Posts Tagged ‘academia’

Populism vs Meritocracy

Michael Sandel: ‘The populist backlash has been a revolt against the tyranny of merit’

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/06/michael-sandel-the-populist-backlash-has-been-a-revolt-against-the-tyranny-of-merit

Even a perfect meritocracy, he says, would be a bad thing.

Centre-left elites abandoned old class loyalties and took on a new role as moralising life-coaches, dedicated to helping working-class individuals shape up to a world in which they were on their own. “On globalisation,” says Sandel, “these parties said the choice was no longer between left and right, but between ‘open’ and ‘closed’. Open meant free flow of capital, goods and people across borders.”

“Those at the top deserved their place but so too did those who were left behind. They hadn’t striven as effectively. They hadn’t got a university degree and so on.” As centre-left parties and their representatives became more and more middle-class, the focus on upward mobility intensified.

Blue-collar workers were in effect given a double-edged invitation to “better” themselves or carry the burden of their own failure. Many took their votes elsewhere, nursing a sense of betrayal. “The populist backlash of recent years has been a revolt against the tyranny of merit, as it has been experienced by those who feel humiliated by meritocracy and by this entire political project.”

Does he empathise, then, with Trumpism? “I have no sympathy whatsoever for Donald Trump, who is a pernicious character. But my book conveys a sympathetic understanding of the people who voted for him. For all the thousands and thousands of lies Trump tells, the one authentic thing about him is his deep sense of insecurity and resentment against elites, which he thinks have looked down upon him throughout his life. That does provide a very important clue to his political appeal.

“Am I tough on the Democrats? Yes, because it was their uncritical embrace of market assumptions and meritocracy that prepared the way for Trump. Even if Trump is defeated in the next election and is somehow extracted from the Oval Office, the Democratic party will not succeed unless it redefines its mission to be more attentive to legitimate grievances and resentment, to which progressive politics contributed during the era of globalisation.”

“We need to rethink the role of universities as arbiters of opportunity,” he says, “which is something we have come to take for granted. Credentialism has become the last acceptable prejudice. It would be a serious mistake to leave the issue of investment in vocational training and apprenticeships to the right. Greater investment is important not only to support the ability of people without an advanced degree to make a living. The public recognition it conveys can help shift attitudes towards a better appreciation of the contribution to the common good made by people who haven’t been to university.”

A new respect and status for the non-credentialed, he says, should be accompanied by a belated humility on the part of the winners in the supposedly meritocratic race.

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Why meritocracy isn’t working

https://www.ft.com/content/f881fb55-8f06-4508-a812-815a10505077

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As we “knowledge workers” know, clever people aren’t always the most collaborative. And what they have in brainpower, they often lack in empathy. We live, after all, in a cognitive meritocracy in which IQ is valued much more highly than EQ (emotional intelligence) or most physical abilities.

political analyst David Goodhart, whose new book Head, Hand, Heart

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Over the past several decades, as traditional class structures in countries such as the US and the UK began to break down, they were replaced by a new system of educational and professional advancement based on test scores, grades and intelligence, at least as narrowly defined by IQ. Suddenly, smart working-class kids could become part of a meritocratic elite.

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But there was a dark side. As British sociologist Michael Young observed when he coined the term in his prescient book of dystopian fiction The Rise of the Meritocracy (1958),

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members of the working class must judge themselves not by their own standards — in which traits of character, experience, common sense and grit are often as important as test-based intelligence — but by the standards of the meritocratic elite. Without the appropriate degrees, professional qualifications and opinions sanctioned by their educated overlords, they were all too often deemed unworthy — or as Hillary Clinton once put it in a quip that helped end her political career, “deplorables”.

In their book Deaths of Despair, Anne Case and Angus Deaton spelt out the toll this has taken on working-class white men in particular. Contempt can be just as lethal as poverty — low status in a hierarchy produces the stress and anxiety that trigger immune system-damaging cortisol to be released in the body.

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more on populism in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=populism

on meritocracty in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=meritocracy

Canceling Emeritus

Canceling Emeritus

Colleen Flaherty July 23, 2020

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/07/23/san-diego-state-faculty-committee-considers-proposal-strip-professors-emeritus

Tenure, once earned, is hard to revoke. That’s the idea behind it. Most institutions nevertheless have processes for stripping a professor of tenure where there is demonstrated incompetence, neglect of duty, academic dishonesty or serious personal misconduct.

Fewer institutions have clearly outlined processes for denuding emeritus professors of that honorary status. The University Senate at San Diego State University this week considered a proposal on adopting one.

No one at San Diego State outwardly opposes the idea of taking back emeritus status when a professor is revealed to have, say, sexually harassed someone or committed some other serious crime. Instead, what rankled professors was proposed language on revoking emeritus status “when it is determined that an individual’s conduct, before or after emeritus status has been granted, causes harm to the university’s reputation.”

Herman, who does not know Hurlbert, also linked his case to the broader “cancel culture” decried by some academics, including the co-authors of a recent (and much criticized) open letter in Harper’s magazine.

“Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial,” that letter says. “Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.”

Digital fluency for new international graduate students

SHORT LINK TO THIS INFORMATION: http://bit.ly/scsugradstudies

with Melanie Guentzel, Director of Graduate Student Services, mjguentzel@stcloudstate.edu

when: Tue, Jan. 22, 2 PM
where: Plymouth campus on Zoom: https://minnstate.zoom.us/j/438287799
who: new international graduate students at SCSU

students in Engineering Management, Regulatory Affairs, and Applied Clinical Research.

Access the library from a distance: https://www.stcloudstate.edu/library/

Research and Writing Tips

Digital fluency

 

 

digital learning

The Disruption of Digital Learning: Ten Things We Have Learned

Published on Featured in: Leadership & Management    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/disruption-digital-learning-ten-things-we-have-learned-josh-bersin

meetings with Chief Learning Officers, talent management leaders, and vendors of next generation learning tools.

The corporate L&D industry is over $140 billion in size, and it crosses over into the $300 billion marketplace for college degrees, professional development, and secondary education around the world.

Digital Learning does not mean learning on your phone, it means “bringing learning to where employees are.” In other words, this new era is not only a shift in tools, it’s a shift toward employee-centric design. Shifting from “instructional design” to “experience design” and using design thinking are key here.

evolution of L&D The Evolution of Corporate Training

1) The traditional LMS is no longer the center of corporate learning, and it’s starting to go away.

LMS platforms were designed around the traditional content model, using a 17 year old standard called SCORM. SCORM is a technology developed in the 1980s, originally intended to help companies like track training records from their CD-ROM based training programs.

the paradigm that we built was focused on the idea of a “course catalog,” an artifact that makes sense for formal education, but no longer feels relevant for much of our learning today.

not saying the $4 billion LMS market is dead, but the center or action has moved (ie. their cheese has been moved). Today’s LMS is much more of a compliance management system, serving as a platform for record-keeping, and this function can now be replaced by new technologies.

We have come from a world of CD ROMs to online courseware (early 2000s) to an explosion of video and instructional content (YouTube and MOOCs in the last five years), to a new world of always-on, machine-curated content of all shapes and sizes. The LMS, which was largely architected in the early 2000s, simply has not kept up effectively.

2) The emergence of the X-API makes everything we do part of learning.

In the days of SCORM (the technology developed by Boeing in the 1980s to track CD Roms) we could only really track what you did in a traditional or e-learning course. Today all these other activities are trackable using the X-API (also called Tin Can or the Experience API). So just like Google and Facebook can track your activities on websites and your browser can track your clicks on your PC or phone, the X-API lets products like the learning record store keep track of all your digital activities at work.

Evolution of Learning Technology Standards

3) As content grows in volume, it is falling into two categories: micro-learning and macro-learning.

MicroLearning vs. MacroLearning
Understanding Macro vs. Micro Learning

4) Work Has Changed, Driving The Need for Continuous Learning

Why is all the micro learning content so important? Quite simply because the way we work has radically changed. We spend an inordinate amount of time looking for information at work, and we are constantly bombarded by distractions, messages, and emails.

The Overwhelmed Employee
Too Much Time Searching

sEmployees spend 1% of their time learning

5) Spaced Learning Has Arrived

If we consider the new world of content (micro and macro), how do we build an architecture that teaches people what to use when? Can we make it easier and avoid all this searching?

“spaced learning.”

Neurological research has proved that we don’t learn well through “binge education” like a course. We learn by being exposed to new skills and ideas over time, with spacing and questioning in between. Studies have shown that students who cram for final exams lose much of their memory within a few weeks, yet students who learn slowly with continuous reinforcement can capture skills and knowledge for decades.

Ebbinghaus forgetting curve

Spaced Learning: Repetition, Spacing, Questioning

6) A New Learning Architecture Has Emerged: With New Vendors To Consider

One of the keys to digital learning is building a new learning architecture. This means using the LMS as a “player” but not the “center,” and looking at a range of new tools and systems to bring content together.
The New Learning Landscape

On the upper left is a relatively new breed of vendors, including companies like Degreed, EdCast, Pathgather, Jam, Fuse, and others, that serve as “learning experience” platforms. They aggregate, curate, and add intelligence to content, without specifically storing content or authoring in any way. In a sense they develop a “learning experience,” and they are all modeled after magazine-like interfaces that enables users to browse, read, consume, and rate content.

The second category the “program experience platforms” or “learning delivery systems.” These companies, which include vendors like NovoEd, EdX, Intrepid, Everwise, and many others (including many LMS vendors), help you build a traditional learning “program” in an open and easy way. They offer pathways, chapters, social features, and features for assessment, scoring, and instructor interaction. While many of these features belong in an LMS, these systems are built in a modern cloud architecture, and they are effective for programs like sales training, executive development, onboarding, and more. In many ways you can consider them “open MOOC platforms” that let you build your own MOOCs.

The third category at the top I call “micro-learning platforms” or “adaptive learning platforms.” These are systems that operate more like intelligent, learning-centric content management systems that help you take lots of content, arrange it into micro-learning pathways and programs, and serve it up to learners at just the right time. Qstream, for example, has focused initially on sales training – and clients tell me it is useful at using spaced learning to help sales people stay up to speed (they are also entering the market for management development). Axonify is a fast-growing vendor that serves many markets, including safety training and compliance training, where people are reminded of important practices on a regular basis, and learning is assessed and tracked. Vendors in this category, again, offer LMS-like functionality, but in a way that tends to be far more useful and modern than traditional LMS systems. And I expect many others to enter this space.

Perhaps the most exciting part of tools today is the growth of AI and machine-learning systems, as well as the huge potential for virtual reality.

A Digital Learning Architecture

7) Traditional Coaching, Training, and Culture of Learning Has Not Gone Away

The importance of culture and management

8) A New Business Model for Learning

he days of spending millions of dollars on learning platforms is starting to come to an end. We do have to make strategic decisions about what vendors to select, but given the rapid and immature state of the market, I would warn against spending too much money on any one vendor at a time. The market has yet to shake out, and many of these vendors could go out of business, be acquired, or simply become irrelevant in 3-5 years.

9) The Impact of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Slack Is Coming

The newest versions of Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Google Drive, Workplace by Facebook, Slack, and other enterprise IT products now give employees the opportunity to share content, view videos, and find context-relevant documents in the flow of their daily work.

We can imagine that Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will result in some integration of Lynda.com content in the flow of work. (Imagine if you are trying to build a spreadsheet and a relevant Lynda course opens up). This is an example of “delivering learning to where people are.”

New work environments will be learning environments

10) A new set of skills and capabilities in L&D

It’s no longer enough to consider yourself a “trainer” or “instructional designer” by career. While instructional design continues to play a role, we now need L&D to focus on “experience design,” “design thinking,” the development of “employee journey maps,” and much more experimental, data-driven, solutions in the flow of work.

lmost all the companies are now teaching themselves design thinking, they are using MVP (minimal viable product) approaches to new solutions, and they are focusing on understanding and addressing the “employee experience,” rather than just injecting new training programs into the company.
New Capabilities Needed

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more on elearning in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=elearning

technology in academia

‘Inflection Point’ in IT

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/14/hiring-training-staffers-new-normal-tops-list-it-priorities-2015

“The relationship between IT and the institution really needs to change if we’re going to use technology to address the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in higher education,” Grajek said. “Higher education leaders need to not just let their IT leaders do their own thing, help them fund some initiatives, but they really have to understand the potential of IT.”

Colleges and universities are searching for new talent in part to answer demands for new technologies while simultaneously offering core services such as user support, which Grajek described as the “new normal” for higher education IT offices.

“The CIO has grown from a hardware- or software-focused person in the basement of a building to a higher education executive who is expected to not only understand technology and be able to lead a large, complex and expensive department, but who also should be a first rate communicator who understands the business (and higher education) and can build relationships while implementing all of these projects,”

instaGrok: An Education Search Engine

instaGrok: An Education Search Engine for Students

http://www.edudemic.com/instagrok-an-education-search-engine-for-students

instaGrok is a next-generation research engine intended for academic settings to allow students to research any subject and see results in an interactive concept map, or “grok.” The grok features key facts, concepts and their relationships, images, videos, quizzes, and a glossary. Students can pin the information that they want to use to their grok and keep a bibliography or research notes in an integrated journal.

What makes instaGrok indispensable to teachers is its ability to facilitate self-directed learning of several critical skills, including researching and integrating discrete concepts.

My note: App for Android and iOS tablets is NOT available for smartphones and iTouch

http://kiddle.co/

Former Obama Spokesmen Join Attack on Teacher Tenure and Seniority

Former Obama Spokesmen Join Attack on Teacher Tenure and Seniority

http://dianeravitch.net/2014/06/24/former-obama-spokesmen-join-attack-on-teacher-tenure-and-seniority/

Campbell Brown, a former CNN anchor who is highly antagonistic to teachers’ unions, is creating an organization to pursue a Vergara-style lawsuit in New York against teachers’ job protections. Her campaign will have the public relations support of an agency led by Robert Gibbs, former Obama Press Secretary, and Ben LaBolt, former Obama campaign spokesman.