Thursday, May 2, 2013

San Jose State University calls out Sandel and MOOCs

Awesomeness ensues.

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Document-an-Open-Letter/138937/?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

~zombie

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

BRAVO SJSU!

Anonymous said...

CSU San Jose??! San Jose State University!

Anonymous said...

Sandel responds:

http://chronicle.com/article/Michael-Sandel-Responds/139021/

I think it is the right reply.

Oh, and San Jose State University and San Diego State University are part of the Cal State system, but the names aren't like CSU Fullerton. You have got to fix that.

Anonymous said...

What awesomeness is ensuing? I am not seeing it. They called out Sandel on the MOOC thing being basically bullshit...kudos to them. But far as I can tell, there have not been any further consequences or responses. Generally when one uses the locution 'awesomeness ensues' they are referring to further consequences of some sort. Am I missing something on this link?

Anonymous said...

Sandel's response shows outlandish, but I think pretty common, naivety. Academics by and large operate under the impression that the university system is about the spreading of knowledge and understanding, rather than profit. A basic examination of the university system reveals this to be nonsense, but academics seem chronically unable to recognize this.

Anonymous said...

re: 8:20AM

Perhaps the increased exposure of the issue? The New York Times picked it up:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/education/san-jose-state-philosophy-dept-criticizes-online-courses.html?_r=0

zombie said...

OK. Fixed.

I thought the letter itself was awesome.

zombie said...

Especially this: "Teaching justice through an educational model that is itself spearheading the creation of two social classes in academia amounts to a cruel joke."

Anonymous said...

8:28,

It's not that academics don't realize this. They know it and lament it. But the value of academics doesn't often translate well to profit. This is especially the case with disciplines like Philosophy.

Should such academics decide to accept that understanding of the university, many would be forced to resign, knowing that their offerings don't contribute to the overall profit of the university. (That is, replacing Philosophy departments with Business departments would increase the profit margin for many universities, especially smaller ones.)

So what we do is fight the good fight. Not because we don't see how the world works, but because we hope to change that world. And it's worth the fight.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely doubt that "replacing Philosophy departments with Business departments would increase the profit margin for many universities, especially smaller ones" given that humanities departments (and the arts & sciences generally) typically subsidize business colleges and departments.

Even at my non-urban regional comprehensive, starting salaries in the college of business are in the low six figures, twice what they are in the humanities. Without the surplus generated by the humanities, universities would have to start charging business students the actual cost of their degrees.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:53,

So what we do is fight the good fight

What Fight? The war is over and the humanities have lost. We're less like fighters and more like deck-hands on the Titanic; we're watching the ship go down and there is literally nothing we can do to stop it. The commercialization and commodification of higher-learning has already been completed.