Posted by: crudbasher | October 19, 2010

Don’t Rule Anything Out In Education Reform

I came across this article about a talk given a few days ago at the Educause conference.  The talk was about the results of a focus group which was asked what if universities were run like Wikipedia.  In other words, it’s actual research about some thought provoking material deserving some serious discussion.

That’s not the point of this post.

What amazed me were the comments on the post. The author of the study was accused of being stupid and worse.  Many of the commenters completely dismissed what he had to say.  Most of them didn’t even try to refute his argument with their own, they just accepted as fact that he was wrong.

So this brought to mind a few thoughts…

  1. The only constant in life is change.
  2. Revolution always gives warning signs, but these are usually ignored by those with the most to lose.
  3. Tenure rules can be changed.
  4. You are not indispensable. (see #3)
  5. If Galileo had had a blog, he would have gotten similar comments.
  6. Universities are not entitled to anything. They always have to earn it.
  7. Being around for 200 years sounds impressive unless your lifespan is 202. Even Rome fell.
  8. Complacent people are roadkill on the highway of History.

Anyone else have anything to add to this list?

  • Some people are asking the questions at least…

    tags: education reform wikipedia nell

    • In a session called “The University as an Agile Organization,” David J. Staley laid out the findings of a focus group he conducted asking educators what a college would look like if it ran like Wikipedia.
    • First, it wouldn’t have formal admissions
    • It would consist of voluntary and self-organizing associations of teachers and students “not unlike the original idea for the university, in the Middle Ages,” he said. Its curriculum would be intellectually fluid.
    • And instead of tenure, it would have professors “whose longevity would be determined by the community,” Mr. Staley said, and who would move back and forth between the “real world” and the university.
    • The Wikipedia analogy struck one observer as silly. Universities are nothing like an encyclopedia, and Wikipedia is nothing like a university, argued Siva Vaidhyanathan, associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia.
    • He added, “But he clearly understands Wikipedia about as well as he understands universities. That is, not very well.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, Douglas Crets, Andrew Barras, edReformer , Andrew Barras and others. Andrew Barras said: Complacent people are roadkill on the highway of History. #edchat #edreform […]

  2. Problem with these types of “discussions” is that people have already made their minds up and aren’t willing to be persuaded or challenged to think differently. That is a major hurdle when talking about reform.

    • You know I thought that with more information at our disposal, it would be easier to see the truth and have everyone agree with it. Turns out there are many different versions of the truth and it’s easy to find one that supports your world view. *sigh*

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