by Stephen Downes
May 22, 2015
Widening Wealth Gap
Inside Higher Ed,
I come back to this story from time to time because people insist that we (promoters of free and open learning) should be supporting the existing system of higher education. The problem with that premise is that the existing system works mostly to promote itself and to stay true to its real mission: to "reward the inside game, and ensure that the advantages enjoyed in one generation can be passed safely onward to the next." And as we read today, "We expect the trend not to change dramatically until there’s a significant change in the higher education model," said Pranav Sharma, an analyst with Moody’s. "The gap will continue to increase and those who are not well endowed will continue to struggle." So let's change the higher education model.
Really good set of notes on the phenomenon of public shaming. "First, public shaming is in no way a new or online phenomenon," writes Bonnie Stewart. "We’re not gawking because it’s new. We’re gawking because it’s uncomfortable." Second, public shaming is used to exert control, either to force people to conform to the status quo, or to push back against the status quo. She writes, "We don’t want a society entirely driven by shame. Those always turn out dangerous. But I am wary of the ways that pundits and media are lining up to denounce shame at this juncture, particularly when their words tend to sympathize with the risks that white, middle class Justine Saccos face in this 'mob morality,' rather than with the risks and shame that those #FHRITP guys were trying to inflame as they aggressively asserted their own right to complete and utter shamelessness."
Here’s the difference between research and innovation
As Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada announces the recipients of "$28 million in job-related training for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows" a Quebec physicist takes to the pages of University Affairs to criticize the agency's new focus on 'innovation' as opposed to 'discovery'. "I have a very different view, one that I suspect is shared by many, if not most, of your clients: that discovery, rather than being a component of research, IS research, while innovation is a completely different activity, one largely concerned with taking scientific discoveries and other ideas and developing useful products out of them."
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