Phi Beta Cons

Live and In Person

A couple of healthfully critical notes have been sounded amid the general euphoria surrounding online education. Online education has been categorized among the creatively disruptive technologies of today, in this instance bringing new vitality to higher education. But as Peter Augustine Lawler notes:

“Disruptive techno-utopianism isn’t really about making higher education ‘higher’ or more ambitious. It’s about exploiting the decadence to root out the quality as well, to discipline all of American education with the disruptive logic of the market.  That’s one reason the disruptive innovators want all American education (from charter schools to graduate schools) to be ‘for profit,’ and for professors to be understood as workers like any others.”

And Donald Philip Verene, in the Fall 2013 Academic Questions, details the elements of conscientious pedagogy on the postsecondary level, reminding us of what live classroom teaching entails before we completely lose sight of it. Verene points out the difference between receiving required information and being trained for credential or credit on the one hand, and internalizing knowledge and being truly educated on the other.



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