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Friday, November 21 • 1:15pm - 1:45pm
If Freire Made a MOOC: Open Education as Resistance

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Ceding authority is an active endeavor. Paulo Freire writes in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, "A revolutionary leadership must accordingly practice co-intentional education." The pedagogical value in openness is that it can create dialogue by increasing access and bringing together at once disparate learning spaces.

Dichotomies of leaders and learners, teachers and students, are only helpful when they facilitate rather than frustrate dialogue, and when we acknowledge these roles are permeable, transparent, and flexible. Pedagogy starts with learning as its center, not students or teachers. It's a conversation we have from whatever place we occupy in the collaboration (and that place is always shifting). Teachers must be learners, students empowered to be teachers, and our classrooms must become sites of intrinsic motivation, networked learning, and critical practice. A critical digital pedagogy demands that open educational resources must not be merely repositories of content. They must also be platforms for engaging students and teachers as full agents of their own learning. A MOOC, for example, cannot be merely a delivery mechanism, but must be aimed first and foremost at building empowered communities.

In this presentation, we'll examine how our work with MOOCs reveals that open education can quickly become a form of resistance within and outside the walls of the institution. MOOC MOOC: Dark Underbelly was a rambunctious series of discussions about the past, present, and future of education. The event was a spinoff of MOOC MOOC, a meta-MOOC about MOOCs, which we ran three times in 2012 and 2013. The goal of our work has not been to make better MOOCs, but to examine MOOCs and our experiences in them to put open education more deeply in conversation with critical pedagogy.

Education is "the practice of freedom", Freire writes, "as opposed to education as the practice of domination, [which] denies that man is abstract, isolated, independent, and unattached to the world; it also denies that the world exists as a reality apart from people. Authentic reflection considers neither abstract man nor the world without people, but people in their relations with the world." Open Education as a practice, then, must necessarily also be rebellion. Openness is not simply an approach, but an incendiary device that brings into conversation matters of learning, pedagogy, and power that classrooms with closed doors omit. But open education is no panacea. Hierarchies must be dismantled -- and that dismantling honored as an ethic -- if the potentials of open education are to be realized.

avatar for Sean Michael Morris

Sean Michael Morris

Director, Hybrid Pedagogy
Writer, Director at Hybrid Pedagogy, contemplative, digital agnostic
avatar for Jesse Stommel

Jesse Stommel

Executive Director, Hybrid Pedagogy, Hybrid Pedagogy
Jesse Stommel is co-founder of Digital Pedagogy Lab and Hybrid Pedagogy: the journal of critical digital pedagogy. He is co-author of An Urgency of Teachers: the Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy. Jesse is a documentary filmmaker and teaches courses about pedagogy, film, and new media... Read More →

Friday November 21, 2014 1:15pm - 1:45pm EST

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