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Open Eduction as a Real Utopia

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This is an overview of my application of Erik Olen Wright's "Real Utopias" framework as a way ground open education. I included the references in the final two slides that weren't in the original conference presentation.

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Open Eduction as a Real Utopia

  1. 1. OPEN EDUCATION AS A REAL UTOPIA JAMISON R. MILLER | THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY JRMILLER@WM.EDU | @MILLERJAMISON Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier
  2. 2. Open education has the potential to sustainably transform existing educational institutions into more equitable and democratic forms. Public Domain Image: The subscription room at Lloyd's of London in the early 19th century
  3. 3. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier OPEN EDUCATION IS “UNDER-THEORIZED” Bayne, Knox, & Ross, 2015 Deiman & Farrow, 2013 Edwards, 2015 Knox, 2013 Moe, 2015 Nyberg, 1975
  4. 4. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier WHY THEORY? ● Without it, open education is vulnerable to dilution and cooptation ● Not just a lens, but also as a keel
  5. 5. REAL UTOPIAS Sociologist Erik Olin Wright has built a theoretical framework for a critical and emancipatory approach in social science most comprehensively presented in Envisioning Real Utopias (2010). “Real utopias” aims to contribute a “normatively grounded sociology of the possible, not just the actual” (2012, p. 2). Image: DV Ltd. / Sigtryggur Ari
  6. 6. REAL UTOPIAS Image: DV Ltd. / Sigtryggur Ari A contradictory term? UTOPIAS are fantasies, morally inspired designs unconstrained by feasibility REALists eschew such fantasies, condemning them as wasted time and effort Wright proposes embracing the tensions between dreams and practice. What is pragmatically possible is not independent of our imaginations, but is shaped by our visions. (2010, p. 6)
  7. 7. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier WHERE THERE IS A WILL THERE IS A WAY. Naïve optimism, perhaps, but without a will, many ways become impossible.
  8. 8. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS.
  9. 9. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier PLAUSIBLE VISIONS OF RADICAL ALTERNATIVES, WITH FIRM THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS, ARE A CRUCIAL COMPONENT FOR EMANCIPATORY SOCIAL CHANGE.
  10. 10. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier FOUNDATIONS 1) Many forms of human suffering and many deficits in human flourishing are the result of existing institutional and social structures. 2) Transforming existing institutional and social structures in the right way has the potential to substantially reduce human suffering and expand the possibilities for human flourishing. (Wright, 2012, p. 2)
  11. 11. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier FOUR TASKS 1) Specifying moral principles 2) Diagnosis and critique of existing institutions 3) Developing an account of viable alternatives 4) Proposing a theory of transformation
  12. 12. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK ONE: Specifying moral principles EQUALITY DEMOCRACY SUSTAINABILITY
  13. 13. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK ONE: Specifying moral principles EQUALITY: In a socially just society, all people would have broadly equal access to the social and material conditions necessary for living a flourishing life. (2012, p. 4)
  14. 14. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK ONE: Specifying moral principles DEMOCRACY: In a fully democratic society, all people would have broadly equal access to the necessary means to participate meaningfully in decisions about things that affect their lives. (2012, p. 5)
  15. 15. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK ONE: Specifying moral principles SUSTAINABILITY: Future generations should have access to the social and material conditions to live flourishing lives at least at the same level as the present generation. (2012, p.5)
  16. 16. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK TWO: Diagnosis and Critique Dewey (1916) Freire (1970) hooks (1994) Benkler (2006) Castells (2010; 2013) Floridi (2011) Giroux (2014) Slaughter & Rhoades (2004) Newfield (2008; 2016) Watters (whenever) McMillan-Cottom (2017) Goldrick-Rab (2016)
  17. 17. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK THREE: Alternatives Developing an account of open education, evaluated in terms of: Desirability- focusing ideal alone is merely utopian Viability- unintended consequences? Achievability- how do we move from here to there?
  18. 18. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK THREE: Alternatives Open education as an alternative institutional form of education Open things: OER, data Open practices: Pedagogy, teaching, learning Research Organization and governance
  19. 19. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK THREE: Alternatives Economic empowerment Social empowerment Educational Institutions Educational Institutions Adapted from Wright, 2010; 2012
  20. 20. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier TASK FOUR: Transformation Three strategic logics towards social transformation: Ruptural - revolution, a sharp break Interstitial - building in niches and margins Symbiotic - achieving social empowerment and practical problems of dominant classes + elites
  21. 21. Open education has the potential to sustainably transform existing educational institutions into more equitable and democratic forms. Public Domain Image: The subscription room at Lloyd's of London in the early 19th century
  22. 22. OPEN EDUCATION AS A REAL UTOPIA JAMISON R. MILLER | THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY JRMILLER@WM.EDU | @MILLERJAMISON Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier
  23. 23. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier REFERENCES Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Castells, M. (2010). The rise of the network society. In The information age: Economy, society, and culture (2nd ed., Vol 1). West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Castells, M. (2013). Communication power. London, UK: Oxford University Press. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: Macmillan. Floridi, L. (2011). The philosophy of information. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Freire, P. (2000 [1970]). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. Giroux, H. A. (2014). Neoliberalism's war on higher education. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books. Goldrick-Rab, S. (2016). Paying the price: College costs, financial aid, and the betrayal of the American dream. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  24. 24. Public Domain Image: N°. 2 – Les utopies de la navigation aérienne au siècle dernier REFERENCES hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge. McMillan-Cottom, T. 2017. Lower ed: The troubling rise of for-profits. New York, NY: The New Press. Newfield, C. (2008). Unmaking the public university: The forty-year assault on the middle class. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Newfield, C. (2016). The great mistake: How we wrecked public universities and how we can fix them. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Slaughter, S., & Rhoades, G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Wright, E. O. (2010). Envisioning real utopias. London, UK: Verso. Wright, E. O. (2012). Transforming capitalism through real utopias. American Sociological Review, 78(1), 1-25. doi: 10.1177/0003122412468882

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