Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Universities can help forge a new Common Life

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is mostly from a British context and is mostly an advertorial for the author's book, but I include it here because it illustrates a glaring blind sport in academia. The proposition - and it's a good one - suggests that, historically, "humans have overcome divisions by bringing people together" and that "universities should be central to bridging our divide" as one of these 'common life' institutions. They should put us "in a house with strangers and gives us a series of challenges to complete." Sounds great... expect that most people never attend university, and those that do are mostly from a privileged socio-economic class. So does Jon Yates say universities should open their doors to everyone? Of course not. He suggests "add a requirement to every course that students have to spend at least a weekend with people whose values are totally different from their own." It's hard to believe such a myopic one-sided solution would ever be seriously proposed... but, there it is.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jun 18, 2024 12:44 p.m.

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