Over time, and as a result of various forces, the curriculum expanded to incorporate ‘subjects’, history
Rich VSM – explain the channels and what they mean
How are the ‘rules of the course’ expressed and made evident to the student? By this we mean such things as the learning outcomes, the obligations of the learner and the mutual commitment teacher and student make (e.g. the amount of time a teacher will spend messaging each week, the number of assignments a learner will be expected to complete, etc.)
But students are on many courses…
Animate single student VSM
What do these terms mean for a single students learning many things in parallel?
What students have to do
Who should control education
Who should control education? Prof. Oleg LiberInstitute for Educational Cybernetics University of Bolton
Education is a Human Right"Everyone has the right to education.Education shall be free, at least in theelementary and fundamental stages.Elementary education shall becompulsory. Technical and professionaleducation shall be made generallyavailable and higher education shall beequally accessible to all on the basis ofmerit”Universal Declaration of Human Rights,Article 26
Education is a Human Right "The States Parties ... recognize the right of everyone to education.... Education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among ... racial, ethnic or religious groups.... Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all... Secondary education ... including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all.... Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all....“ -- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultur , Article 13
Shared Understanding? Primary Education:In UK ends at age 11, but in Denmark at age 16!
Shared Understanding? Secondary Education:“Secondary schools have beengenerally the great disappointment ofthe 20th century. They have been toobig, too demoralised, distanced fromtrue learning by the national curriculumand the hurriedness and uniformity thatit imparts, too restricting for youngadults.
Shared Understanding? Secondary Education:“The time will come when thecompulsory school age is lowered to14 and… more teenagers averse toschool will be coupled with an olderperson as their education companionto introduce them to learning.” (Young,2000)
Shared Understanding? Technical and Vocational Education…contrasted with Countryside Recreation &theory and abstract Tourismconceptual knowledge, Food and Drinkcharacteristic of tertiary Heritage Managementeducation. Casino Operations Managementi.e. not Law, Medicine, Golf and Sports TurfEngineering, Dentistry, ManagementTeaching, Nursing… ? Outdoor Adventure Management
What is Education for?.... Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among ... racial or religious groups....Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26…Education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free societyInternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , Article 13
What does Education do?…for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school… attempt to expand the pedagogues responsibility until it engulfs his pupils lifetimes…the search for… educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.Illich (1972)
Everyone knows that…Education spending is huge in the developed worldThe developing world cannot match this but is forced to tryThe Education system reinforces the cycle of disadvantageThis is systemic
The promise of the computer:1980“…the computer will enable us to so modify the learning environment outside the classroom that much of not all the knowledge schools presently try to teach with such pain and expense and limited success will be learned, as the child learns to talk, painlessly, successfully, and without organized instruction”Seymour Papert (1980) Mindstorms, Harvester, Brighton p.9
The promise of the computer:1985Interactive content on CD ROM (or Videodisk, or CDi…)Intelligent tutoring:“the acme of all the educational media if they existed” (Laurillard 1993)The end of school?The end of courses?All we need is more computers!
Villemard postcard from 1910 depicting education in the year2000; Bibliothèque National de France
The promise of eLearning 1990sThe WWW Content distribution (and sharing) Online discussions Online assessmentThe end of the campus?VLEs (LMS)All we need is bandwidth and standards
The promise of eLearning, 21st CWe have the technology bandwidth standards software for collaborationWhat’s the problem?Why is education so unchanged?Why has Lifelong learning come to mean training?
It’s the system“Study the theory of a system” (Deming 2000)POSIWID – the purpose of a system is what it does (Beer 1985)“…we have forgotten that education had any other purpose than to promote growth” (Wolf 2002)
What is to be done?• Understand (model) the system what does it do and how?• Recognise and acknowledge the importance of non-formal modes of learning• Promote and support self- organised learning • give the people the tools• Invert and find a new role for institutions• re-design the meta-system
Modelling the Education System• Beer’s Viable System Fiv e Model (VSM) Fou• Establish the identity r (purpose) Thre e• Agree recursions of the system• Model each recursion
Establishing the identityTransformation: what is being transformed?Actors: who effects the transformation?Suppliers: who supplies the inputs?Customers: who benefits?Owners: who controls the system?Interveners: who else matters?Espejo, R. (1990)
ExamplesT: Learner’s ability to control National economic growth their futureA: Learners TeachersS: Teachers PublishersC: The population The national economyO: The community The stateI: Other institutions – work, Competitors arts, leisure
The State State Education Recursion in the Education System Education Institution HE Dept State Programme Institution Dept. HE
Recursion is important“…fundamental processes are causing… loss of control… processes… are needed to contain explosive disorder. Management will need to work at the metasystemic level. We can no longer afford to tinker with the internal mechanisms of established institutions.”Beer (1975) Platform for Change. Chichester, Wiley p.117
Viable System Model (VSM) Environment System Mgt Ve >> Vs >> Vm
The VSM and Education New EducationKE Learners Education Management Old Education Ve >> Vl >> Vt
3: OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT3*: monitoring 2: coordination Rules & Resource bargain MA A MB B
5. Policy FiveTheFull Four 4. StrategyViable Three 3. ControlSystemModel
5. Policy Five Four 4. Strategy Three 3. Control VarietyVariety
How the Education System attenuates variety: knowledgeImplied stability of knowledgeKnowledge divided into academic subjectsInstitutions into subject based departmentsSubjects into coursesCourses have linear curriculaCurricula into lessons
How the Education System attenuates complexity: institutions & peopleSectors are similarInstitutions are similarPeople are similar grouped by ‘ability’ attend lessons learn content tested on content before they can move to the next course
Systemic implicationsWhat? – Syllabuses require transmission – Courses require timetables – People are partitioned by lessonsWhy? – It simplifies matters – It works (so far) – It is the way it has always been
Pedagogic limitationsPeople have unique histories, aptitudes and desiresPeople have different learning approachesPeople have different time availabilityDesigned for transmission of pre-defined contentDifficult to organise – Individualised learning – Small group learning – Problem based learning
The costs of traditional educationDifficult to develop process skillsTeam skills, problem solving skills, creative skills, conversational and social skillsOverspecialisationNo space for polymaths
ExamplesFramework for evaluating e-LearningVSM to model teachingIdentify key amplification/attenuationPropose technological interventions
Students on a course 5. Steering TeacherEnv. 4. Development 3. Delivery 3* Monitoring Negotiation 2. Co-ordination Self-organisation Learner
Proposed criteria3. How does negotiation of learning take place?2. How can a unit of learning be structured sequentially and / or hierarchically over time? What facilities are there to organise learners in a variety of ways in the module (whole group, small groups, individuals)?3*. What facilities are there to monitor the success of the unit of learning as it runs? What can learners do on their own, outside of the purview of the teacher?4. To what extent is it possible for the teacher to adapt the module structure once teaching is underway?Britain & Liber (2004) A Framework for pedagogical evaluation of Virtual Learning Environments. JISC Report http://www.jisc.ac.uk/uploaded_documents/VLE%20Full%20Report%2006.doc
ExamplePersonal Learning EnvironmentsStart with the whole person as a viable systemIdentify where new technological interventions can help amplifyJoin up fragments
Student on many courses 5. Self-steeringEnv. 4. Self- Development 3. Self-delivery Negotiation Co-ordination Monitoring Self-organisation
Self managementNegotiating Learning: Steering Env. – Commitments to different activitiesCoordinating courses: Development – Managing time, scheduling, resources, materials, colleagues, reading, activities, making overall sense DeliveryMonitoring: – Am I making progress on each course as I expected? - reflectionSelf-organised collaboration – Finding synergy between courses & activitiesDevelopment: – New courses? New materials? New colleagues? Where next? PDP
University University Provider VLE VLE VLE Personal technology Social networks Web Knowledge
University University University Serv Serv Serv -ices -ices -ices Personal technology Personal technology Serv Social networks -ices Web Knowledge
Real Possibilities?University as service? Customers or apprentices?Separate teaching and certification? different productsEncourage and nurture inquiry Inquiry-based learning at the workplaceEnsure high level interoperability provide information, not toolsUse models and real data to manage our work no more blame Co-educate
Universities and studentsAre learners part of the institution?Is the learners part of the institution’s environment?Are institutions part of the learners’ environments?Are all these “true”?How do they affect the design of technical systems?
Challenge for institutionsWhat is their purpose given modern information environment?Re-think education – all recursionsMake lifelong learning realPromote and facilitate self- organised learningInstitutional inversion (Illich)
AlternativesFull deschooling? 100% self organised online Resourced how?The digerati New elites… same elites?Return to participative education - WEA State operate as metasystem Democratic control over our futures
“We are plagued by misconceptions about learningthat stem from thinking that schooling issynonymous with education” (p162)Gordon Pask (1982) Microman. London, CenturyThe daunting challenge of achieving a sustainablesociety in the coming decades demands a wholesaleand urgent reorientation of educational vision andpractice.Sterling, S. (2004). Whole systems thinking as a basis for paradigm change ineducation: Explorations in the context of sustainability. Ph.D. thesis, Universityof Bath. Retrieved February 28, 2005 fromhttp://www.bath.ac.uk/cree/sterling.htm.