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berlin2017:education

Education

During the Session, education was a topic that popped up a lot of times form different perspectives. So here is a small collection of the dicussion:

Educational Gap

  • Ingmar: I as a non-natural scientist may be very interested in topics of physics or chemistry but there is either very low or very high level literature. It is nearly impossible for me to learn it.
  • Markus: High-level education is almost exclusively provided at universities and so the contents and means are decided within this context. Yet if looking towards the development (decline) of university education over the last 20 years or so it should be a priority to establish alternatives early enough.
  • Claudio: This problem does not exist so strongly in the IT sector, because it is ecenomically relevant to teach people and so there are a lot of alterantives to classical university teaching.
  • Florian: This would be an interesting topic for the opportunities of our coworking space. I would love to use it as a platform, where we as scientists can connect to non-scientist and learn about better communication. I believe that scientists do think too little about how to communicate out of their bubble of specialists.

What is good education?

  • Ivan Illich/Paulo Freire: Education takes place most effectively if the contents are of direct importance/interest for the people.
  • Willi: My experience is also that I could learn things super fast when I wanted to know them and through solving actual problems, so I came up for little projects for myself.
  • Claudio: Example of why there are still relatively few women in computer science: Video games in the 80ies were only marketed for boys and beng able to develop your own video game was a strong motivation to learn about computer science. (Compare the story about women and smoking in this documentary by Adam Curtis.)
  • Markus: Generally, education does not work along this path: People are interested in something, so they try to learn it; maybe with somebody, who has good knowledge about it. Instead it is often the other way around: Some people decide that they have something important to teach and “in the best case” look how to motivate the sutdents to learn that. This is pure narcissism. So try to go to a meeting never as a teacher but always as a student that might be able to contribute.
  • Florian: I think that this is a great utopia, but in my experience there were a lot of cases where a teacher tought me something that I was not interested in before and I was happy about it later. So I think also the “narcissistic” approach has its right to be. Although I never wanted to see the narcissism and I am glad for this new perspective!
  • Claudio: I think the best education is the opposite of a classroom: people read alone and then come together to discuss/apply!
  • Ingmar: My experience at UCM was very different to a “normal” university: we had small classes, talked with the professors on the same level and actually followed the principle described by Claudio. But the drawback was a too intense amount of stress.
  • Florian: I think that what Ingmar described does not have to come together but today typically is a feature of elite universities: good teaching/education for the price of too many courses and exercises at the same time and high tuition fees. Besides that there is mass education on the normal universities.
  • Markus: My experience in offering underground courses that try to employ different methods of education is that of time. Event if people are highly motivated they are not able to really participate because of too much workload in their regular work/studies. This any plan to educate but also be accompanied by a plan to liberate!

Work and society:

  • Claudio: Be aware that knowledge alone already creates a class-structure (cf. power-knowledge by Michel Foucault)
  • Markus: Hardt/Negri in Commonwealth focus on the changed state of our economy where the most valuable work is conducted as pure creative/knowledge work and thus requires the modern worker to act freely, self-organised, communicatively etc. and this cannot be locked into a factory any more. This opens up a huge potential of possible resistance and counter-movements. Note also (I think mentioned by Claudio) that in the IT industry the wealth is mostly produced by the consumers through their participation and input of information, so the consumer is suddenly on the productive and thus potentially controlling side.
  • Claudio: Work is only non-alienating if you have the possibility of projecting yourself into the work.
berlin2017/education.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/10 16:30 by claudio