Tuesday, February 18, 2014

History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education - Week 4 - lecture notes

This week, we turn to the future of education; Cathy will be showing us examples of innovative approaches to (higher) education within 100 miles of Duke University. (Her point is that innovation is happening everywhere; if we are only open to it, we can find it wherever we are.)

The lecture segments were mostly very short, so I was able to listen to everything in just two sessions. Then I took the "quiz". Cathy's quizzes are really just lecture notes. Everything is true; all you have to do is check it off, but reading through the quiz is a great way to review the main points for the week. (How I wish I could give tests like this!)

First, she reviewed the guiding principles of the course:

  1. We looked at the history of education in s purposive, activist way.
  2. There is always someone behind the camera (someone making things happen, even though we may not be aware of them).
  3. Local and global knowledge(s) are related. (I am having trouble with the idea of knowledge as a countable noun.)
  4. MOOCs may have begun as unidirectional are can evolve into peer-to-peer collaboration.
  5. It's important to be a lifelong UNlearner.
  6. Proximity: There are moments of brilliance and inspiration all around us, if we only look for them (cf. first paragraph).
  7. Art allows us to see the brilliance and transforms the mundane into something magical.
Second, she listed important digital literacies which we must develop if we are to behave as responsible world citizens and educate our young people to do the same:
  1. best practices in attention (multi-tasking, etc.)
  2. participation (why do women account for only 14 percent of Wikipedia editors?)
  3. access (who doesn't have it?)
  4. privacy (multiple concerns about that!)
  5. security (ditto)
  6. sustainability (how to preserve stuff online; who preserves it)
  7. credibility (whom can you trust online?)
  8. ethics (people are not data)
Third, we should find creative ways to model unlearning: we can do this through art and through culture shock. An example was Barkley Hendricks' series "Birth of the Cool," which uses ordinary street people as examples of who is cool. Remembering Kant's belief that we filter the world, unlearning is a way of changing the filter through which we experience the world.

Finally, in an interview with Laurent Dubois of Duke's Haiti Lab, we consider how to "rethink liberal arts as a start-up curriculum for resilient world citizens." The Haiti Lab features independent studies projects that brought together students from many fields after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, including medical, historical, and arts projects among others. There are all kinds of resources, videos, and other materials at the Haiti Lab website (link above). This was one example of an innovative curriculum based on liberal arts methods but incorporating science and technology as well.


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