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Date: Wed, 03 May 1995 23:06:55 -0400
From: Andy Busutill <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: from local to virtual (con't)
Sender: "Higher Education Processes Discussion (HEPROC)"
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Approved-By:  Carl Reimann <[log in to unmask]>
Comments: To: [log in to unmask]
 
On 3 May, David Caverly wrote:
 
> Now, all three of these student types are teaching me new
> knowledge as we grow together.  Being the proverbial
> constructivist educator, I am willing and even encouraging
> to this to occur.  Perhaps as a field we need to reconsider
> our role in preparing our charges for the rigors of success
> in an information based economy.
 
You talk here about collaborative practice, which I see as
very heartening.  The 'information based economy' is upon
us, and I think we need to be rigorous and highly critical
in our use of the information that's available to us. There
is a real danger that we could become undifferentiating in
what we accept as 'truth'. The authority of the medium could
be a very powerful coercive force. Working on the available
information together gives us a greater opportunity to
critique and use the data, hopefully in a more socially
responsible way.
 
> In a word, those who will be successful are those who can
> read, write, and compute.
 
What do you mean by 'successful'? What will make our global
society 'succeed'? Is this the same 'success' that you talk
about individuals attaining? Is 'success' adequate to the
needs of humanity if it only means the achievement of
mastery of technology, numeracy, literacy or any other
skill? We need to be careful to not promote skill without
giving deep consideration to human processes which identify
how skills need to be used for the betterment of all. I
think there is a real danger that, as educators, we could
become so besotted with the attractiveness of the new medium
that our substantial advances in sound educational practice
could be peripheralised.
 
> Less than a 100 years ago, educators were highly respected
> and rewarded in our society.  Within the next 100 years we
> will again be respected and rewarded, for we hold the key
> to those skills and abilities.
 
I don't know why but this is a frightening thought!
 
Andy Busuttil <[log in to unmask]>
Staff Development Centre
Uni. of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury