Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"The teacher," writes Dave Cormier, "in most traditions, is responsible for making those desires as explicit and as clear as possible. I teach. You learn. Learning is defined by what I wish to teach." The soltion to this, he suggests, is a contract. "Come to an agreement with people about what they want to work on, how much they want to work, who’s responsible for what and what everyone expects." In philosophy there's a long literature of social contract theories (see, for example, Rawls) but they suffer from the presumption that these are actually negotiated, as opposed to simply imposed by the person in power. Cormier's contracts are the same sort of thing: the person in power sets the terms, and the person without power complies or fails.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 4:29 p.m.