I’ve been monitoring the nascent Occupy Education movement with interest over the last couple of weeks, not least because there are so many dimensions to it. The complexity of it all has been addressed far more coherently than I ever could over at Tenured Radical, but my crude interpretation is that it essentially revolves around access and relevance (or lack thereof!)
These two factors would appear inextricably linked, in my mind, as access to an affordable education is obviously more worthwhile if it also happens to be relevant and useful, yet few of the Facebook contributions and Tumblr pages I have perused so far seem to make this connection, there being a tendency to focus on one or the other.
I understand how — given the origins of the Occupy movement — the socioeconomic dimension takes primacy, but if there is to be reform to provide equity of access, I hope an equal amount of energy is expended in ensuring it is access to a quality education, that accommodates the learning styles and life styles of individual learners, and not some factory model that caters to the lowest common denominator.
An Occupy Education movement that focuses on flexible delivery of programmes, allowing people to fully participate, assessing learning outcomes in an authentic and engaging manner is one I would happily sign up for, because I think it would have a good chance of addressing both the inequities and irrelevancies that currently plague the education system in the US and elsewhere.