Publiversity: Public and Alternative Higher Education Practices
I just received this call on the BOAI Forum list. I will include the entire content, with trivial editing, along with a little personal observation at the end.
Please read this, because it is aimed at all of you. That ‘all’ are researchers, academics, artists, social activists, programmers, students, archivists,… It is important to reach a wide, diverse, heterogeneous public with interests in ‘alternative ways’ in general.
Dear all, I am Stef Langmans, a Belgian Pedagogical Science graduate student at the Catholic University of Leuven.
I’m doing preliminary research at the Centre for Philosophy of Education in the frame of an international open congress called ‘Rethinking the University after Bologna: Alternative Concepts and Practices beyond Tradition and the Market’ in December of 2008 that is hosted by the KULeuven and the UAntwerp. The congress will be held in the context of the evaluation of the Bologna process, but it aims to investigate new ways of conceptualizing the university as an institution and as a practice in a global higher educational space. Later on there will be launched a call for papers and workshop to fill in the concrete content of the congress. The congress aims to produce a strong and solid vision towards the future of higher education that can put forward to the European Commission and to all other establishments that are involved with the reforms within the higher educational space.
To come now to the point why I addressed all of you, is that I spent some time investigating as many existing alternative and public-directed practices of higher education as possible. But I am limited to perform my research solely through the Internet and journals, so I presume that I got a disfigured image of the reality of the alternative practices. All of you that I address in this email (around 2000 peoples and organisations) are in some way involved in such practices and I was hoping that you could help me to identify more local and non-Internet linked practices. But also I wanted to offer you a space where I accumulated and brought together all current practices I came along during my research.
I made a WordPress blog site with links to alternative and public higher educational practices, divide in categories of ‘Knowledge Systems’, ‘Publishing & Archiving’, ‘Institutional’, ‘Educational’, ‘Research’, ‘Student Action’ and ‘Art & Social’ at http://publiversity.wordpress.com Please take a look and if you are interested you can post anything you like that can help finding more practices or help just giving your vision and thoughts about the concept of future higher education.
I also would like to ask to become an administrator or an author of the blog (just reply if you are interested), so that you can add, contribute, change,… as much as you like. Because it was my intention to create a free space where thoughts and practices, visions and reality, dreams and narratives could meet and interact to produces valuable elements for the further conceptualization of the future higher educational spaces.
So please spread the word and the URL (http://publiversity.wordpress.com) so that the blogspace comes to life and doesn’t stay a static archival container.
Kind Regards, Stef Langmans Research assistent of Prof. Jan Masschelein, Centre for Philosophy of Education, Catholic University Leuven, Vesaliusstraat 2 3000 Leuven, Belgium, Tel: +32 16 32 62 28 Fax: +32 16 32 59 34, firstname.lastname@example.org http://ppw.kuleuven.be/cfp/ Publiversity blog http://publiversity.wordpress.com
This is an interesting undertaking. Not being a member of any higher-education establishment I supposed that allows me to self-select as someone interested in alternative forms. (I have been a member of an advisory council on adult learning while I was pursuing my undergraduate degree and I attempted an on-line M.Sc in Information Technology (fumbling the dissertation project and settling for a course-work diploma). This also strikes me as something that levels of mastery apply to, so I am very keen to see how institutions of higher-education are able to move out of "taught" learning to other kinds, including the constructionist sort and the kinds that come later where higher-order approaches are involved. Perhaps this only happens with a distributed community (hence my conflation with OLPC).
Those are my musings. But mostly I wanted to honor Stef Langmans' request and spread the word. It seems like a Wiki and maybe some exposure to Open Space as a learning environment would be useful for the project. It is also interesting that I am inclined to name my now-en-route HP MediaSmart Home Server Clavius, and I recently researched the name (since I was thinking of the lunar obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey, being ignorant of the connection to the Jesuit tradition). Very appropriate to a Publiversity enquiry (and its host institution, perhaps).