the philosophy of change #change11.

#change11 in education. Ailsa is my inspiration in this post on the philosophy of change.
Back to normal as soon as possible?
When things did change fast and eruptive people like to return to normal as soon as possible. After World War II things had changed very much, but in the post-war period people tried to return to pre-war solutions. Only after some years they started to adapt to the changes caused by the war, still asking themselves questions about the value of this change and innovation. “ Mostly, things just happen. And there are some very creative human individuals who provide the sparks to drive that process. History is unpredictable, so the important thing is to stay adaptable.” (thanks to Venessa Vaile)
Why does Change have no definition?
“Tout ca change tout c’est la meme chose” All things change and all remains the same. Did education change when computers were brought in? Or is learning still basically the same in 2011 as in 1911? We could make a list of differences, but we cannot describe the change.
Is Change done by fate, circumstances, gods, global forces, or by us humans?
Do educators adapt to changing environments in education, or do they steer and cause change? Is IT changing the world and changing education or do educators use IT to intentionally design change in education?
Do managers in education really design and manage change? Or do they help to adapt the educational system to the new winds that blow?


6 thoughts on “the philosophy of change #change11.

  1. Hi Jaap, lots of questions you’re asking……To answer one: change is done by ourselves (circumstance is ourselves) and nature (global forces is ourselves or nature). God and fate? Nope!
    (nice picture of the sailboat by the way, in the polder I suppose??)

    Oh, and look at for definitions of change….

    I do like your question “Is IT changing the world and changing education or do educators use IT to intentionally design change in education?” and I think it might be both. Sometimes both in 1 person, sometimes one in one person or the other….Also I think IT might give them ideas and then accordingly they change….Is it IT then that changed them?

  2. You ask how learning has changed in the past 100 years. I believe the changes in education from 1911 to 2011 is a response to the evolution of knowledge from philosophy to science; from theory to practice, and the necessity for the empirical justification knowledge. Modern society places higher value on knowledge that is instrumental; that allows for technical manipulation and equips society to produce objects. Society no longer seeks truth in the abstract and humanitarian sense as it once did prior to the industrial revolution. Knowledge has become a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Society has placed a premium on useful knowledge, knowledge that leverages technology to increase wealth. This epistemological shift of how we define knowledge is evident in global projections for knowledge workers. When you look at employment projections, it is the scientific and technical fields that need the most workers. Jobs in the arts and humanities will be phased out or eliminated.

    Unfortunately, this change in epistemology explains the notion that research output should be weighed for its additive value in the industrial sense. One consequence is that university funding is largely tied to science and technological innovation with its power to produce specific monetary assets with very little research supporting the arts or humanities.

    I think Change11 is about finding ways of changing this attitude of private profitability of knowledge to one that supports altruism, ecology and social equity. At least it is for me.

  3. Hi Jaap, Ive been thinking a lot about change also as resistance, a tension between what is and is not (yet).
    I know Ive been frustrated by thinking i could roll out a clever innovation and then discover it just doesnt diffuse out like diffusion of innovation theory suggests.
    And regardless of how clever the innovation is, it doesnt diffuse itself.
    So I like the rhizomatic analogy because there’s a mat of things (human and otherwise) a network in actor-network terms involved.

  4. Hi Alisa, Change is not nice, changing things is difficult and cumbersome. To change is to work and we need power and clever selling techniques. People stick to old habits even when they know your new solutions would be better. Frustrating…
    In the rhizomatic analogy the implementation of change is just as difficult as without the analogy. A network (group) or rhizome of people who will help you implement the change will make things easier.
    I know of some very clever innovations that never made it, because of resistance and failing implementation. Frustrating …

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