Why did into the past? I tried to look up a wise ‘learning from history’ quote - but they were all by men.
Our goal was to get more curious about digging into how the open and open education appears in the indexes and databases for the time period of 1960-1984. This builds on Viv’s work from a couple of years ago that really kickstarted an interest in digging into this further. We selected this time period because we know that there was already some mention of open pedagogy in the 60s and 70s which Tannis had been looking into in the French literature and we were wanted to know how that overlapped with some other branches of open.
The three Rs (as in the letter R) refers to the foundations of a basic skills-oriented education program in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic.
How do you choose which thread because there are likely more and they meander and cross over? Innovation, open education, open access, open pedagogy, self-directed learning Began with ERIC searches in English, had to move to Google searches to capture French and because some of the methodological challenges old research presents in databases. Therefore what we are presenting here today is incomplete and imperfect, but the intention is to provoke interest in exploring further.
If you do a search for open education and open access you will very quickly find an association of open education with open classrooms. Open classrooms also a type of open innovation - open practice. Greater frequency between 1970-1975
Primarily K-12 and in Quebec (although also popular in France) Paquette and Pare recognized as the leaders of this topic (Maubant and Roger, 2011) Context of education reform in Quebec and France. In Quebec it found its way into alternative schools. Pedagogical innovation Pare socioconstructiviste version, Paquette more at the level of the institution--care about the insitutional environments, the macro system Cited as being built on the open classroom movement and timeline suggests that this is likely
English - more limited, perhaps because of the connection to the the open classroom movement Titles: Is Instruction Outmoded? Open spaceâ€”open classroom John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and the theoretical foundations of open education. Open education: From ideology to orthodoxy Open-Area Schools--Open Pedagogy. An Investigation of Outcomes at the Elementary and Secondary Levels of Open-Area Elementary Schools. Report. Open Area Schools, Open Pedagogy: an Investigation of Outcomes at the Elementary and Secondary Levels of Open Area Elementary Schools: Report to the Montreal Catholic School Commission and the Ministry of Education of Quebec Conflicts in the curriculum: an example from physical education The Education of Gifted and Talented Children in Quebec in the Short and Medium Term.
85 publications (EBSCO search between 1960 and 1984) English only search Emergence of SD learning at the same time as open universities...shouldn’t be a surprise Open pedagogy in Quebec emerged at a time of educational refo Primarily an adult ed movement Hiemstra 1994 makes connection with open learning movement
In French, also adult ed but with a concentration in language learning, language education, especially in the late 70s and 80s. This spawned the emergence of self-access language learning centres internationally.
These themes also cross over to open pedagogy, self-directed learning, open classrooms (not just common to UK)
If open classroom and open pedagogy met at university, this is maybe what it would look like Bill Romey earth sciences at ST Lawrence university. Radical Innovation in a Conventional Framework. Reflects on the attempt to transform an academic department http://www.jstor.org/stable/1979012?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents “An opportunity arose to implement a new program in a conventional academic department of geology and geography at St. Lawrence University. Would it be possible to bring about extensive change from within a conventional department in an old-line, conventionally oriented liberal-arts school? “ Completely innovate a department. Bill describes the evolution over a few years, and notes that conventional thinking is starting to creep back in but for the most part the department is operating as described above.
Why should we care? Maybe this is a question we open up to the audience? For example, I’m increasingly interested in how given that we are so ‘globalized’ we are so local in in our research...if it isn’t published in English is isn’t even searched? If it’s not in the last 10 years we don’t read it? In the case of open pedagogy, this actually has an impact on our current conversations. Of course, I obviously feel this way about OER as well hence the OLOER project I’m doing. See next slide for a stunning example of a program level innovation that shares a lot with open pedagogy --
1977 Radical Innovation in a Conventional Framework: Problems and Prospects Bill Romey The Journal of Higher Education Vol. 48, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1977), pp. 680-696 https://www.jstor.org/stable/1979012
perhaps this article provides some explanation – productivity, business talk creeps in. Published in Journal of Higher Education – The Impact of Organizational and Innovator Variables on Instructional innovation in Higher Education 1982 Robert H. Davis, Rich Strand, Lawrence T. Alexander and M. Norrul Hussain The Journal of Higher Education Vol. 53, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1982), pp. 568-586 https://www.jstor.org/stable/1981854
Katz - openness like ‘freedom’ perhaps cannot be defined.
Historical Branches of Open
Digging Into the Past - Historical Branches
Vivien Rolfe, Tannis Morgan, Tanya Elias
Beyond Open Education
“The advent of a movement like open education brings
with it examination and criticism of what has gone before,
of what is going on contemporaneously, and, perhaps most
important, an examination and criticism of itself. Perhaps
the next stage in the cycle will be of one self-criticism and
By McKay Savage from London, UK (Colourful thread in Chinatown's market streets) [CC BY 2.0
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Threads of history
Today we partly connect the term ‘open’ to
Open Educational Resources assisted by
the ‘5 R’s’ to define the sharing of and
access to content (Wiley 2014).
Other interests around Open Educational
Practices and Open Pedagogy we struggle
to define - and treat these as new ideas
being explored for the first time. In fact,
there is a long history of exploration of
open education that dates back to the
CC BY-NC-SA Bunky’s Pickle:
Rolfe 2016 - explored an earlier body of ‘open’ literature...
(Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic)
...with much remaining uncited and unexplored (not very open!)...
As concluded again by Katy Jordan, Irwin De Vries, Martin Weller and myself (2017) -
Network citation analysis ‘seeded’ by 20 articles from 1970s around open and distance learning - analysis
of articles referenced to look at relationships between emerging communities:
● Open ed in schools - poorly
● Have certain voices been
● Gender/geographical bias is
demonstrated in similar pieces of
Aim and Methods
We explored the earliest branches of research into open education (based on a systematic literature
retrieval from 2016 and iterative building up of the literature sources by the 3 authors).
We identified themes and concepts of open, and discuss common threads, diversions, and the emergence
of 'new' ideas.
● How might this early work might offer valuable insight and frameworks for our current work?
● How might it challenge us to think differently about the meanings and possibilities of ‘open’ fifty
open education, open pedagogy, self-directed
255 publications (still not a globally
How was it framed?
Primarily a schools movement.
Solving a crisis:
Crisis in the Classroom
Schools without Failure
Experiment in education
Moving toward self-directed learning
Open classroom practices
Open minded, thought-filled education
Schools without walls
Community is the classroom
Video, Television and the Open
How Open Is Open? Or, When Is an Open
How was it framed?
Primarily a schools movement
Autonomy and interdependence
Freedom and responsibility
Democracy and participation
Learner as unique individual
Different rhythms, styles, histories and
Instructor as guide
Importance of the learning environment
“Pédagogie+ouverte” and “open+pedagogy” 1960-1984
How was it framed?
Primarily a schools movement
Open area schools, open classrooms
“From ideology to orthodoxy”
How was it framed?
Primarily an adult ed movement
Autonomy and responsibility
Free university movement
Open learning movement
Measuring and feedback
Mainly focussed on middle class white adults
Computer assisted, how to include tech?
“Self-directed learning” and “auto-apprentissage” 1960-1984
Assessment better suited to more humanist but less tangible goals of education
Develop levels of interest which will then sustain self-directed activity.
Is an answer to the oft-repeated urge to make education relevant.
Learning becomes fused into the student's consciousness as a series of solutions to the problems presented in life itself.
Learning takes place happily without lessons and even without a classroom.
Offers flexibility of time, administration and space.
Open classroom (defined as the community) - skills and knowledge are not seen as ends in themselves.
Provide individualised instruction for each child by attending to individual needs, interests and abilities.
Teacher more as a facilitator of learning than a transmitter of knowledge.
Teachers and students will have infinite ways of bringing artifacts together.
The curriculum has become a program for social purposes and the school an instrument of social control.
Results - more detailed view of UK papers...
•Independent project work at all levels, for all students and faculty, would replace all standard
•Students would evaluate their own work.
•Students would keep portfolios of their own work as an alternative means of showing what they
had accomplished. There would be no more examinations of conventional types.
•Students and faculty would participate fully and equally in the governance of the department.
•The department was to run as an open organism with free access for everyone in the university,
whether or not they were formally enrolled for credit.
•Each person would function both as a teacher and as a learner.
•The faculty accepted responsibility, in cooperation with the students, to create and maintain a rich
and stimulating learning environment for the benefit of all.
Results - elsewhere...
So what happened?
1970’s ‘open’ education had many shared goals with our movement today, not
only through the utilisation of different teaching practices mainly in infant/primary
schools but in higher education as well.
What have we missed? We could have been inspired by their vision, and built
upon their ideas. It may have provided us with a better foundation for ours.
The Impact of Organizational and Innovator Variables on Instructional innovation in
Higher Education, 1982
“Institutions of higher education lag behind most
other sectors of the economy in their capacity to
improve productivity” (Davis et al 1982)
consumerism Struggling with definitions
“How will I know
when I see it?”
“Some teachers ‘resist’
openness out of fear of losing
authority and control”.
Open education polarizes colleagues on
faculty (who wants to be thought of as a
How to measure pupil progress?
Pupils in an open plan (as opposed to
traditional) school were found to have
more positive attitudes toward school
and themselves and scored higher on
some measures of productivity; on
measures of curiosity there were no
Revisiting Barth - more criticism of open, self-criticism and self-
To respect and reflect upon our histories (although we are
challenged with affirmation bias).
Acknowledge past work in the spirit of openness.
Leave a more robust literature footprint for future generations.
● Rolfe V (2016). Open, but not for criticism? #opened16, Richmond Virginia, November 2016.
● Barth, R. S. (1977). Beyond open education. The Phi Delta Kappan, 58(6), 489-492.
● Katz, L. G. (1972). Research on Open Education: Problems and Issues.
● Wilson, F. S., Langevin, R., & Stuckey, T. (1972). Are pupils in the open plan school different?.
The Journal of Educational Research, 66(3), 115-118.
● Jordan K, De Vries I, Weller M, Rolfe V (2017). Reclaiming our History: Citation Network
Analysis of Historical Open and Distance Education Research. World Conference on Online
Learning, 16-19th October 2017, Toronto. Slides here:
○ Maubant, P., & Roger, L. (2010). De nouvelles configurations éducatives. PUQ.
○ Davis RH, Strand R, Alexander LT and Hussain MN (1982). The Journal of Higher Education, 53(5), 568-586. Available:
○ Romey B (1977). The Journal of Higher Education, 48(6), 680-696. Available: https://www.jstor.org/stable/1979012