Kevin Carey’s Good Idea (MOOC’s) Needs Help

College for a New Age – NYTimes.com is a good editorial about Kevin Carey’s new book.  He has good ideas about MOOC’s, but he needs help, as I pointed out.

“I’m a former professor. I now write a blog on higher education’ inside-higher-ed . I have read several of Mr. Carey’s essays. He understands higher education, and his ideas are always worthy of serious consideration.

Unfortunately though, he – and all of us – are up against a well-entrenched, mostly unscrupulous, social order that has been in control of American education for decades. (I say “American” because I don’t mean just “higher ed”; I mean ALL of American education. Teachers are supposed to learn in college.)

Those who now run higher ed were able to gain control because the “business” of higher education is opaque, and, more importantly, because their “customers” (once quaintly called “students”) are both naïve and “uneducated” about the “product” that is delivered.

Our present class of “educators” will not give up their positions without a fight. They see the threat of the MOOC’s and will fight them. (To get an idea of how, read “A Tale Out of School” on my blog. It’s a documented story of an attempt to teach real math, as MIT does, at Wash. U. in St. Louis.)
We can win the fight but it will not be easy. We must be aware of the strategy of those that we are up against. We can start by forcing them to be transparent.

MOOC”s can actually help us to do that. Today, everyone can go online, look at a “real” course, like MIT’s math courses, for example, and compare it to what other colleges offer. That would be a good start toward accountability.

 

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