Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education | Eclectablog

Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education | Eclectablog:

Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education

Gig Economy Graphic | by Senator Mark Warner

A recent blog post by Morna McDermott at Educationalchemy.com connects the dots between the recent surge in popularity of the new “Gig Economy” and unsavory influences from the usual suspects in the corporate education reform agenda, ALEC and Pearson. McDermott points out the K12 aspects of this connection (i.e., Competency Based Education (CBE) as an “alternative” to actual classroom learning, “self-directed learning”, an emphasis on “college and career ready” approaches), reminding us how the reformers are experts at coming up with positive sounding names for dangerous and unethical pedagogical strategies.

McDermott identifies the principles upon which CBE is based:
  • “Disenfranchises teachers who are replaced by computers and third party providers (now LEA’s with access to student private data). This erodes a unionized teacher workforce.

  • Eliminates collaborative interactive learning activities in favor of individualized one-on-one learning with a computer program

  • Course credit will no longer be counted by credit hour but by completion of a series of exercises, tasks or data driven curriculum which provides the student with a “badge of completion” (see Pearson). The amount of time spent in a classroom experience is no longer a determining factor in evaluating success.”

  • All of these “innovations” are being designed to hurry us all along to an even stronger embrace of the so-called “Gig Economy,” which has been characterized by the ascendance of start-ups like Uber and AirBNB–guerilla operations intended to replace taxis and hotels in the new “sharing economy.” The seductiveness of the Gig Economy model is clear–workers will be their own bosses, there are no burdensome “regulations” to present challenges to “entrepreneurship” and “creativity,” and cumbersome layers of oversight and accountability vanish in the new, “flat Beware the “Gig Economy” version of education | Eclectablog:

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