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MOOCs and Their AfterlivesExperiments in Scale and Access in Higher Education$
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Elizabeth Losh

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226469317

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226469591.001.0001

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Open Education as Resistance: MOOCs and Critical Digital Pedagogy

Open Education as Resistance: MOOCs and Critical Digital Pedagogy

(p.177) 11 Open Education as Resistance: MOOCs and Critical Digital Pedagogy
MOOCs and Their Afterlives

Sean Michael Morris

Jesse Stommel

University of Chicago Press

The project of education has been misrepresented as objective, quantifiable, apolitical. The work here advocates for a Critical Digital Pedagogy that demands open and networked environments not be merely repositories for content; rather, they must create dialogues in which both students and teachers participate as full agents. Paulo Freire writes in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “A revolutionary leadership must accordingly practice co-intentional education.” Teachers in higher education must be learners, students empowered to be teachers, and our classrooms must become sites of intrinsic motivation, networked learning, and critical practice. The pedagogical value in openness is that it encourages community by increasing access and bringing together at once disparate learning spaces. Education is “the practice of freedom,” as Freire writes, and that practice is necessarily also activism. This chapter examines how the authors’ work with MOOCs demonstrates that open education can, under the right circumstances, become a form of resistance. Educators should not be interested in making better MOOCs, but in examining MOOCs and all of our experiences in them to put open education more deeply in conversation with Critical Pedagogy.

Keywords:   open education, critical pedagogy, critical digital pedagogy, Paolo Freire, MOOC, higher education, co-intentional education, online learning, resistance, activism

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