I am thinking about the downhill slide of the public narrative surrounding higher education. Has it been our success at producing grads that can name and confront bigotry that has made higher ed now ground zero for the attacks against liberal ideas and multiculturalism? Or have we failed miserably to bring to our communities the true value of these ideas? Value that translates to a better quality of life for people?
@karencang it's complicated. My institution is home to the political scientists and economists that helped build policy for our previous republican-inspired prime minister. And also home to some of his more vocal critics. Home to tar sands extraction and renewable energy innovation. Higher ed is both status quo and progressive.
@dnorman @karencang I agree it's complicated. In US, I think the narrative has always been more about elitism/populism than liberal/non-lib. Historically the land-grant Uni's & CC's helped to dampen the anti-elitism (State U is "our" uni!), but as funding shifted to tuition & debt & away fr public purse in last 3-4 decades, even those uni's/CC's came to be seen as elitist because not really available.
@dnorman @clhendricksbc @fgraver @ShorterPearson @katebowles @Dan_Blick
Yes, it’s true @econproph . So how do we shift away from this place of elitism or inaccessibility? Obviously higher ed needs to be way less expensive. But we’ve gotten into a terrible cycle of ‘higher ed reputation as an expensive waste of time --> lower public funding--> higher tuition -->expensive waste of time reputation…’ How do we break this cycle? Does Open Ed offer some answers via influencing public opinion?
@karencang @dnorman @econproph I have this idealistic hope that the more we show people what we're doing in colleges & unis, through open education, the more they'll see the value of what we're doing. But then reality kicks in: more likely people will think: wow, if that's what they're wasting their time on, give them even less money! Will my showing of what we do in philosophy class change minds? Probably not. Which makes me sad.
@lauraritchie @dnorman @econproph @karencang I do keep doing it, and I'm a major open education proponent. But sometimes I think: hmmm...am I helping the humanities cause by showing the world what actually goes on in my classroom? Will those who don't already get the value of the humanities just use things like that as fuel for the fire to say the humanities are a waste of time? I still think the value outweighs the risk, though.
@clhendricksbc @dnorman @econproph @lauraritchie Hmm. This is an interesting thread. Does just opening up what we do in our classes (whether humanities or sciences) result in the public seeing the value just by observing? Or do we need to work harder to demonstrate our value maybe by including the people outside of our classes more deeply? via discussions? or more actively citizen science? or maybe citizen humanities?
@clhendricksbc @dnorman @econproph @lauraritchie I was thinking about the idea of citizen humanities a little. Flash mobs came to mind. But there must be many ways that the public could be (or has been) incorporated into the construction of a humanities-based project- art, music, film, writing- in similar ways in which citizens help collect data for a scientific research project even if they don't design it?
@karencang @clhendricksbc @dnorman @econproph two unrelated thoughts that I'm trying to connect- the flash mob: 1. Monday I was given a town & invited to do a flashmob. Literally told consider the town centre as a performance venue. 2. citizens collecting data. I think of encouraging students to design/enact/integrate but hadn't considered the others as contributing participants to potential research. projects, but never considered research... cogs slowly turning (on a pre-dawn train to London)
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