Blog Post

Next Up: The Future of (Mostly Higher) Education

Next Up:  The Future of (Mostly Higher) Education

After finishing filming our last segment on "The History of Higher Education" (Week 3:  Teaching Like It's 1992), we are now scouting locations for the "Future of Higher Education."   

As you can see from the two photos in this post, the "history of higher education" included a visit from Michael Jackson (well, not really) in my office cum film studio in Smith Warehouse at Duke.    Topics we discussed this week included:

  • Neo-liberalism (also called NeoConservatism) and the defunding of public education
  • No Child Left Behind national policy (2002) for summative end-of-grade testing
  • The cost-benefit to society and to individuals of higher education (it is still financially beneficial, even with mounting costs, to have a higher education degree and even more beneficial to state, federal, and municipal goverments to invest in public higher education.  Higher education continues to be a great investment on every level).

At the same time, we also talked about the urgent need for higher education--for all education--to take stock of the fact that all of us learn differently in informal settings now than we did in 1992, before the commercialization of the Internet.  That's the key question:    

  • Why hasn't formal education taken to heart the lessons of connected learning?   That's the question . . .   For all the talk about educational transformation coming from MOOCs, for-profit assessment firms,  and many pundits who think they know what learning is, there is relatively little talk, at the structural and systemic level, of how we can transform formal education in a way that takes advantage of and addresses the challenges of living in the era since April 22, 1993, when the Internet was commercialized and we all began to rely on peers, online sources, voluntary participation, non-expert advice (on everything from restaurants to medical emergencies), and other forms of any-time learning as a matter of habit and practice. 
  • How do we teach graduate students to teach the next generation of students? 
  • How do we retrain ourselves for the possibilities and challenges not of the future but of the world we live in now?  How do we stop teaching like it is 1992?

. . . . And in the next three segments, focusing on "The Future of Higher Education," we'll be posing some answers that are already available and need to be known more widely:  not answers about some mythical future, but answers that real people have come up with in a range of learning environments (some lush, some harsh; some in formal educational and some in every-day learning environments):  inspiring, inventive, innovative, creative ways of learning the future together. 

Let's get started!
















No comments