Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Transformation or Irrelevance?

A reader weighs in with a keen observation:
Yes, on first read "nice". But that one sentence should be read in the context of the larger passage that McLeod quotes.

It turns out that the "transformative implications" that Moe and Chubb refer to include offering "new career paths" to teachers (a rather weird extension of freeing them "from their tradition-bound classroom roles"), "sophisticated data systems" (the intent here is most certainly not to Twitter) for making "education" more effective, and lowering the operating costs of schools by employing technology instead of teachers.

I doubt that this blog, that consistently presents the case for the use of digital technologies within a truly humanist educational perspective, really sees those issues as representative of the desired transformation.

I dare say that teachers have both 'careers' and 'vocations' and that the two are not necessarily the same. That doesn't mean I agree or disagree with the authors, but certainly in light of the 'transformative shift', there are all sorts of 'transformative implications'.

And I do think that this means the careers of teachers are before long going to take a very different shape and offer very different possibilities for the act of teaching itself (not to mention the even more important act of learning). But, as the reader surely knows, such has been the case throughout the history of teaching and intellectual transmission from the Stoa to the University.

One last thought: I do think that teachers and schools in general would be wise to learn something from the example of what has happened over the past ten years in the music industry. Or face a similar irrelevance.

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