Freire, the Matrix, and Scalability

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, Apr 22, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Paulo Freire, as the biographies note, wove education theory and social theory into a form of liberation pedagogy based on "the idea of building a 'pedagogy of the oppressed' or a 'pedagogy of hope' and how this may be carried forward." A session on Freire at a recent conference in Montreal moved David Wiley to pen this article. He writes, "This thinking leads me to reaffirm my position that there is a larger educational research problem to solve than making instruction more effective. The scientific literature is full of research that will tell anyone willing to read how to make education extremely effective. It is high time the field of educational research, and especially instructional technology research, decided that the most pressing problem facing us today isn’t making education more effective, it is making education more available." In this, David Wiley and I are of one mind. "Let’s spend billions of dollars and millions of person hours per year making significant progress on the access problem, which progress we can make if we will, instead of committing those same resources to making almost unperceivably small incremental improvements in the effectiveness with which we keep instructing the same subgroups."
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