ERIC Number: EJ1069965
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Open Education as a "Heterotopia of Desire"
Learning, Media and Technology, v40 n3 p310-327 2015
The movement towards "openness" in education has tended to position itself as inherently democratising, radical, egalitarian and critical of powerful gatekeepers to learning. While "openness" is often positioned as a critique, I will argue that its mainstream discourses--while appearing to oppose large-scale operations of power--in fact reinforce a fantasy of an all-powerful, panoptic institutional apparatus. The human subject is idealised as capable of generating higher order knowledge without recourse to expertise, a canon of knowledge or scaffolded development. This highlights an inherent contradiction between this movement and critical educational theory which opposes narratives of potential utopian futures, offering theoretical counterpositions and data which reveal diversity and complexity and resisting attempts at definition, typology and fixity. This argument will be advanced by referring to Gourlay and Oliver's one-year longitudinal qualitative multimodal journaling and interview study of student day-to-day entanglements with technologies in higher education, which was combined with a shorter study focused on academic staff engagement (see article for full text reference). Drawing on sociomaterial perspectives, I will conclude that allegedly "radical" claims of the "openness" movement in education may in fact serve to reinforce rather than challenge utopic thinking, fantasies of the human, and monolithic social categories, fixity and power, and as such may be seen as indicative of a "heterotopia of desire".
Descriptors: Open Education, Classification, Criticism, Power Structure, Educational Theories, Futures (of Society), Longitudinal Studies, Qualitative Research, Journal Writing, Interviews, Educational Technology, Higher Education, College Faculty, Democratic Values, Visual Aids, Student Attitudes, College Students, Teacher Attitudes, Educational Resources, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A