The Cape Town Open Education Declaration

Various authors, Shuttleworth Foundation, the Open Society Institute, Nov 29, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I know the people behind this declaration mean well, and the signatories include people I know and respect - but I can't, you know, sign on to this version of open education, a version that is institution-centered, teacher-centered, and commercial. We can't pay for the schools and teachers we have now (and the teachers we're educating can't pay for their students loans on their salaries), do we want that to be the model of learning we give to the rest of the world. And goodness, the internet is already awash with really vile and intrusive commercial activity, do we have to export it too? We have the opportunity to do something really special in the world; why do we have to carve into every declaration of principle a paean to Things As They Are (and Those Who Profit From Them)? Well anyhow, here's the declaration and here's my statement of opposition to it.
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