Neoliberalism and MOOCs: Amplifying nonsense

George Siemens, Venture Beat, Jul 09, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Leaving aside the totally nonsensical (non-)formula for MOOCs (slide 10) George Siemens is making a good - indeed, essential - point in this post: "Something is not neoliberalist just because neoliberalists are the first to take advantage of the gaps created by the traditional and emerging shadow education systems. Don’t blame the ill motives of others for what was caused by inactivity on the part of the professoriate and higher education in general." Indeed, if anything, the people who designed the (original) MOOCs are among the staunchest defenders of public education. Moreover, ", if we do take a stance that neoliberalism is some combination of open markets, deregulation, globalization, small government, low taxes, death of the public organization, and anti-union, then MOOCs are not at all neoliberalist." In my view, the 'MOOC as neoliberal' argument is a lazy and disingenuous argument made without thought or effort.

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