Opening Up Higher Education against the Policy Backdrop of the ‘Knowledge Economy’ – Navigating the Conflicting Discourses

Gabi Witthaus, SlideShare, Sept 20, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Once again I find myself wishing people would record their conference sessions - even an audio recording would be far better than slides, padlet and an outline. And this looks like an interesting one. While I don't believe counting words will lead us to a deep understanding of the discourse, it nonetheless points us in some interesting directions, and that's what happens here with this discussion of the discourse around open education. The paper asks, "to what extent does the Discourse of groups arguing for a market-driven approach to higher education overlap with, or diverge from, that of groups who are seeking to open up education?" It's a question I wrestle with. Market principles are very similar to network principles, and yet market principles are subject to failures where the poor and vulnerable are most impacted. So the way we talk about open education is an important indicator of whether or not we think this is a problem. I do - I think it's the problem. 

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