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Ecologies of Yearning and the Future of Open Education (Gardner Campbell)

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Robert Farrow
16 October 2012

Massive Open Online Courses now enroll millions of students. MOOCs and their implications nearly toppled a president at a major research university last spring, and disruptions like these are sure to continue. Yet these extraordinary developments do not by themselves constitute success for open education. As we seek to move “beyond content,” there are principles we have not yet discovered or fully articulated, conceptual frameworks we must revisit, and challenges we must acknowledge and address. By synthesizing, or at least mashing up, Seymour Papert’s “yearning for megachange” and Gregory Bateson’s “ecologies of mind,” I will suggest some ways the open education movements might avoid reinforcing the worst models of computer-aided instruction, and instead lead the way toward deep, meaningful, and enduring educational reform.

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