42 or why one college does not wipe out previous options

Inge de Waard, Ignatia Webs, Oct 30, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

What I like about this article is that it speaks directly against the sort of magical thinking that characterizes Silicon Valley innovations, the latest being 42, a college built "around the idea of peer learning, without the interference of teachers. " Inge de Waard writes, "MOOCs and 42 are not the solution for education, just as humans are not the solution for peace (clearly). It is a positive, engaging combination of elements that makes things happen." Fair enough. Yet at the same time 42 does tap into the need for self-managed tuition-free learning. And 42 does speak to a certain culture of self-made do-it-yourself autodidacts. But there's a model here based on rigorous competition and a live-in 4-week boot camp that suggests something more is going on, one that makes me just wish their design (illustrated in the diagram) weren't so phallic.

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