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J.M Coetzee on Open Accreditation

October 13th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Last week I write that with the emergence of open learning in the form of freely available courses, seminars and events on the internet, and with the increasing availability of open educational resources, open accreditation is the final frontier.

This week I will be writing a series of blog pots on accreditation. But first up an excellent quote from J,M Coetzee in his novel ‘Diary of a Bad Year’. Just substitute ‘open online networks for ‘peoples homes’

“In the days when Poland was under communist rule, there were dissidents who conducted night classes in their homes, running seminars on writers and philosophers excluded from the official canon (for example, Plato). No money changed hands though there may have been other forms of payment. if the spirit of the university is to survive, something along these lines may have to come into being in countries where tertiary eduction has been wholly subordinated to business principles. In other words the real university may have to move into peoples homes and grant degrees for which the sole backing will be the names of the scholars who sign the certificates.”

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2 Responses to “J.M Coetzee on Open Accreditation”

  1. Pat Parslow says:

    Nice quotation to re-use 🙂

    I was musing on this on the Connectivism and Connected Knowledge (CCK08) Moodle forums not long ago. I would like to see a technology based support mechanism for representing the explicit trust academics have in each other, which would, I think, provide sufficient support for such a system to work.

    Of course, I would rather see tertiary education freed from the business ties – perhaps separated into vocational and academic specialisations (now, where did I see that before…) and adequately funded so that the education is free at point of service, but I doubt that will happen any time soon.

  2. cristina says:

    I like this idea. Knowledge being passed on from people to people; ideas “Fevering” into action; know-how being developed through discussion-practice… the natural pragmatic steps of those who care [to learn…who show interest.]
    It’s a free(willing) journey into knowing for those who are open to learn with others (=share questions and attempt answers – “new ways out”; provide insights and add novelty to the groups’ thinking/perspectives; listen to and being listened to; engage in joint effort, collaborate and cooperate; support and help activate ideas — > motivating discussions leading to heartfelt actions. All of this empowers learning and improves [changes…?] our world (and the world around us) … all of this becomes meaningful…
    The more we get involved the more relevant it becomes (to us). Because we are a reflection of the world we (choose to) belong to, and only that one really matters [to us]…only that impacts on what we do and on what we are…

    And I think there’s a hint here ( in this post) to go back to that way of learning – the conversational way…with people mentoring… teaching…learning with… each other; being part of common reflections…actions.
    It reminds me of winter evening conversations around the fireplace. The warmth of the voices; the “fire” in the ideas which keeps the discussion crackling …into something deeper…

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