to show them that I’m right and they’re wrong.”

And just like that, I stopped think about going back to school and started thinking about what I needed to do to build my boat.

And then I built Mon Tiki.



Who are them? Who knows. My parents? Teachers? The bloggers who would delete my trenchant comments instead of responding to them? All of them? Does it matter? Probably not.

I don’t know what the good reasons are for going to grad school, but I’m pretty sure “to show them” isn’t one of them; not for me at least, not where I am in my life. There are more interesting and important things for me to do.

That doesn’t mean I’m completely over it.

My USCG Master Captain’s license and Mon Tiki’s CIO are only meaningful certifications I’ve ever received, and I’ve got to tell you, after a lifetime of being an uncredentialled outsider, it’s nice to be on the inside of something, to have a stamp from Authority that says “QUALIFIED”, and I still think it would be nice to get my creative work similarly endorsed.

In fact, just a few weeks ago I applied for an internship with a Brand Name media company. The pay was ridiculously low, less even than what I paid my unskilled laborers on Mon Tiki. But I wasn’t doing it for the money (which is not to say we couldn’t use the money. Building Mon Tiki has left us drained.) But more than the money, I thought it would be nice to have my writing appear under the aegis of a Brand Name media company. I thought would be nice, just for once, to be a part of an organization. I thought it would be nice, just for once, to not have to explain Who I Am as a preamble to what I think.

So just like when I thought I needed to wrap my films in a Ph.D, I asked some important people I know to sign on as references. And they did and wished me good luck. Affirmation!

And unlike the Ph.D thing, I didn’t bail. I went after the job full tilt, all in, do or die. Interview and everything.

And you know what happened?

They didn’t hire me.

They said that the spirit of the internship was educational, and that giving a 47 year-old man with an established career (albeit in another field) would be taking away from a younger person who could really use the break.

Whether that was a dodge because I wasn’t the best candidate, or their were concerns about my age, or it was the simple truth I don’t know. I have no reason to think it wasn’t, but whatever. That’s not the point.

The point, if I have one, is that if you’re considering going to grad school, or your considering writing for free, or your considering taking an internship at a Brand Name media company, or your considering building a big boat, you probably have more agency than you realize. You will probably do okay if your priorities doing what you want to do, if you can actually manage to figure out what that is. This might not be easy, but I think it’s easier than the other options."
education  davidryan  via:kio  learning  doing  glvo  edg  srg  gradschool  unschooling  deschooling  autodidacts  credentials  academia  making  2013  selfeducation 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Badges | Submitted For Your Perusal
“America is thus a nation rapidly drifting towards a state of things in which no man
of science or letters will be accounted respectable unless some kind of badge or
diploma is stamped upon him”

—William James, “The PhD Octopus” (1903)

[from: http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Pajares/octopus.html ]
badges  williamjames  mattthomas  1903  credentials  credentialism  diplomas  via:lukeneff 
december 2013 by robertogreco
"Life is going to present to you a series of... - Noteworthy and Not
"Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come. But today, the point of education is not education. It’s accreditation. The more accreditation you have, the more money you make. That’s the instrumental logic of neoliberalism. And this instrumental logic comes wrapped in an envelope of fear. And my Ivy League, my MIT students are the same. All I feel coming off of my students is fear. That if you slip up in school, if you get one bad grade, if you make one fucking mistake, the great train of wealth will leave you behind. And that’s the logic of accreditation. If you’re at Yale, you’re in the smartest 1% in the world. […] And the brightest students in the world are learning in fear. I feel it rolling off of you in waves. But you can’t learn when you’re afraid. You cannot be transformed when you are afraid."

—Junot Díaz, speaking at Yale
junotdíaz  education  accreditation  credentials  credentialism  2013  neoliberalism  efar  risktaking  risk  learning  transformation  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness 
november 2013 by robertogreco
n+1: Death by Degrees
"eggheads make sensible targets. Over the last thirty years, the university has replaced the labor union as the most important institution, after the corporation, in American political and economic life. As union jobs have disappeared, participation in the labor force, the political system, and cultural affairs is increasingly regulated by professional guilds that require their members to spend the best years of life paying exorbitant tolls and kissing patrician rings. Whatever modest benefits accreditation offers in signaling attainment of skills, as a ranking mechanism it’s zero-sum: the result is to enrich the accreditors and to discredit those who lack equivalent credentials.

Jean Baudrillard once suggested an important correction to classical Marxism: exchange value is not, as Marx had it, a distortion of a commodity’s underlying use value; use value, instead, is a fiction created by exchange value. In the same way, systems of accreditation do not assess merit; merit is a fiction created by systems of accreditation [...]

Not all the demons identified by the Tea Party have been phantoms. We on our side are right to reject rule by the 1 percent — and so are they right to reject rule by a credentialed elite. Introductory economics courses paint “rent-seekers” as gruesome creatures who amass monopoly privileges; credential-seekers, who sterilize the intellect by pouring time and money into the accumulation of permits, belong in the same circle of hell.

Americans have been affluent enough for long enough that it’s difficult to remember there was once a time when solidarity trumped the compulsion to rank. The inclusive vision that once drove the labor movement has given way to a guild mentality, at times also among unions, that is smug and parochial. To narrow the widening chasm between insiders and outsiders, we must push on both ends. Dignity must be restored to labor, and power and ecumenicism to labor unions. On the other side the reverse must happen: dignity must be drained from the credential. Otherwise, the accreditation arms race will become more fearsome. Yesterday’s medals will become tomorrow’s baubles, and the prizes that remain precious will be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands [...]

Che Guevara once declared that the duty of intellectuals was to commit suicide as a class; a more modest suggestion along the same lines is for the credentialed to join the uncredentialed in shredding the diplomas that paper over the undemocratic infrastructure of American life. A master’s degree, we might find, burns brighter than a draft card."
academia  education  hierarchy  elite  2012  teaparty  highered  highereducation  credentials  baudrillard  karlmarx  usevalue  exchangevalue  value  accreditation  solidarity  labor  cheguevara  via:Taryn 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Mark Twain And Grant's Memoirs - Ta-Nehisi Coates - National - The Atlantic
"…beautiful thing about writing is it has no real respect for credentialism. You can get various degrees in writing. (…my initial plan was to get MFA.) But a degree can't make you a writer in the way that JD can make you a lawyer.

Great writing comes from all classes people…all kinds of experience. Edith Wharton was raised rich. EL Doctorow was not. 

When I visit schools around country I consistently repeat this—not because I think school is worthless, but b/c, very often, there are kids in audience who are lost, just as I once was. I don't come there to contravene their education…to tell them to drop out. On the contrary, I try to reinforce the ethic of hard work. But they need to know that a grade in a class, is not who they are—and I would say that whether the grade is an A or F. I failed English in HS…then failed British Literature in college. For whatever reason, it simply wasn't my time. But had I taken those grades as an eternal mark, I doubt I would be talking to you now."
ulyssessgrant  frederickdouglass  civilwar  abrahamlincoln  eldoctorow  marktwain  learning  readiness  grading  grades  deschooling  unschooling  education  credentialism  credentialing  credentials  writing  ta-nehisicoates  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
George Dyson - Looking Backward to Put New Technology in Focus - NYTimes.com
"You left the cocoon of Princeton when you were 16. Why?

I was a rebellious adolescent. It was the ’60s. Everyone was rebellious. I hated high school. When they wouldn’t let me graduate early because I hadn’t taken gym, I quit altogether and went off to BC. It was a time when a lot of kids ran away from home. My father didn’t stop me…Being there was so liberating — getting my own food, making my own living…I did this for about 20 years.

And today you make your living as a historian of science and technology. How does a high school dropout get to do that?

Hey, this is America. You can do what you want! I love this idea that someone who didn’t finish high school can write books that get taken seriously. History is one of the only fields where contributions by amateurs are taken seriously, providing you follow the rules and document your sources. In history, it’s what you write, not what your credentials are."
georgedyson  autodidactism  autodidacts  2011  interviews  dropouts  unschooling  education  history  historyofscience  adolescence  technology  historyoftechnology  amateurism  credentials  autodidacticism 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Apprenticeships and internships « Re-educate Seattle
"I’m using these two words—apprenticeship and certification—in a way that’s overly simplistic, but I’m doing it to make a point: when your daughter heads off to school each morning, does she treat it like an apprenticeship or an internship?

Is she more concerned with learning something interesting, or her GPA? Is she developing deep relationships with mentors, or merely securing snazzy letters of recommendation? Is she learning something useful right now, or participating in a ritual as preparation for the future?

* * *

Here’s perhaps the most important question: does your daughter’s school view it’s work as closer to providing apprenticeships, or internships?"
stevemiranda  2011  pscs  learning  apprenticeships  internships  unschooling  deschooling  learningbydoing  credentials  grades  grading  tcsnmy  toshare  usefulness  meaning  purpose  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Teaching Social Innovation | Austin Center for Design
"“We [need to] teach decidedly unglamorous, small scale tools that allow people to make meaning in as significant ways possible, not only in terms of outcomes, but in terms of process.” That’s precisely the right message for design educators – to emphasize significance in process, rather than object, and focus on small-scale, deep impact. It’s a rejection of an exhausted focus on metrics, scale, and artifacts, and for many of us, it means ignoring the hype of design tourism. I’m positioning the program at AC4D on creating founders who have a sensitive, passionate, and intellectual approach to their work. And I’m thrilled to see more and more programs embracing social innovation, and re-evaluating – and in many cases, massively overhauling – tired design curricula."
jonkolko  design  education  learning  socialinnovation  designeducation  projectbasedlearning  2011  metrics  measurement  success  humanitariandesign  depthoverbreadth  timelines  time  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  ac4d  meaning  meaningfulness  eziomazini  commitment  relationships  tcsnmy  communityengagement  krissdeiglmeier  socialimpact  assessment  tracking  accreditation  credentials  convenience  responsibility  designtourism  entrepreneurship  helenwalters  shrequest1  pbl  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
Badges - MozillaWiki
"Today's learning happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. But it's often difficult to get credit for it.

Mozilla and Peer 2 Peer University are working to solve this problem by developing an Open Badges infrastructure.

Our system will make it easy for education providers, web sites and other organizations to issue badges that give public recognition and validation for specific skills and achievements.

And provide an easy way for learners tomanage and display those badges across the web -- on their personal web site or resume, social networking profiles, job sites or just about anywhere.

The result: Open Badges will help learners everywhere unlock career and educational opportunities, and regonize skills that traditional resumes and transcripts often leave out."
education  learning  technology  games  online  gaming  gamification  badges  opensource  openbadges  recognition  achievement  credentials  skills  via:monikahardy  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism: On the Matter of Empathy [To be applied also with teachers and students, claiming to know them better than they know themselves.]
"unfortunately, too many lay people look to credentials as opposed to experience when it comes to understanding non-normative conditions. Recently, in response to one autistic person’s upset at mainstream theories of impaired autistic empathy, an autism parent said that the experts should know all about it, since they’ve been studying the issue for years. & those of us who have lived it for even longer? If we were talking about the difference btwn a non-Jewish scholar of Judaism & a practicing Jew, most people would say that the practicing Jew would be the expert on Judaism. & yet, autistic people are rarely accorded this level of respect.

A refusal to listen to our experiences & to be sensitive to the real-life consequences of pervasive stereotypes shows a problematic relationship w/ empathy, to put it mildly. In the midst of this lack of true autism awareness, any assertion that autistic people lack empathy is nothing less than a textbook case of pot calling kettle black."
psychology  empathy  autism  aspergers  understanding  credentials  experts  experience  2011  behavior  cognitive  cognitiveempathy  emotionalempathy  expressedempathy  testing  measurement  nonverbal  nonverbalcommunication  stereotypes  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
The crusade against college
"if we are to lose faith in college degrees, how can we best represent what an individual is capable of? Could LinkedIn-style social portfolios, w/ testimonials ranked according to built-in trust metrics, fill the gap? Or will we be left having to take peoples’ word for their own achievements?

I’m inclined to think we’ll figure out a strong, decentralized, less-elitist way of going about this. But there’s a bigger question in all of this, too. If you take salaries away & look only at the overall education of a person, & the overall knowledge of our global society at large, don’t universities have some inherent value?

I would argue that they do. I also think that looking at direct salaries as the sole measure of ROI in an institution is a short-term, short-sighted way to look at the world. Sure, some degrees yield less well-paying jobs than others. However, the contribution to our overall well-being, & to our economy, shouldn’t be overlooked. The world is a complex system…"

[via http://www.downes.ca/post/55638/ ]
benwerdmuller  highereducation  highered  economics  unschooling  deschooling  elitism  sarahlacy  peterthiel  publiceducation  schools  education  learning  credentials  salaries  society  louismenand  compensation  2011  via:steelemaley  lcproject  democracy  colleges  universities  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
INTHECONVERSATION: Art Leisure Instead of Art Work: A Conversation with Randall Szott [Truly too much to quote, so random snips below. Go read the whole thing.]
"Sal Randolph talks w/ Randall Szott about collections, cooking, "art of living," & infra-institutional activity."

"undergrad art ed seemed overly concerned w/ 'how & what to make' sorts of questions…"

"in my possibly pathetic & overly romantic vision of considered life, I am quite hopeful about ability of (art & non-art) people to improve their own experience & others' in both grand & mundane ways"

"I would like to build along model of public library. Libraries meet an incredibly diverse set of needs & desires"

"art is a great conversation…tool for making meaning & enhancing experience, but it is highly specialized, & all too often, closed conversation of insiders"

"I am deeply committed to promoting "everyday" people who are finding ways to make lives more meaningful - devoted amateurs to a variety of intellectual pursuits, hobbyists, collectors, autodidacts, bloggers, karaoke singers, crafters, etc…advocate for a rich, inclusive understanding of human meaning-making."
2008  salrandolph  randallszott  leisure  art  living  collecting  food  cooking  life  slow  thinking  philosophy  unschooling  deschooling  credentials  artschool  education  learning  skepticism  everyday  vernacular  language  work  leisurearts  dilletante  generalists  cv  distraction  culture  marxism  anarchism  situationist  lcproject  tcsnmy  intellectualism  elitism  meaning  sensemaking  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  projectbasedlearning  projects  openstudio  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  thewhy  why  audiencesofone  canon  amateurs  artleisure  darkmatter  pbl  artschools  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Joichi Ito Named Head of M.I.T. Media Lab - NYTimes.com
"For centuries diplomas have been synonymous w/ the nation’s universities.

That makes MIT’s decision to name a 44-year old Japanese venture capitalist who attended, but did not graduate, from 2 American colleges as director of one of the world’s top computing science laboratories an unusual choice…

Mr. Ito first attended Tufts where he briefly studied computer science but wrote that he found it drudge work. Later he attended the U of Chicago where he studied physics, but once again found it stultifying…later wrote of his experience: “I once asked a professor to explain the solution to a problem so I could understand it more intuitively. He said, ‘You can’t understand it intuitively. Just learn the formula so you’ll get the right answer.’ That was it for me.”

Mr. Ito’s colleagues minimize the fact that he is w/out academic credentials. “He has credibility in an academic context,” said Lawrence Lessig…"
mit  medialab  joiito  larrylessig  innovation  dropouts  postcredentials  credentials  alternative  alternativeeducation  learningbydoing  2011  creativecommons  unschooling  deschooling  connectivism  connections  mozilla  venturecapital  mitmedialab  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Sal Kahn Out To Disrupt Education | O'DonnellWeb
[Kahn:] we should “decouple credentialing from learning.” Instead of handing out degrees, standardized assessments would be measure of employee competence.

While I’m 110% behind idea of separating education & credentialing, I’m not sure standardized assessments are the answer. Human beings are not standardized…we should stop pretending a test score or diploma has any real predictive ability regarding human behavior. A teacher that is passionate is far more valuable than [one] that aced test & got diploma. But you can’t measure passion, you can only observe it.

[Kahn:] lectures would become homework & teacher tutoring would occur during class time.

Is there any larger waste of time in the education establishment than making 20-200 students assemble in room to listen to instructor ramble on from memorized notes? If you can’t interact w/ instructor there is no reason to bother being in the same room…"
chriso'donnell  teaching  learning  education  standards  standardization  standardizedtesting  passion  schools  memorization  lectures  unschooling  deschooling  homeschool  diplomas  credentials  assessment  truelearning  lcproject  tcsnmy  competency  khanacademy  salkhan  salmankhan  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Techno Constructivist: The #Edreform Paradox
"Schooling & education are not the same thing & are often at odds with each other. Instruction does not necessarily beget learning but it did for most of those who instruct. Technology has changed what it is learners need schools for. Policies are shaped largely by those who needed schools to provide something different for them in the past than they are needed for learners now. Policies shape what schools do & provide/dictate how we measure success. How we measure a school's success determines what gets taught & cut. What schools do & how they are assessed often lead to a confusion btwn what makes for good instruction & what makes for good learning & policy mandates this condition. Therefore, the actual purpose of school & purpose most people believe it is for are not the same… Those who enter into the business of schooling will likely come from the ranks who were rewarded under this system & thus perpetuate the cycle driving the wedge further between schooling & education."
education  policy  us  technology  success  assessment  measurement  learning  deschooling  unschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  credentials  business  data  datadrivenmismanagement  shrequest1  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
UnCollege | self-directed higher education
"The mission of UnCollege is to support individuals on self-directed odysseys of learning and introspection by creating a community of like-minded peers and mentors.<br />
UnCollege is not an accredited, degree-granting institution.  UnCollege rather provides students with a framework to pursue their own journey of learning and self-discovery. Upon completion of the UnCollege program, students will create experience transcripts to demonstrate their learning from real-world accomplishments.The long-term goal of UnCollege is to revolutionize higher education, providing an example of College 2.0.  In the future, UnCollege will  become a fully accredited, degree-granting institution.<br />
However, there will be no campus and no professors."
education  unschooling  deschooling  highereducation  highered  learning  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  schools  schooling  online  credentials  problemsolving  academia  the2837university  agitpropproject  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Trouble With Experts : CJR
"By abandoning the assumption that gold-plated credentials equal expertise, the press might even change history. Could journalists have helped to take down, say, Bernie Madoff, before the feds did if they had questioned the sec’s experts more? Shirky wonders.

And then there’s the chance that authentic experts (not necessarily credentialed experts) could become journalists of some kind. It’s happening already. Take the flock of professor-bloggers masticating the news on the Foreign Policy Web site or economist bloggers like Tyler Cowen. There are journalists who have become experts via either peer or crowd review…To cheaply paraphrase Isaiah Berlin, journalists can’t all be clever hedgehogs, but perhaps some generalist foxes can start growing some quills."
society  journalism  generalists  specialization  specialists  credentials  experts  expertise  autism  jennymccarthy  science  blackswans  tunnelvision  via:coldbrain  vaccines  amateur  amateurism  unschooling  deschooling  clayshirky  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
How Design Can Get Kids On the Path to Tech Careers | Co.Design
"whenever you say the word 'school,' it conjures up mental images & models of our experiences and behavior in a place -- & accompanying that 'place model' is a kaleidoscope of memories & emotions about how that place looked & worked -- how we felt in it, what was rewarded, celebrated & expected, & who we were supposed to be as learners in that place. Unfortunately, many of these mental models of how we should learn in school are completely at odds w/ how real learning happens & how it's demonstrated in the real world. False proxies for learning often erode our children's vibrant intellectual & creative potentials because they diminish the excitement of real learning & discovery. Everyone knows that finishing a course and a textbook does not mean achievement. Listening to a lecture does not mean understanding. Getting a high score on a high-stakes standardized test does not mean proficiency. Credentialing does not mean competency. Our children know it, too, yet it persists."
education  design  management  designthinking  learning  unschooling  discovery  deschooling  trungle  stephaniepacemarshall  imsa  illinois  chicago  science  math  gifted  talented  schools  schooldesign  credentials  credentialing  whatmatters  cv  ap  collaboration  teaching  challenge  interaction  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  problemsolving  criticalthinking  teacherasmasterlearner  teacherascollaborator  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  studentdirected  research  names  naming  language  words  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
College Is Only Good for Helping Rich People Get Richer - Education - GOOD
"truth is that students hardly work in college, & that they learn almost nothing while they’re there. College is a place where already advantaged youths spend 4 years enjoying themselves, & upon completion, receive considerable rewards for having done almost nothing…Arum & Roksa find that almost half of students have no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning, & writing…after 2 years in college…colleges are increasingly places for the rich. It’s too simplistic, but this is pretty much the story. Colleges admit already advantaged Americans. They don’t ask them to do much or learn much. At the end of four years, we give them a certificate. That certificate entitles them to higher earnings. Schools help obscure the aristocratic quality to American life. They do so by converting birthrights (which we all think are unfair) into credentials (which have the appearance of merit)."

[via: http://stevemiranda.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/the-importance-of-following-directions/ ]
college  good  highered  education  learning  lcproject  schooliness  unschooling  deschooling  oligarchy  wealth  advantage  credentials  criticism  criticalthinking  aristocracy  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
education should be inefficient [Great post from Astra Taylor, way too much to pull quotes, but here are two anyway.]
"I think one reason highly educated and credentialed people latch on to alt ed theories is there’s a sense that we are at heart autodidacts, despite schooling.…

I was unschooled without highspeed Internet (first logged on freshman year of highschool); my youngest sister doesn't remember life without constant highspeed access. I would say for both of us though, unschooling has been more about slowness, about paying attention, immersing ourselves bizarre art projects, volunteering, staring off into space, talking to friends, and reading books, reading books, reading books. We sometimes learned quickly, when motivated or excited to master some skill, but typically we learned at our own pace, which was often slow (sometimes so slow it looked as though we were doing nothing at all) and with lots of detours."

[A reply is here: http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.culture.media.idc/1877 ]
astrataylor  unschooling  slow  inefficiency  learning  deschooling  glvo  slowlearning  boredom  credentials  schools  schooling  education  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Higher education and wages: Study leave | The Economist [Chart]
"YOUNG people often worry whether the qualification for which they are studying will stand them in good stead in the workplace. According to the OECD, college and university leavers are better placed in the labour market than their less educated peers, but this advantage is not even in all countries. Young graduates living in Spain are particularly likely to end up taking low-skilled work, while those in Luxembourg rarely take anything other than a graduate job. American and British students appear to have the biggest incentive to study: British graduates aged 25-34 earn $57,000 on average. Their Swedish peers earn $37,400."
education  college  colleges  universities  credentials  salaries  comparison  us  uk  sweden  labor  overeducated  work  markets  international  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » WCYDWT: Dirt
"Frankly, Dan, graduate school will be mostly a waste of time for you. You’re already so far ahead of the thinking of so many mathematics teachers and, dare I say it? mathematics teacher-educators that I wonder if what you’re going to be exposed to and expected to conform to in a doctoral program will improve or dull your mind. Maybe that’s unfair to Stanford, or merely reflective of my own ambivalent relationship with doctoral programs and academia. And perhaps also part of my fond wish that more folks with really great, original minds just forego the rigidity of traditional Ph.D programs if at all possible and carve out their own ground, establish legitimacy through the high quality of their work (as you are CLEARLY well on your way to doing), and let the paper chasers do what seems to pass for establishing their bona fides as insiders who alternately sneer at and quake from fear of originals and iconoclasts."
gradschool  education  academia  alternative  altgdp  unschooling  deschooling  schools  learning  iconoclasm  cv  breakingout  closedsystems  rigidity  convention  degrees  credentials  legitimacy  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
“. . . ready to welcome the ecstatic experience” « Re-educate
"There are plenty of smart people of good character who would love to teach. But maybe they don’t want to teach full time, don’t want to spend thousands of dollars & 18 months getting a teaching credential, & they certainly don’t want to teach classes in subjects that don’t interest them or their students. And so they miss out on the electric feeling that teaching gives. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can build a network of community schools on every street corner, ones that not only provide safe, loving, nurturing environments for kids, but also provide an opportunity for adults in the community to share what they love. Imagine a city in which every adult had the chance to have their lives enriched by the experience of teaching & learning in an environment that was designed to fuel people’s passions. Imagine how alive we would all feel!

We can do this. But we have to build new schools that are, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”"
stevemiranda  pscs  pugetsoundcommunityschool  emilydickinson  teaching  schools  lcproject  tcsnmy  credentials  community  schooldesign  alternative  learning  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
Harvard Kennedy School - New Study: Teacher Effectiveness in Classroom Unrelated to the College Teacher Attended
"study finds that a teacher’s effectiveness at lifting student performance in reading & math is unrelated to preparation teachers have received, whether it is the college they attended, or whether they received a major in education, or earned a master’s degree...
teaching  schools  hiring  compensation  administration  management  tcsnmy  leadership  experience  credentials  meritpay  education  policy 
june 2010 by robertogreco
More Like Us — Meredith Jung-En Woo, Dean of Arts & Sciences and Buckner W. Clay Professor
"there is perhaps something to the argument that we as a nation have become excessively focused on credentials...I sometimes discern this tendency in the steadily upward trend in multiple majors over the past decade. The requirements for more than one major can be strenuous, crowding out the flexibility for students to venture out to new fields, experiment in ways that push the limits of knowledge. In the College, we offer some 3000 course sections, & I wonder whether something essential is lost when students trade in a broad liberal arts curriculum in order to satisfy the new requirements for an additional credential.

Regardless of whether students graduate with one major or two, it remains a fact that our educational system is the best in the world...our best comparative advantage. It keeps foreign students flocking to our shores, especially from Asia. In the long run, these students will, in one way or another, be more like us, and I think they will be better for it."
credentials  liberalarts  education  creativity  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  generalists  interdisciplinary  unschooling  deschooling  specialization  competition  japan  us  highered  colleges  universities  innovation  tcsnmy  jamesfallows  davidhalberstam  exams  testing  messiness  disorder  individualism  can-doattitude  1980s  1990s  meredithjung-enwoo  specialists 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The Future of Education | IdeaEconomy.Net
"Indeed, it is difficult to find many people with anything good to say about our current educational system. Traditional schools are not able to keep up with changing demands and technological advancements. How can universities possibly deliver graduates with in-demand skills when the world is changing so fast?
sethgodin  kenrobinson  personalmba  alternative  education  learning  schools  society  altgdp  future  lcproject  knowledgenomads  universityofthepeople  universities  colleges  credentials 
april 2010 by robertogreco
College and the Reputation-based Economy - GOOD Education - GOOD
"A young person without much money or connections can build whuffie by trading what they do have: time and energy. These days, you can contact just about anybody you admire or whose work you are interested in through the Internet and ask them if you can help them in any way, ask them to be your mentor, or just simply ask them a question.
deschooling  unschooling  education  colleges  universities  schools  diy  socialnetworking  meritocracy  cv  glvo  change  lcproject  tcsnmy  accreditation  credentials  connections  money  whuffie  admissions  highereducation 
april 2010 by robertogreco
elearnspace › Lack of Sympathy
"Before universities existed, most people learned by apprenticeship. As Harold points out, before WWII universities apprenticed elites; priests, doctor, scholars, teachers, etc. . .. The mode of learning was still an apprenticeship model and most elite education ended with a very specific apprenticeship practice like a dissertation or medical residency, or for the wealthy, an initiation into “the club”. But educational theory ignored the way things worked and stressed knowledge over doing, knowledge that was represented by a degree.

Many people are now finding out that a degree correlated with higher incomes, but did not necessarily cause them. Knowledge alone proves to be no covering, the emperor has no clothes. We may not be blacksmiths or leather tanners, but evolution has not changed us that much and we still learn in much the same way as we always have, by watching other people do things. I think education would be better off if it focused on doing instead of knowing."
education  knowledge  apprenticeships  history  learning  degrees  credentials  doing  do  deschooling  unschooling  colleges  universities 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Fortnightly Mailing: We must ..... a call to action to create the university of the future
"1. We must encourage the reuse and remixing of rich media. ... 2. We must embrace the full promise of mobile devices as learning platforms. 3. We must award credentials based on learning outcomes. 4. We must enable a culture of sharing. 5. We must take care that open resources include the context that will enable its use and understanding."
education  learning  teaching  students  sharing  pedagogy  openaccess  openness  colleges  universities  mobile  phones  mobilelearning  change  gamechanging  manifestos  remixing  reuse  credentials  learningoutcomes  access  highered  remixculture 
november 2009 by robertogreco
Favela Chic education | Beyond The Beyond
"*...I don’t understand why these online educationaly enterprises even need to *pretend* to be a “college.” If we’re really looking at Clayton Christensen style “disruption,” we ought to be abandoning the whole idea of “education,” of degrees, schooling, grades, papers, publishing, theses, doctorates, any of that. *You just get on line and you start messing with stuff. At some point, the other practitioners notice you and start linking to you. And they buy stuff from you, or they praise you for what you are doing. And then you know that you know it. And that’s an end to it. *Maybe somebody could invent some formal tests for you, if they were all worried about it. Otherwise, what the heck: bring on the rocket-science and the brain surgery! Got all the instructables you can eat! *...we’re not “formally educated,” but...who cares about that? You can’t *make us* care. You are Main Stream Education and you are so over."

[in reference to: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/feature/college_for_99_a_month.php ]
brucesterling  futurism  highered  education  learning  disruption  disruptive  online  unschooling  deschooling  credentials  degrees  schooling  gamechanging  publishing  colleges  universities  mainstream  future  web  internet  autodidacts  autodidactism  testing  autodidacticism 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Laurent Haug’s blog » Reinventing education
"In rich world, the need to adapt to a generation of kids who are more unique, social, connected, autonomous & collaborative, sometimes know more than professors themselves. In developing world, the need to adapt to the social context of millions who are left out of traditional system...Self education is not new...Collaborative learning beats top down processes...Education can be free...Diplomas are increasingly irrelevant...Education is a fascinating topic, one that is hard to deal with because everybody has an opinion on how it should happen. We are about to see a brutal evolution...Who will vehemently resist these ideas? Teachers...Like journalists when they saw millions of web users invade their territory, they will instinctively want to fight back & protect their experts status. It's a lost war, the wrong approach. Educators will eventually settle in their new, improved place in society. After all, isn’t it more rewarding to collaborate than to direct, monitor, grade & punish?"
sugatamitra  unschooling  deschooling  laurenthaug  schooling  education  change  reform  control  autoritarianism  politics  power  society  lcproject  tcsnmy  hackingeducation  dimplomas  credentials  collaboration  assessment  collaborative  grades  grading  gamechanging  autodidacts  colleges  universities  teaching  outdoctrination  holeinthewall 
june 2009 by robertogreco
The Case for Working With Your Hands - NYTimes.com
"If the goal is to earn a living, then, maybe it isn’t really true that 18-year-olds need to be imparted with a sense of panic about getting into college. Some people are hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, when they would rather be learning to build things or fix things." ... "Those who work on the lower rungs of the information-age office hierarchy face their own kinds of unreality, as I learned some time ago." ... "A good job requires a field of action where you can put your best capacities to work and see an effect in the world. Academic credentials do not guarantee this." ... "The visceral experience of failure seems to have been edited out of the career trajectories of gifted students. It stands to reason, then, that those who end up making big decisions that affect all of us don’t seem to have much sense of their own fallibility, and of how badly things can go wrong even with the best of intentions"

[so much here to quote, see also: http://www.slate.com/id/2218650/pagenum/all/ ]
education  learning  well-being  life  cv  making  doing  crisis  highereducation  colleges  universities  middlemanagement  matthewcrawford  alternative  careers  unschooling  deschooling  careerism  society  class  failure  moralhazard  credentials  gradschool  degrees  meaning  happiness  fulfillment  economics  mechanics  macroeconomics  philosophy 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Columnist - Learning How to Think - NYTimes.com
"The predictions of experts were, on average, only a tiny bit better than random guesses — the equivalent of a chimpanzee throwing darts at a board.
crowdsourcing  predictions  learning  culture  expertise  credentials  politics  knowledge  experts  psychology  accountability  foxes  hedgehogs 
march 2009 by robertogreco
What You Should Consider Before Education Graduate School - On Education (usnews.com)
"If you're thinking about going into teaching, take heed of this message from Katherine Merseth, a senior lecturer and director of the teacher education program at Harvard University: "The dirty little secret about schools of education is that they have been the cash cows of universities for many, many years, and it's time to say, 'Show us what you can do, or get out of the business.'"" No new news here, but I wish more people were aware of this fact.
teaching  credentials  academia  gradschool  education  wasteofmoney  cashcows  cv  residencies  deschooling  waste  corruption  worstpractices  via:cburell 
march 2009 by robertogreco
The Public School
"THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is a school with no curriculum. At the moment, it operates as follows: first, classes are proposed by the public (I want to learn this or I want to teach this); then, people have the opportunity to sign up for the classes (I also want to learn that); finally, when enough people have expressed interest, the school finds a teacher and offers the class to those who signed up.

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL is not accredited, it does not give out degrees, and it has no affiliation with the public school system. It is a framework that supports autodidactic activities, operating under the assumption that everything is in everything."
lcproject  deschooling  unschooling  losangeles  education  activism  participatory  pedagogy  alternative  schools  credentials  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  learning 
march 2009 by robertogreco
ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL 202 « LEBBEUS WOODS
"as schools move toward obtaining official approval...some energy vital to their independence is lost. Not all, but enough to say that becoming legitimized by the professional architectural community extracts a price in freedom of thought and method. Not a fatally high price, necessarily, but enough to raise the question: why is professional certification necessary? Why cannot a school of architecture remain free? ... It used to be, in Europe, that the diploma from a highly regarded ‘academy’ would be accepted by universities and professional programs of study, but the ‘Americanization’ of European university education has all but ended that practice. In any event, there are two groups of people unconcerned about professional degrees: those who want to study architecture, but not practice it, and the idealists, who will find their own ways to practice, and on their own terms."

[list of posts in this series here: http://archinect.com/news/article.php?id=87058_0_24_0_C ]
education  history  architecture  pedagogy  lebbeuswoods  lcproject  credentials  idealism  design  academia  cv 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Beyond Portfolios « The Elementary Educator [via: http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/02/20/a-portfolio-instead-of-a-diploma/]
"After 13 years of work getting a K-12 education, why is it that all a student has to show for it is a diploma?...our goals should be much different: *writing: students should have a very rich blog w/ 100s of quality posts + several major self-published pieces *science: have >= 1 patent and/or 1 invention that they’ve actually created a prototype for *math: be able to balance checkbook, understand how to stay out of debt & avoid credit spending, understand how to interpret biased statistics & advertisements; able to solve any real-world math problem they may encounter *social studies: be able to read every article in newspaper & understand article’s significance & historical events that have led up to event + geography of location(s) being discussed + religious & political backgrounds of people/groups involved *Finally: students should be heading to post-K-12 life with plan for future, rather than just heading to college because everyone is doing it."
education  curriculum  learning  tcsnmy  schools  schooling  society  life  preparedness  lcproject  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  change  reform  blogs  portfolio  success  cv  credentials  diplomas 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Hacking Education [see also: http://delicious.com/tag/usvsessions4]
"The Hacking Education Sessions event will bring together around 30 entrepreneurs, researchers, and educators for a day-long conversation about the impact of the web on education. Our goal is to encourage innovation in education by exposing educators to entrepreneurs whose appreciation for the web's technical and social architecture has enabled them to build important online services, and by exposing entrepreneurs to the challenges and opportunities of reinventing education using the web. We are also inviting researchers who study education policy and changes in learning, such as the emergence of self-directed studies and peer accreditation in online forums for everything from anime to open source."
education  hacking  change  reform  gamechanging  via:preoccupations  fredwilson  2009  internet  web  online  entrepreneurship  learning  schools  schoolofeverything  self-directedlearning  accreditation  credentials  opensource 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Global Guerrillas: INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION?
"Since nearly all of the value of an education has been extracted by the producer, to the detriment of the customer, this situation has all the earmarks of a bubble. A bubble that will soon burst as median incomes are adjusted downwards to global norms over the next decade". lectures + application + collaboration. "When will the floodgates open? The shift towards online education as the norm and in-person as the exception will arrive, however, the path is unclear. It is currently blocked by guilds/unions, inertia, credentialism, and romantic notions."
change  reform  education  learning  online  elearning  colleges  universities  futurism  future  business  trends  economics  opensource  mit  johnrobb  crisis  unschooling  deschooling  homeschool  lcproject  gamechanging  money  tuition  inflation  price  cost  bubbles  2009  credentials  teaching  students 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Education And Learning: A Paradigm Shift - Part 1 - Is Our Educational System Broken? - Robin Good's Latest News
"So, what's up everyone? Besides the few guys out there spending serious time researching and lecturing on today's educational challenges what are you doing to harmonize a little more what you have learned in the world of media and communication to the universe of learning and education your kids are immersed into? ... video clips I have asked a few friends to record ... Howard Rheingold, Jay Cross, Stephen Downes, George Siemens, Nancy White, Gerd Leonhard and Teemu Arina have all accepted to record a few short videos for me while addressing some of the issues relating to our educational system and its future.

[part 2: http://www.masternewmedia.org/education-and-learning-a-paradigm-shift-part-2/ ]
education  culture  elearning  change  future  self-directed  self-directedlearning  learning  unschooling  deschooling  connectivism  georgesiemens  stephendownes  teemuarina  jaycross  robingood  gerleonhard  colleges  universities  gamechanging  media  communication  nancywhite  academia  e-learning  degrees  credentials 
january 2009 by robertogreco
For Most People, College Is a Waste of Time - WSJ.com
"Here's the reality: Everyone in every occupation starts as an apprentice. Those who are good enough become journeymen. The best become master craftsmen. This is as true of business executives and history professors as of chefs and welders. Getting rid of the BA and replacing it with evidence of competence -- treating post-secondary education as apprenticeships for everyone -- is one way to help us to recognize that common bond."
education  colleges  universities  learning  degrees  credentials  employment  work  apprenticeships  certification  accountability  accounting  testing  assessment  academia  society  culture  lcproject  change  reform 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Op-Ed Contributors - Transitions - Should the Obama Generation Drop Out? - NYTimes.com
"Discrediting the bachelor’s degree is within reach because so many employers already sense that it has become education’s Wizard of Oz. All we need is someone willing to yank the curtain aside. Barack Obama is ideally positioned to do it. He just needs to say it over and over: “It’s what you can do that should count when you apply for a job, not where you learned to do it.”"
colleges  universities  education  us  society  employment  change  reform  degrees  credentials  careers  lcproject  highschool  future  work 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » “Oh, and You Have a Degree, Too?”
"Maybe I’m dreaming. Or maybe it’s because the last seven years have turned me into an “alternate route” learner and passion-based professional, and intellectually I’ve just loved this SO much more than when I went to college (though college did have its moments…just not usually in the classroom.) Either way, it just feels like there’s going to be some shift happening here in the next few years as well, and I, at least, have to start thinking about it sooner rather than later."
colleges  universities  deschooling  education  learning  degrees  credentials  employment  careers  teaching  willrichardson  alternative  lcproject  economics  tuition 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Beware School 'Reformers'
"Notice that these features are already pervasive, which means "reform" actually signals more of the same--or, perhaps, intensification of the status quo with variations like one-size-fits-all national curriculum standards or longer school days (or years). Almost never questioned, meanwhile, are the core elements of traditional schooling, such as lectures, worksheets, quizzes, grades, homework, punitive discipline and competition. That would require real reform, which of course is off the table. Sadly, all but one of the people reportedly being considered for Education secretary are reformers only in this Orwellian sense of the word. The exception is Linda Darling-Hammond...The favored contenders include assorted governors and two corporate-style school chiefs: Arne Duncan, whose all-too-apt title is "chief executive officer" of Chicago Public Schools, and his counterpart in New York City, former CEO and high-powered lawyer Joel Klein."
education  policy  reform  assessment  government  progressive  alfiekohn  change  gamechanging  deschooling  unschooling  schools  barackobama  2008  secretaryofeducation  homeschool  credentials  joelklein  arneduncan  lindadarling-hammond 
december 2008 by robertogreco
After Credentials
"Judging people by academic credentials was...an advance...seems to have begun in China...in 587 candidates for imperial civil service...take an exam on classical literature...Before...government positions were obtained mainly by family influence...bribery...great step forward to judge people by performance on a test... [not] a perfect solution...The use of credentials was an attempt to seal off the direct transmission of power between generations, and cram schools represent that power finding holes in the seal. Cram schools turn wealth in one generation into credentials in the next...History suggests that, all other things being equal, a society prospers in proportion to its ability to prevent parents from influencing their children's success directly...general solution...push for increased transparency, especially at critical social bottlenecks like college admissions...better way...make credentials matter less... If you could measure actual performance, you wouldn't need them."
education  learning  paulgraham  credentials  schools  colleges  universities  testing  SAT  parenting  government  economics  business  performance  admissions  gamechanging  inheritance  legacy  careers  deschooling  korea  us  china  history  unschooling  homeschool  merit  lcproject  wealth  power  influence  competition  competitiveness  society 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Annals of Education: Most Likely to Succeed: How do we hire when we can’t tell who’s right for the job?:The New Yorker
"Hanushek recently did a back-of-the-envelope calculation about what even a rudimentary focus on teacher quality could mean for the United States. If you rank the countries of the world in terms of the academic performance of their schoolchildren, the U.S. is just below average, half a standard deviation below a clump of relatively high-performing countries like Canada and Belgium. According to Hanushek, the U.S. could close that gap simply by replacing the bottom six per cent to ten per cent of public-school teachers with teachers of average quality. After years of worrying about issues like school funding levels, class size, and curriculum design, many reformers have come to the conclusion that nothing matters more than finding people with the potential to be great teachers. But there’s a hitch: no one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like." Also on Gladwell's blog:

[http://gladwell.typepad.com/gladwellcom/2008/12/teachers-and-quarterbacks.html ]

[see comments here: http://www.boingboing.net/2008/12/08/malcolm-gladwell-on.html ]
malcolmgladwell  teaching  school  policy  assessment  newyorker  education  statistics  learning  psychology  research  hiring  management  administration  leadership  us  effectiveness  credentials  economics  children  schools 
december 2008 by robertogreco
growing changing learning creating: Goodbye college diplomas
"Disrupting Class assumes we'll continue to need college degrees to get the best paying jobs and to enter the current professions. the improvements in elementary and school programs from the disruptive innovations mentioned in the book seem valuable if college degrees remain essential. However, I am very suspicious that diplomas will be worth anything in a decade or so. Here's why:" via: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=46753
colleges  universities  degrees  credentials  education  highereducation  learning  cv  books  lcproject  change  reform  economics  finance  debt  expertise 
october 2008 by robertogreco
When Professors Print Their Own Diplomas, Who Needs Universities? - Chronicle.com
"Aristotle never reported to a dean or had to submit grades, and his students just explained to employers that they had studied with the great man. Now online tools let anyone hold court in chat rooms, Webcasts, or social networks.
education  change  credentials  freelanceteaching  universities  colleges  markets  economics  opencourseware  cv 
september 2008 by robertogreco
An education in pure silliness - St. Petersburg Times [via: http://joannejacobs.com/2008/08/24/so-you-want-to-teach/]
"I understand the idea of "standards-based" education. But the standards to which I'm being held here are not high standards; they are just a high pile of standards, a mountain of detritus generated by various acts of legislation whenever new statistics come out showing that California schools are failing, that teachers are fleeing the state, that high school students can barely read. In a system so broken, why are they trying so hard to weed out anyone who, in spite of everything, still wants to come in and change a child's life?"
california  teaching  credentials  bureaucracy  standards  policy  brokensystems  education  teachereducation 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Gladwell on the mismatch problem (kottke.org)
"Gladwell says that while we evaluate teachers on the basis of high standardized test scores and whether they have degrees and credentialed training, that makes little difference in how well people actually teach."
assessment  hiring  management  jobs  careers  leadership  administration  schools  teaching  learning  credentials  work  gamechanging  kottke  malcolmgladwell 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: Make dentistry cheaper
"In Alaska, the A.D.A. and the state’s dental society had filed a lawsuit to block the program that trained people like Ms. Johnson, who are called dental therapists."
health  policy  credentials  dental  medicine  us  monopolies  politics  money  economics  ada  ama  control 
may 2008 by robertogreco
BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » Google U: I wonder what distributed education will look like...
"....students can self-organize w/ teachers & fellow students to learn what they want how, where they want...education has a rude shocking coming unless it gets ahead of this change, figures out how to become less of an institution, more of a platform."
schools  teaching  learning  colleges  universities  education  future  distributed  internet  community  unschooling  deschooling  credentials  via:preoccupations 
february 2008 by robertogreco
YouTube - Mob Rules (part 1 of 5)
"Closing keynote of WebDirections South 2007 - an exploration of the future of mobile communications, now that half of humanity has a mobile phone."
markpesce  business  medicine  censorship  communication  internet  mob  mobs  gamechanging  cooperative  community  politics  copyright  distributed  economics  expression  freedom  free  future  revolution  innovation  mesh  mobile  networking  networks  social  wireless  wifi  sms  technology  usability  trends  power  poor  phones  strategy  society  web  online  health  services  credentials  wellness  knowledge  change  reform  chaos  hierarchy  meritocracy  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco
hyperpeople » Blog Archive » Mob Rules (The Law of Fives)
"ONE: The mob is everywhere. TWO: The mob is faster, smarter and stronger than you are. THREE: Advertising is a form of censorship. FOUR: The mob does not need a business model. FIVE: Make networks happen."
markpesce  business  medicine  censorship  communication  internet  mob  mobs  gamechanging  cooperative  community  politics  copyright  distributed  economics  expression  freedom  free  future  revolution  innovation  mesh  mobile  networking  networks  social  wireless  wifi  sms  technology  usability  trends  power  poor  phones  strategy  society  web  online  health  services  credentials  wellness  knowledge  change  reform  chaos  hierarchy  meritocracy  learning 
november 2007 by robertogreco
How to Save the World - The Future of Education: A Conversation with Rob Paterson
'I think we have a complete mismatch between the education establishment and the kind of people we will need to get through peak oil, overpopulation, all those kind of things."
education  learning  future  schools  apprenticeships  children  students  deschooling  unschooling  johnholt  homeschool  society  lcproject  technology  knowledge  skills  business  colleges  universities  military  organizations  credentials  testing  social  socialnetworks  networks  learningnetworks  boys  peakoil  overpopulation 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Badge Maker: Create an ID badge using your digital photographs
"Make your own ID card, press pass, name tag, unofficial Flickr badge, or any other kind of identification. Print it out, laminate it, wear it with pride! Make any kind of identification* easily in just a few seconds."
identity  identification  badges  photography  generator  homeschool  schools  credentials  flickr 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Design and the State | Metropolis Magazine
"The crux of the issue is whether or not a design degree is a good measure of skill." - the problem with credential... and not just in the design professions
design  credentials  society  law  teaching  policy  education  certification  practice 
december 2006 by robertogreco
russell davies: blogging and stuff
"Before long the blog will have replaced the resume/CV. Or whatever the next evolution of the blog is. If your job is having public ideas I suspect it'll become very surprising to people that you're not doing something like a blog."
future  work  education  careers  learning  credentials  jobs  blogs  internet  portfolio  altgdp  schooldesign  lcproject 
october 2006 by robertogreco

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