Revolutions in Higher Education: how many dimensions of openness?

Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning, Mar 27, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Sir John Daniel cites David Kirp, "Embedded in the very idea of the university... are values that the market does not honor: the belief in a community of scholars and not a confederacy of self-seekers; in the idea of openness not ownership; in the professor as pursuer of truth and not an entrepreneur." It seems to me that traditional scholars have argued for their presence at every step of increased openness; academics would be needed to vet materials, to regulate admissions, to manage curricula. But in a process well-documented in this talk, they (or at least Daniel) have come grudgingly to accept that common people could manage these for themselves. There is no doubting the usefulness of a community of scholars. But the suggestion that "a community of scholars" is not "a confederacy of self-seekers" is quaint at best, naive at worst.
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