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The political economy of networked learning communities in Higher Education
Date: 21 November 2007 Time: 12.30-2.00 pm
IAS Meeting Room 1, Dr Ian Greener Dr Linda Perriton,
Reader in Applied Social Sciences/ Senior Lecturer in Management Studies, Social Policy, University of Durham University of York
Ian Greener and Linda Perriton use the ill-fated UKeU experiment in providing UK higher education programmes online to students based overseas to explore how the concept of community in learning changes when deployed as part of the marketing rhetoric of a globalised educational product. They turn to frameworks from the field of political economy, rather than education, to argue that networked or e-learning represents a post-Fordist mode of educational provision. Its rhetorical emphasis on entrepreneurial, enterprise-driven behaviour permeates course provision, which is likely to be primarily vocational rather than academic and to include material generated by the private sector, rather than be the product of traditional academic activity.
Biographical note: Ian understands the need for government to try and do new things, but wishes it wouldn't go about it in such a damn fool way. Education seems to him to be too important to constrain in terms of a narrow focus on the needs of the economy (whatever that is), especially in an age when knowledge is meant to be becoming significant to all our futures. He has been known to get cross about all of this.
Biographical note: Linda has always been highly suspicious of certainty (being certain of nothing in her own life), and likes to prod at it when she encounters examples of it in policy, practice or students. Given she works in a Management School she is not short of opportunities to ponder confident pronouncements on how things will be 'managed', including learning, people and something called The Economy. She has been known to get a bit cross with Ian from time to time, which explains why the paper they are presenting is likely to remain their only co-authored publication.
Who can attend: Anyone
Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research
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