Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ What Can Decentralized Organizations Accomplish in Education?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

We need, I think, to be careful to distinguish between decentralized and democratic. I don't think this article is that careful. The article makes two key points: "Democratized organizations can align incentives for all stakeholders to improve outcomes," and "Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) are paving the way to change how learning operates." The authors depict educational organizations (like, say, school boards) as being undemocratic in the sense that decisions are made 'top down'. Thus we read "political demands, broken funding models, and poor teacher training using standardized curricula prevented schools from focusing on students." I won't argue that there are not issues. But creating a decentralized educational organization does not introduce democracy, it eliminates it. Here's how it operates: "An action with precise rules enables a reaction without the need for a central governing authority or middle man." But the whole point of democracy is to have a governing authority. If it's not accountable to the people, it's not democratic. (This is the same sort of thinking that we see behind 'The Network State', and suffers from the same flaws).

 

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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