Blog Narrative

This blog is an attempt to examine how we might deal with the modern world, as characterised by Pankaj Mishra as an ‘Age of Anger‘, through rethinking our understanding of learning; finding new ways of seeing the world through the processes by which we understand it. On this page we will try & build a narrative from what we are saying in individual blog posts

1. This blog is inspired by Pankaj Mishra’s view that in 2017 we are living in an Age of Anger triggered by our misunderstanding of a world endlessly reshaped equally by social media and the war on terror. Our response so far has been simplistic & fearful.

2. Saskia Sassen’s book Expulsions, looking at migrations, identifies specific consequences of economic globalisation. She characterises this as being a period of such complexity we give up trying to understand it and so ignore the brutality with which geo-political decisions are now taken. The privatisation of the welfare state & social services also allow this new brutality to be present in current social practices.

3. However we have multiple histories to draw on and we, both historically through self-organised educational practices and newly emerging social learning practices with personal technologies, can draw on fresh views of learning from outside the increasingly corporate-audited educational experiences of mainstream education policy.

4. We need to move from our current industrial-scale schooling model to more community-focussed learning, driven by individual learning needs. This point provides the first element in our emerging manifesto.

5. Ivan Illich presciently described the elements of industrial-scale school in Deschooling Society (1971) and Wolfgang Streeck (2016) has indicated how the decline of working -class self-organisation since that time has meant that the delivery of conformist education agendas has fallen to educational managers aligned with industrial-scale delivery of educational products; Mass-schooling or de-schooling?

6. Can we use the affordances of new participatory tech and social media to help learners create new open contexts for learning? Can we use the same context-shaping affordances of to enable people to engage in the context-shaping that might lead to the capability of “Citizen-generated Contexts” – discussed in Citizens or Mayors?

7. Having introduced the idea of digital politics and learning we also questioned what the nationalistic basis of which the election is being fought, British Lions versus European Donkeys, tells us about the understanding of history displayed by the ruling elites. Is this an election about building a fit for context digital economy or bathing in memories of being a World War winning superpower  Described as  2017 or 1917

8. With #GE2017 being hijacked by the Labour Manifesto leak we looked at how we might better formulate policy which we have been looking at with Policy 2.0 since 2007. We highlighted the participatory and collaborative process we had developed in Policy Forest and asked Manifesto or Policy Forest?

9. Education is a system for preparing you to live in the world as it is; learning could be a process of preparing you for the world you would like to live in. Why don’t we “build the society that pleases you most” and approach #GE2017 as offering a limitless set of possibilities rather than a choice between what you fear most; Pleased or Fearful?

10. Manchester was where we carried out an experiment in 2011 to turn a society into a learning environment (MOSI-ALONG) and we were there whilst the riots happened from which the I (heart) MCR logo was created by the entirely privatised city council. We ran a real-time project called A History of Manchester in 100 objects in which people identified reasons they were proud of Manchester.  Read A History of Manchester in 100 objects (well 167)

11 We think Universities fail society because of their obsession with content delivery and not with solving social problems. The current version of this educational fallacy is the the xMOOC. However we think that in an age of content abundance we should prioritised collaborative learning;  Content or Collaboration

Last updated May 28th 2017 after post; Content or Collaboration

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