What Future for Education? Reading List from Week 1


[348 words]

Here, I’m simply reproducing a list of potential readings from the “What future for education?” MOOC. I may comment on one or more of these titles later. For now, though, I’m just reproducing information gathered by Clare Brooks.

Here are the details of the texts mentioned by Eleanore in her interview:

  • Apple, M. (2014) Official knowledge. New York: Routledge.

  • Carr, W. and Kemmis, S. (1986) Becoming critical. Oxford: Deakin University Press.

  • Dewey, J. (2010 [1902; 1915]) The school and society. Mineola: Dover Publications.

  • Fielding, M. and Moss, P. (2011) Radical education and the common school. Oxford: Routledge.

  • Freire, P. (1972) Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Penguin.

  • Scott, D. and Hargreaves, E. (2015) The Sage handbook of learning. London: Sage.

  • Vygotsky, L. (1986) Thought and language (A. Kozulin Ed.), USA: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Watkins, C. (2003) Classrooms as learning communities. Oxford: Routledge.

To this list, I will add a blog entry titled “Learning theory: models, product and process” that I believe is worth sampling, and that was referenced in the MOOC.

The blog site is labeled “infed,” which is an abbreviated version of “informal education.” I note that Mark K. Smith, the author, distinguishes between formal learning and informal learning (or, as I put it earlier, between learning and education) and he seems to value autonomous, self-motivated learning. At any rate, he quotes American psychologist Carl Rogers, who clearly distinguished between the rigid, formal system and “lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff” that derives from education and the self-motivated, learner-controlled kinds of explorations, investigations and experiences that comprise autonomous learning (Rogers 1983: 18-19). In short, I am not alone in distinguishing between formal learning in educational institutions and other, more autonomous, distributed, learner-centered forms of learning. Nor am I alone in valorizing the latter over the former. At any rate, this site provides a good overview of a variety of learning theories. And the Rogers book provides an overview of learning from a humanist psychologist’s perspective.

Works cited

Rogers, A. (2003) What is the Difference? A new critique of adult learning and teaching, Leicester: NIACE. 85 pages.

Smith, M. K. (2003). ‘Learning theory’, the encyclopedia of informal education. [http://infed.org/mobi/learning-theory-models-product-and-process/. Retrieved: 5 January 2017.

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