Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Doug Belshaw points toward this item from The Conversation in his weekly newsletter. The argument is that we should not allow business words, like 'excellence', to seep into education. "David Cameron has reminded us once again that our children and young people should aspire towards excellence.... This sort of discourse simply reinforces what we’ve known for some time: corporate mentality has hijacked education." I agree that we shouldn't adopt the language of business and commerce , that we should encourage children to be 'little entrepreneurs', but honestly, it's better than the military metaphors that have permeated the language of education up to this point. I would also observe that the language of 'excellence' has been a part of the language of education for decades, for generations. But the point about the metaphors is a good one. When I was a child we were encouraged to see ourselves in the shoes of scientists and explorers. These were our heroes. They still should be, in my view.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 5:28 p.m.