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The problematic of e-learning

August 10th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

This blog post from George Roberts fascinates me. I think we need to explore the relations and contradictions George raises far more carefully than we have to now.

“Oliver and Trigwell (2005) raise the Freirian question: education as the practice of freedom. The overt curriculum of the industrial era, the “3 Rs” was reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. The covert curriculum, inculcated by early modern schooling was punctuality, tolerance of repetition and subordination: compliance with which was important for the functioning of capital intensive industry. Overt curricula are presented as being beneficial for all. Covert curricula benefit particular positions: dominant elites or their powerful oppositional forces. From this perspective the key affordances of e- learning, flexibility, community and individualisation are problematic. Against flexibility might be set a return to piecework and insecurity. Against community and team working might be set normalisation and a re-expression of hierarchies. And, against individualisation or personalisation might be set an increased tolerance to surveillance and a willingness to surrender personal information to anonymous, autonomous agents offering only predatory reciprocity. (Roberts 2004).”

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