by Stephen Downes
Mar 08, 2016
From the summary in the Contact North newsletter: "A consensus is emerging that blended learning, a term that embraces various combinations of classroom presence and online study, will become the most common approach to teaching and learning in higher education. Does this consensus simply aim to safeguard the tradition of face-to-face teaching against an invasion of fully online learning - or can blended learning raise higher education to new levels of effectiveness and quality?"
What Will Richardson means, of course, is that instead of constantly focusing on teachers, we should invest in learners. "The vast majority of “innovation” I’ve seen in my visits to schools around the world doesn’t amount to much change at all in the area where we need it most: using those new methods, ideas, or products to shift agency for learning to the learner." He cites author Seymour Sarason: "the goal is not to force kids to abandon their passions and interests for our curriculum when they come to school, which is what we currently do... we must start with their questions and curiosities, and bring our world to them." Too true.
I can't say I have any disagreement with this chart either. As the author says, "I find it interesting to find and connect puzzle pieces that make up a bigger picture of how the world works. Engaging in practices that are currently required in order to be a successful scientist goes directly against this ideal. In other words, when I chose my career, I did not want to play a dirty game of selling myself, sucking up to the right people, and publishing results that I don’t even believe in myself."
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