Initial thoughts and why am I doing this?


Open Pedagogy with UBC.

Week 1

I’m very much looking forward to this course by the University of British Columbia (UBC).  It is strange that anything with pedagogy in the title always strikes the fear of god in me. I remember my first lecture role at Nottingham University where I kept hearing this strange word and wondering what the hell it was. Most professions are strange and you drift into roles with no formal training. I’ve drifted from science to management to teaching and now vaguely drift between all three. There was never any formal training about pedagogy at any point.

So for my own benefit, “pedagogy is the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education” (thank you Wikipedia).

But aren’t we lucky today with open courses such as this. We have such amazing knowledge and learning at our finger tips which I guess is the whole point of open pedagogy – to effortlessly share your materials and learning with others to benefit the sum of the whole. And this is underpinned by the most recent theories, thinking and ideas. How cool is that.

The course structures some topics around pedagogy, practice and design, again all separate but obviously inter-related. I’m planning an open course of my own later in the year so all of this will be invaluable.

The Only Way is Ethics

I’m certainly looking forward not just to the design aspects but learning about ethics for working out in the open. This is an area in need of attention and I look forward to the conversations that will take place. Our technology has out-paced our pedagogy which has certainly out-paced our ethical thinking, and I suppose tech always challenges us in these ways. I’ve talked and written about this a little, and also the bredth of the ethical challenges are wide ranging. My point now is well, what are we going to do about it?

Anyway I need to stop the open rambling and get open learning with UBC. By the way, open rambling is not a ‘thing’ yet. Just remember you heard it hear first.

1 thought on “Initial thoughts and why am I doing this?

  1. Hi Viv,
    I completely agree that the ethical challenges and questions related to teaching and learning in the open are complex and worth grappling with. Here are a few that I’ve been trying to sort through (in a small way) with learners that I am involved with:
    * if learning requires vulnerability as Audrey Watters suggests (and I believe it does) – then we need to honor it and let it flourish or at least recognize it- what does that require of us?
    * how do we effectively support fearful and compliant students (here’s where the vulnerability comes in) in moving to being autonomous and self-directed (and what values are we imposing when we do that?)
    * when is open good for learning and when is it not?
    I suspect at the root of all of this the way forward has to do with empathy and connection and a recognition of the vulnerability required for working in the open – how do we support each other? So much more to reflect on about this… but I’ll stop here. Thanks for raising the ethical.

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