Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I would be among the first to acknowledge that the issues raised around equity and social justice in this report (192 page PDF) are important, but seeing the site flagged by my security software for ad tracking reminds me that these are not the only issues on the table. And the document as a whole reads as through it was written from a single point of view, which I think is a problem. For example, virtually no one outside academia - or even outside the social sciences and humanities - seems to have been consulted. To be clear: I want the authors to be successful, but it's not clear how they would define (or even recognize) success. The definitions offered at the top of things like 'diversity' and 'inclusion' are muddled and jargon-filled, while the list of recommendations seems more like a grab-bag than a coherent plan. Inclusive web design, for example, is important, and worth mentioning, but this document tries (half-heartedly) to tell us what it is and how to do it (with reference to a 13-year old W3C document instead of something from 2021).

See also the Federation's response and action plan as well as its blog (well worth reading, sadly no RSS). There's also a Charter on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization in the Social  Sciences and Humanities that uses much of the same language found in the report itself. Image: Gorodenkoff (Estonia), the original of the image used on the report, from iStock images (Getty Images).

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

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Copyright 2021
Last Updated: Apr 08, 2021 2:28 p.m.