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Open Education in Theory and Praxis

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Presentation to the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung in Frankfurt in February 2019

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Open Education in Theory and Praxis

  1. 1. Open Education in Theory and Praxis Hochschulforum Digitalisierung 7 Feb 2019 DR. ROBERT FARROW INSTITUTE OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY @philosopher1978
  2. 2. 2 01 Introduction About me, my background, and what I do; OER 02 Openness as Educational Ideal A description of some tensions within the open education movement 03 What is the point of Open Education? Here I will suggest that the point of education can be understood as a kind of orientation towards justice 04 Popper’s Open Society An outline of Popper’s vision of openness as a normative political ideal; the first systematic attempt 05 Openness in politics Here I examine some cases of the use of the concept of open in education and politics 06 Conclusion Concluding thoughts and recommendations CONTENTS
  3. 3. Introduction About me and what I do; about OER
  4. 4. 4 OPEN EDUCATION RESEARCH & THEORIZATION INTRODUCTION • BA Philosophy (University of Kent, 2000) • MA Continental Philosophy (University of Essex, 2004) • PhD Philosophy (University of Essex, 2009) • MA Online & Distance Education (The Open University UK, 2016) • Working in educational technology research since 2009 at OU UK CURRENT PROJECTS @PHILOSOPHER1978
  5. 5. Crash Course in OER An introduction from David Wiley
  6. 6. Creative Commons, the 5Rs, and OER The Shortest Possible Introduction David Wiley, Lumen Learning This presentation is licensed CC BY
  7. 7. Creative Commons Licenses Provide a super easy mechanism for a copyright holder to: (1) provide everyone in the world with permission to engage in a specific set of (otherwise prohibited) activities, (2) given that they abide by specific conditions.
  8. 8. CC Licenses - Families of Conditions (1) All licenses require the user to provide attribution (2) The licenses provide three options around the creation and distribution of derivative works (3) The licenses provide two options around commercial use
  9. 9. Derivatives Can Be Shared Derivatives Can Be Shared ONLY IF You Share Alike Derivatives CANNOT Be Shared Commercial Use Allowed Commercial Use NOT Allowed The Six Creative Commons Licenses All Licenses Require Attribution
  10. 10. Open Educational Resources “Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others.” UNESCO, adapted by Creative Commons
  11. 11. Retain make, own, and control a copy of the resource Reuse use the resource for any purpose Revise alter, adapt, change, edit, improve, or translate the resource Remix combine the resource with other resources to create something new Redistribut e share the original, revised, or remixed version of the resource with others The 5R Activities (You need permission to do these 5 things for an ER to be an OER)
  12. 12. The CC Licenses & The 5R Activities Retain ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Reuse ✔ ✔ ⁇ ⁇ ✔ ⁇ Revise ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘ Remix ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✘ ✘ Redistribut e ✔ ✔ ⁇ ⁇ ✔ ⁇
  13. 13. Is this OER? Is it safe to use in my OER work? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes* Maybe. What are the odds that the licensor will interpret your use as commercial? Are you willing to take that risk? Yes* Maybe. What are the odds that the licensor will interpret your use as commercial? Are you willing to take that risk? No No No No
  14. 14. Openness as educational ideal Discouse around openness in educational technology has changed over the last half-century to focus on implementation rather than vision
  15. 15. 15 ALTERNATIVE VISIONS OF OPEN SWIMMING UPSTREAM – BUT TO THE SAME DESTINATION? Replace the system! Decolonize! Improve the system! Extend educational opportunity! Compromise! Keep the faith!
  16. 16. • Openness as indeterminacy: realised in multiple forms • Contextualist, not essentialist • Defines itself against a status quo that restricts some activity: open removes a barrier to doing “X” • Fundamentally oriented towards enhanced freedom (Farrow, 2016; 2017)
  17. 17. opensource.com CC-BY-SA
  18. 18. Distinction made by Fromm (1941) and Berlin (1958): Negative Liberty: the absence of (external) restrictions on activity; freedom from interference Positive Liberty: the capacity to act on the basis of one’s free will; implies rational agency, autonomy, active choice See also: • Knox, J. (2013). Five Critiques of the Open Education Movement. Teaching in Higher Education 18 (8). http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2013.774354 • Farrow, R. (2016). Constellations of Openness. In Deimann, M. & Peters, M. A. (eds.) (2016). The Philosophy of Open Learning: Peer Learning and the Intellectual Commons. Peter Lang Publishing. https://www.peterlang.com/view/product/31200
  19. 19. History of open education By the 1960s the open education movement had begun to coalesce around the idea of disestablishing cultural, economic and institutional barriers to formal education. The Open University in the UK was founded in 1969 to widen access to higher education by disregarding the need for prior academic qualification, and using the communication technologies of the time to ‘open up’ campus education though a “teaching system to suit an individual working in a lighthouse off the coast of Scotland” (Daniel et al., 2008). https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Louisbourg_Lighthouse.jpg
  20. 20. hCC-BYttps://www.slideshare.net/viv_rolfe/opened16- conference-presentation CC-BY Viv Rolfe
  21. 21. Weller, M. (2016). Different Aspects of the Emerging OER Discipline. Revista Educação e Cultura Contemporânea 13 (31). http://periodicos.estacio.br/index.php/re educ/article/view/2321/1171
  22. 22. https://www.slideshare.net/viv_rolfe/opened16-conference-resentation CC-BY
  23. 23. technê τέχνη https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Eos_Memnon_Louvre_G115.jpg θεωρία theoria
  24. 24. 24 ALTERNATIVE VISIONS OF OPEN SWIMMING UPSTREAM – BUT TO THE SAME DESTINATION? Replace the system! Decolonize! Improve the system! Extend educational opportunity! Compromise! Keep the faith!
  25. 25. What is the point of open education? Here I suggest that the point of open education can be understood as a kind of orientation towards justice and a particular (if undertheorized) vision of society
  26. 26. 26 WHAT IS THE PURPOSE (τέλος) OF EDUCATION? EDUCATIONAL THEORY 1. CLASSICAL • Cooney, Cross & Trunk (1993) provide evidence for the view that educational theory originates with Plato (Republic; Laws). According to this approach, education is a means through which to pursue the good (or prosperous) life (εὐδαιμονία) through achieving development of potential at the individual level and also at the level of the social body as a whole. • This flourishing of potential is also understood as a route to social justice, achieved through a kind of harmony between different elements of society. Education is conceived as a way to develop the kinds of virtues needed to achieve a flourishing life and prosperous society, and is thus supremely important. • Aristotle (Politics) is less focused on the idealistic conception of Plato, and instead emphasizes the processes through which learning takes place. He offers the first disciplinary and pedagogical distinctions. 2. SCHOLASTIC Recovery of Classical tradition and continuance of dialectical method as a way to harmonize Christian thought. The impact of this was to establish a semi-public (open?) form of reasoning and argument through public readings and criticism and arbitration. (See Deimann & Peters (2013) for a history of open education.) 3. ENLIGHTENMENT • Explosion of print availability; public libraries and literacy across social groups; scientific revolution; learned societies • Challenges to traditional forms of authority; emphasis on autonomy and self-dependence rather than the flourishing of society as a whole • One radical implication was the increased emphasis on the autonomy and empowerment of the learner
  27. 27. 27 WAS IST AUFKLARUNG? “Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self- incurred immaturity.” Kant (1784) “Dare to know! ‘Have the courage to use your own understanding!’ is the motto of the Enlightenment.”
  28. 28. 28 WHAT IS THE PURPOSE (τέλος) OF OPEN EDUCATION? EDUCATIONAL THEORY • WIDENING ACCESS • BUILDING THE COMMONS • SOCIAL JUSTICE • ENHANCING SKILLS & EMPLOYABILITY • EMPOWERING PEOPLE • DEMOCRATISING KNOWLEDGE • BUILDING NETWORKS • SHARING RESEARCH • A FAIRER INFORMATION SOCIETY • IMPROVING LEARNING • OPEN DATA • SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP • RETHINKING BASIC ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT EDUCATION • ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTION/DISTRIBUTION • AMPLIFYING MARGINALISED VOICES • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REFORM • TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION What kind of society are we attempting to bring into being?
  29. 29. Popper’s Open Society Popper’s political thought is arguably the first and most sustained attempt to base a social vision in the concept of openness
  30. 30. 30 (1902-1994) KARL POPPER • Provides first comprehensive attempt to derive a political philosophy from concept of openness • Primarily known as a philosopher of science and defender of critical rationalism • Understands scientific knowledge in terms of falsifiability • Flirted with Marxism in his youth, later rejecting it • The Open Society and Its Enemies [1945] was written in exile during WWII (Hacohen, 1996)
  31. 31. 31 UNDERSTANDING OPEN/CLOSED POPPER’S OPEN SOCIETY • Closed societies have close tribal and religious links; open societies are relatively fragmented, but rational in a different way. Modern closed societies are authoritarian, totalitarian and ideological. • Open societies emphasize falsifiability and falsification of knowledge; democracy; freedom of thought; and the free exchange of ideas and rationality (Steyn & de Klerk, 2009) • Five core values (freedom, tolerance, respect, rationalism, and equalitarianism) and three crucial practices (democracy, state interventionism, and piecemeal social engineering) (Lam, 2012) Popper, K. (1966). The Open Society and Its Enemies. Vol. 1 The Spell of Plato. pp.202-3
  32. 32. 32 (1902-1994) KARL POPPER • Critical of totalitarianism, Marxism, Fascism, authoritarianism, historicism; influential for 20th century liberal democracy and post-war consensus • "Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them." • Niels Bohr (1885-1962): “The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.” • Since the latter half of the 20th century, “openness” has developed within stable frameworks of liberal/social democracy, and is now often tacitly assumed in many areas of society (such as open government, a free press, freedom of speech, etc. and later open access, open government, open education).
  33. 33. Openness in political discourse Divergence in the political domain and the relation of open education to the public sphere
  34. 34. Congressional Record, V. 144, Pt. 14, September 9, 1998 to September 21, 1998
  35. 35. "What he's talking about is taking emasculated men in their forties, fifties and sixties who are not living the life they hoped for in their teens and twenties and saying, 'you know what? there are people to blame for this. And we're going to build a wall and we're going make America great again. "At the core of that is the struggle between being an open society and a closed society. And so if you want to know where the trillions of dollars of wealth creation that are going to come with the commercialisation of genomics, and the creation of big data companies, and the AI machine learning companies and all of the industries of the future my overarching line here is it's going to be the most open societies. "Open societies means that upward economic and social mobility is not constrained to elites, it means that religious and cultural norms are not set by central authorities and it means that it is wildly rights respecting, in terms of the rights of women, religious minorities, racial minorities and ethic minorities. "The industries of the future will be overwhelmingly concentrated in the most open societies.” Alec Ross, Clinton aide http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/30/donald-trump-is-a-vulgar-demented-pig-demon-says-hillary-clinton/ The Telegraph, 30 May 2016
  36. 36. 37 Slaughter (2016) proposes that the web is the new geopolitical theatre, and that the USA “should adopt a grand strategy of building and maintaining an open international order based on three pillars: open societies, open governments, and an open international system.” https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2016- 10-04/how-succeed-networked-world?cid=soc-tw-rd
  37. 37. 39 PIRATE PARTIES https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Mynttorget%2C_Stockholm_during_the_June_3%2C_2006_pro- piracy_protest.jpg
  38. 38. 40 http://wiki.pp-international.net/Building_the_principles_of_PPI PIRATICAL PRINCIPLES • Defend the freedom of expression, communication, education; respect the privacy of citizens and civil rights in general • Defend the free flow of ideas, knowledge and culture • Support politically the reform of copyright and patent laws • Have a commitment to work collaboratively, and participate with maximum transparency • Do not accept or espouse discrimination of race, origin, beliefs and gender • Do not support actions that involve violence • Use free-source software, free hardware, DIY and open protocols whenever possible • Politically defend a open, participative and collaborative construction of any public policy • Direct democracy • Open access • Open data • Economy for the Common Good and promote solidarity with other pirates • Share whenever possible
  39. 39. 42 CATHEDRAL AND BAZARR OPEN EDUCATION & CRITICAL PEDAGOGY
  40. 40. 43 ILLUSTRATIVE QUOTES OPEN EDUCATION & CRITICAL PEDAGOGY Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world. (Freire, 1970:34) The pedagogical value in openness is that it can create dialogue, and can deconstruct the teacher-student binary, by increasing access and bringing together at once disparate learning spaces. Openness can function as a form of resistance both within and outside the walls of institutions. But open education is no panacea. Hierarchies must be dismantled — and that dismantling made into part of the process of education — if its potentials are to be realized (Morris & Stommel, 2014). Critical approaches to education have “a normative and even utopian dimension, attempting to theorize how education and life construct alternatives to what is.” (Kellner, 2003:3).
  41. 41. Concluding Remarks Acting against the closed
  42. 42. 45 IN SUMMARY • Openness is an indeterminate concept – this leaves it amenable to multiple forms of realisation. • The relation between these forms is under-recognized and under-theorized. I have tried to show how understanding the purpose of education (and open education) might help us to reflect on activity and resolve disagreements). • I referred to Popper’s model of Open Society to explore the end point of openness as a critical, humane and scientific society. • I distinguished two contemporary political forms of open which can be understood as entirely consistent with Popper, yet are distinct from each other: the globalist, neoliberal form and the radical pirate form. • It is mistaken to see openness as a linear historical progression: Peters & Deimann (2013:12) observe that “historical forms of openness caution us against assuming that particular configurations will prevail, or that social aspects should be assumed as desired by default”. Similarly, Popper’s critique of historical ‘progression’ (and current events) indicates that progress is fragile and contingent. • What we do will ultimately determine what open education / open society looks like in the future. • Even if we can’t agree on open, we can act together against the closed
  43. 43. 46 FOUCAULT (1972) – preface to DELEUZE & GUATTARI (1972) ANTI-OEDIPUS THE ART OF LIVING CONTRARY TO FASCISM • Free political action from all unitary and totalizing paranoia. • Develop action, thought, and desires by proliferation, juxtaposition, and disjunction, and not by subdivision and pyramidal hierarchization. • Withdraw allegiance from the old categories of the Negative (law, limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western thought has so long held sacred as a form of power and an access to reality. Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic. • Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of desire to reality (and not its retreat into the forms of representation) that possesses revolutionary force. • Do not use thought to ground a political practice in Truth; nor political action to discredit, as mere speculation, a line of thought. Use political practice as an intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiplier of the forms and domains for the intervention of political action. • Do not demand of politics that it restore the “rights” of the individual, as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product of power. What is needed is to “de- individualize” by means of multiplication and displacement, diverse combinations. The group must not be the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant generator of de-individualization. • Do not become enamored of power.
  44. 44. 47 FOUCAULT (1972) – preface to DELEUZE & GUATTARI (1972) ANTI-OEDIPUS THE ART OF LIVING CONTRARY TO FASCISM • Free political action from all unitary and totalizing paranoia. • Develop action, thought, and desires by proliferation, juxtaposition, and disjunction, and not by subdivision and pyramidal hierarchization. • Withdraw allegiance from the old categories of the Negative (law, limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western thought has so long held sacred as a form of power and an access to reality. Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic. • Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of desire to reality (and not its retreat into the forms of representation) that possesses revolutionary force. • Do not use thought to ground a political practice in Truth; nor political action to discredit, as mere speculation, a line of thought. Use political practice as an intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiplier of the forms and domains for the intervention of political action. • Do not demand of politics that it restore the “rights” of the individual, as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product of power. What is needed is to “de- individualize” by means of multiplication and displacement, diverse combinations. The group must not be the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant generator of de-individualization. • Do not become enamored of power.
  45. 45. 48 “We all need to be open to the need to make changes in respect of our institutions, our personal style, and indeed our personalities themselves. We need, in effect, to become people with characters that fit an open society.” Shearmur (1996:174)
  46. 46. THANK YOU! @philosopher1978 oerhub.net philosopher1978.wordpress.com https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=j3-x3WwAAAAJ&hl=en

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