The spoiler, of course, is that it doesn't. Peter Greene explains: "two things are being conflated here. One is that education can help an individual escape poverty. That one makes sense... But the second idea--that education can end poverty as a whole--seems more problematic." An individual can move from a lower-paying job to a higher-paying one, but the lower-paying job is still there, and will still be filled by someone. "If everyone in the country has a masters degree, does McDonalds start paying its burger flippers $20/hour?" And the economy as a whole, despite increasing productivity and economic growth, remains a zero-sum game. Greene writes - and I agree - "My cynical non-economist view is this-- 'education will fix poverty' is an excellent way to absolve all the other players." See also the original post, which has some comments.
It's hard to be anything but incredulous on reading that headline. Harvard Business School seems to me to be the antithesis of a 'university of the people'. But there it is. “With online education at an all-time high, this relationship expands UoPeople’s mission to offer even greater quality, online, accessible, and affordable higher education to qualified students,” said University of the People President Shai Reshef. The collaboration is represented as "an important step in Harvard Business School’s broader diversity and inclusion initiatives." I see this as marketing - what the collaboration really means is that University of the People students are now able to enroll in Harvard's Credential of Readiness (CORe), a three-course primer in the fundamentals of business ($US 2,250 each exclusive of discounts).
I read this document in the manner suggested in the Twitter stream: "read Abstraction Fashion out of order. Read down the table of contents and jump to whatever excites you most!" Mind you, except for novels and literature, that's how I read most things anyway. Life is pretty bring when the only way to read something is from beginning to end! I often read blog posts backwards, from bottom to top. Anyhow, I had read about half this 254 page PDF (double-spaced and a quick read) and had a pretty good sense of what was being said: computing is abstraction, algorithms are performative, the 'value' of networks is subjective. This all definitely seems right to me. And this: "the logical conclusion of anti-waste rhetoric is to justify all activity in terms of efficiency... (but) from this perspective, every action humans take and every desire we indulge may well be evaluated as wasteful... From the position of efficiency, the visual arts, for instance, can look like an exorbitant excess."
As was widely reported, when the Covid-19 pandemic caused schools around the world to (as they say) pivot to remote learning, we learned in a hurry that students from low-income or otherwise disadvantaged circumstances were unable to participate fully in online classes. This caused schools to rethink how these students were supported. According to this article there might be a lingering effect as these same schools now have a new perspective on how disadvantaged students might not be able to participate fully in in-person learning as well. So in some countries (the article mentions places like the United States and Iran) additional funding is being directed toward low-income school districts or directly to students themselves. It's not nearly enough, but it's a start.
"While simply measuring learning is not the solution to higher proficiency," write the authors, "it can inform policy discussions around whether or not an intervention has been successful." Of course, the measurements can reflect any number of other factors, such as civil unrest, global pandemic, or the effect of some other change. That's why the various measurement programs discussed in this article - the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SEACMEQ) as well as the Programme d'analyse des systèmes éducatifs de la Confemen (PASEC) - need to be mapped against other measurement programs such as Rosetta Stone, TIMSS and PIRLS.
This is a very short snapshot of the experience of online learning in 2020 in a wealthy country that has been applying technology since 2012, but the lesson is the same as everywhere, it seems: "For teachers, the experience calls for them to explore the gap between what they do and what they are able to do if they draw upon the opportunities available through professional collaboration."
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