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THE FUTURE OF HIGHER (LIFELONG) EDUCATION:
For All Worldwide, A Holistic View

(All chapters are intended for continuing revision)

Return to Chapter 1.3 | Go to Chapter 1.5

Volume I - Chapter Four

(Last updated April  1,, 2008)  In Chinese following the bibliography

PLANNING FOR A QUIET REVOLUTION

Zaghioul Morsy, (then) editor of the UNESCO Journal, referred to distance education as a quiet revolution (that) can provide education at considerably lower cost, making access to educational opportunities possible for many people. --Armando Villarroel

The hype about the Internet has created a new enchantment…where is the old phrase `garbage in –garbage out’ now that we need it? --quoted by Herbert Hrachovec

What qualities will have to be present in the process of designing for the emergence of a global scale Collective Intelligence? --George Por

Do the children (in 9.000 of the poorest schools in Peru who have X-O computers) believe that knowledge matters?  Are  they focused on the future? --David Talbot in Technology Review.

Neither the entire world nor any one nation can long be healthy and thrive while large percentages of people lack adequate learning for health care, jobs, and survival. What is not yet clear, however, is the extent to which programs of electronic lifelong learning can help bring the necessary opportunities and quality into every community, school, college, university, and research program in the world. Aren’t distance and distributed learning only one aspect of a needed global system? How do we build new structures for technologically-enabled learning that are sociotechnological?

The `quiet revolution' that is essential--and probably inevitable--puts global virtual learning into a much larger context.  For purposes of discussion let's be challenged by Peter Drucker--who said that the knowledge revolution is leading the world into an entirely new era--and by Jean-Francois Rischard (2002) who has made comprehensive proposals for how to deal with complexity. His ideas, summarized by Scully (2002) assume that a "crisis of complexity is brewing" as human problems become "more pressing, more global ands more difficult to solve--technically and politically." The structures for human learning -- as all other areas of human society -- "fall short.--the future belongs to flatter, faster, more network-like organizations." They must move beyond traditional hierarchal ways of doing things in order to overcome political and technological hurdles. It will require, Rischard proposes, "a new mentality, "a vision of of the situation 20 years down the line and then work back to the intermediate steps needed to realize that vision, figuring who would have to take these steps." That is especially true in education.

 Already, (Norris et al 2003) it is clear that "e-knowledge is not just a digitalized  collection of knowledge" but includes "contents, context and insights." It is the act "of achieving understanding by interacting with individuals, communities of practice, and knowledge in an interconnected world," involving knowledge sharing and `a knowledge economy.' Norris et al. have pointed out that many academics are unreflective about the nature of knowledge--generally treating it as a `thing--and "there is little systematic sharing of knowledge, especially across disciplinary boundaries.. Because of powerful new technologies they feel that by  2020 the way we experience knowledge will be greatly enriched. They report examples of developing `ecological knowledge cultures' at universities in several countries. See, for example: <http://www.transformingknowledge.info/>.

A 21st century `democratic university' (Raskin 2004) should focus on human dignity and decency, the `social good'  and the human rights of all people; and our thesis here includes all learning. The same must be true of a planning and management system for global education for all ages. Adequate planning is not being undertaken now for the future time when Internet connections can be completed to every school and neighborhood in the developing world. Plans need to be for funding,  for the structure of a global education system, for governance and structure for the rural neighborhood, such as  an `education consumers cooperative with links to a regional community college that is part of a global education consortium. Planning should begin on how to manage curriculum competition and glut, for globally affordable electronic textbooks and modules; on the role that market forces will play, an for adaptation to all kinds of technology that the global learner may have.

1.4.0  PLANNING PROCESS FOR GLOBAL VIRTUAL LIFELONG LEARNING

As proposed in the preface, let’s explore the idea of a large international online planning conference on the possibilities of global virtual lifelong learning, and yes, do so in the context of universities and what they need to be in the information age future. UNESCO in 2005 took steps--following up on its excellent Paris conference that is discussed in various sections here--with a series of `virtual university' online seminars, one on open source content that involved over 400 experts in 97 countries, plus many other observers. Next, we suggest, perhaps there could be follow-up conferences that might ultimately involve five to ten thousand `education' planners on line together, as a highly significant experiment in collective intelligence. It would build upon the experience of the Global Knowledge (GK97) Conference in Toronto (2.4.1) and more recent online conferences that involved thousands of participants from over a hundred countries.(3.10). This could make it possible for comprehensive planning groups at every needed category, especially in the developing world, to participate online. Where and how? See, for example: <http://www.tappedin.org>. 

However, the larger-scale online conference proposed here would never stop, but would continue until all the major problems are solved. A high percentage of those thousands of participants would be  members of local and developing-world planning groups. As a way to deal with some of the dangers and worries, the public sector should be invited to participate actively, also representative people from the World Bank (and other such agencies), from government ministries such as those involved in the Development Gateway Foundation and its critics; <http://www.developmentgateway.org> all would be involved in raising questions and collecting case studies of `best practice.’ Advance papers would be prepared to propose many possible answers to important questions. The papers could all be online months in advance for local group preparation.

President John R. Campbell (Oklahoma State University, retired) has suggested that in this time of rapid change and uncertain futures there ought to be--at the heart of every great university-- a transdisciplinary team that draws upon every discipline in exploring possible new visions and procedures for learning structures as they come into being in and beyond cyberspace. Paul Miller--former president of Rochester Tech and the University of West Virginia—suggested in a brain storming session--that a pilot project to transform one existing major institution into a segment of a truly global lifelong education system--should begin with a three-year study by fifty people, one third from a university; one third from the community, for example to learn what skills future learners will need in the next two decades; and the other third should be outside experts. How else can a process be initiated to intelligently and relevantly “reform our entire educational system?” And such planning groups, including any continuing work could be linked to and enabled by a global online planning conference (See 3.10).

During such a local planning conference little time would be spent on speeches. Most participants would be in small groups. Online meetings might, for example, discuss previously-prepared papers sentence by sentence; then re-drafting them so as to take account of the suggestions and comments of thousands who participate online. Each conference report could be an online book that would make the redrafted documents available to planners and educators anywhere in the world. Many of the conference groups would continue meeting on line to continue discussion and planning. Some of them, often drawing one person from each local planning group, might continue meeting online for years.

The process of the conference, as an exercise in collective intelligence, might be one of the important contributions it would make to all future planning for learning, related to the issue discussed in various current scholarly conferences such as: “The Coming Super-intelligence: Who Will Be In Control?” Pór (2001), exploring the potential of collective intelligence, pointed out that social progress is lagging badly behind technological progress. Now, however, humanity—as never before in history—has the opportunity “to optimize the design of social institutions for closing the gap between the human conditions and human potential.” <http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-dialogue.html> .

It is crucial that the planning agenda focus on vision and on teaching and learning for all in the world, not just on administrative and institutional structures, however important those may be. Parallel faculty sessions might involve the cooperation of many projects like MERLOT, for example. <http://taste.merlot.org/> . It is "an international cooperative for high quality online resources to improve learning and teaching."  

What, Pór asked, could “be a scenario which would bind together some of the richest and poorest countries of the world into a higher order learning system?” Imagine, he suggests, if a `learning society’ agenda were to evolve, and part of it was “a global forum on the dangers of digital divides both between and within countries. What if its design was optimized for learning outcomes valuable to all participants and then if the organizers of the next G8 meeting and the accompanying Global Social Forum started collaborating on addressing the toughest issues “with the best possible design for a multi-stakeholder problem-solving conference held online and off-line?” (See 3.10) What could the rich countries get from it? Well, besides their contribution to a better world and life  for everyone, wouldn’t the development and testing of an effort to mobilize symbiotic intelligence be highly valuable?

Pór has had other suggestions that can be very helping in thinking about the future of individualized virtual lifelong learning. The Internet and Web are becoming an ‘electrified’ nervous system is the infrastructure needed for the self-organization and self-improvement of a community's collective intelligence.” He foresees a global collective intelligence as most likely coming into being as an ecosystem of globally interconnected intelligent communities growing a knowledge system of insights, information, and inspiration, supported by an ecosystem of technologies. Pór uses the term “design”--an aid to emergence of new social forms--as a “creative, decision-oriented, disciplined inquiry that aims:

  • to formulate expectations, aspirations and requirements of the system to be designed;

  • to clarify ideas and of alternative representations of the future system;

  • to devise criteria by which to evaluate those alternatives; select and describe or ‘model’ the most promising alternative;

  • and prepare a plan for the development of the selected model.” (Banathy, 1998)

Pór helps us with some of the questions that might be discussed in a global virtual online planning conference:

(1) What kind of systems can enhance the creative purposeful unfolding of human evolution within higher education?

(2) How do we go about designing those systems?

(3) Who--focusing on creating. sustaining and improving communities of learning--will design? Individual designers or teams? Or is it true that everything will be transformed so radically that `communities of design' will be needed at the heart of schools of `education' that train the operators of a global learning system?

The more complex the problems are, Pór suggested, the more likely it (the process) will be involve learning communities rather than just individuals; requiring  inter-organizational webs and alliances. He speaks of the evolutionary fitness of a community <http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/tools/wef.shtml.> He uses a “learning expedition” metaphor for an activity system of collaborative inquiry that includes such subsystems as: seeking shared meaning and purpose; designing and improving the expedition community’s communication and knowledge-creating systems and practices. This metaphor suggests that the online conference proposed here would hope for three types of outcomes: the development of new or enhanced individual and collective competence; research contributions to the evolution of knowledge and better maps of a particular knowledge landscape; and design outcome, in our case new designs for a global lifelong learning system.

(4) What qualities will have to be present in the process of designing for the emergence of a global-scale Collective Intelligence (CI) in a virtual planning conference?

(5) What will it take to learn how to design and what are the core design principles that are essential in designing new lifelong education system and structures?

(6) Where do we find successful practices and experience; for example, in virtual learning communities and professional learning networks? What large-scale, social innovation processes are already supported by significant technical and knowledge innovation? See: <http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-dialogue.html> .

(7) What roles, responsibilities and agreements are necessary to foster the emergence of Collective Intelligence?

(8) What may be the role of old and new types of universities--centers of intellectual creativity--in the emergence of and use of collective intelligence? What are the ecosystemic conditions for enabling collaborative knowledge development across various communities? 

(9) What mix of technologies has to be orchestrated in support of new designs for lifelong learning? (For example, could a system like Expedia that serves many millions of  airline passengers a month or systems like  MBone that enables people in scattered locations to collaborate --be developed to serve a billion scattered learners, with information about the vast complex variety of courses offered online from all over the world?  Can an online planning conference demonstrate some of them? One often overlooked yet valuable dimension of present technology for planning are the `list-servs,’ the continuing—often across years--online conversations on various topics. These have been criticized as being rambling, not adequately organized `to stay on the subject.’ Yet they are like the informal discussions `out in the hal'l at a face-to-face conference. List-servs such as the DEOS conversation on distance education, for example, are interrupted with practical and theoretical questions, with announcements of up-coming meetings and job opportunities, with evaluations of software and debates over styles of online teaching and their effectiveness. These many varied online conversations have a great value and should be helped—with organizing software--to spin off many highly valuable discussions in relation to a global planning conference.

As these and other problems and ideas are raised at a planning conference, can we anticipate a new holistic, global design for information-age learning as a serious goal and outcome? We will suggest some possibilities in the next chapters, especially volume 3.. Below here are some other current suggestions.

1.4.1   AN ENTIRELY NEW MODEL FOR LIFELONG LEARNING?

A planning process—including how to provide online learning for everyone in the world—might profitably begin by considering some models for the future of higher education that have been suggested, none of which address the need to provide lifelong education for all, although (c) below makes a beginning.

(1) The NEA—U.S. National Education Association—wants education that is “not be limited to a particular age or income group. Four possibilities were proposed for discussion, One critic here suggests that these NEA models are intended as satire.) We propose that -- like everything in this online book-- they can stimulate the imagination and raise important questions.

(a) The `Access Community College.’ (See 1.9) As we will discuss in Chapter Nine, one model would create a seamless web between secondary schools and a system of community and technological colleges. Students in high school (and earlier) would “proceed at their own pace,” getting a high school diploma somewhere along the line. The institutions would link and share resources.

(b) A Community Four-Year University where some learners are residential and any can “extend their access to free public education” by two years of approved `intensive’ public service. Sports continue, but “the young adult energy that once went into sports spectacles…is channeled into,” for example, “the construction of community gardens.

(c) Global Tech. “Consortia of universities finally link into a global system of education at the graduate level.” Much education is available through videoconferencing, the Internet, etc., but some periods of residence msy be required. With mentors, learners "have twenty-four hour a day access “to libraries and faculty expertise through Internet3,” Lab partners may be half way around the world.

(d) An `Education Maintenance Organization—like a medical HMO—of lifelong education institutions administers “education through contracts with various industries and states. In the interest of efficiency and lower costs, states reimburse institutions on a capitation basis,” rewarding universities for more efficient use of faculty time. As a result, students may be attracted to private academies formed by former university faculty members.

The NEA also (cynical tongue in cheek?) suggested four market-driven possibilities: (a) MacCollege, Inc., “where the student swipes the debit card in the computer and is connected with a program monitored by online faculty” situated in a low-rage Macquilladora area of Mexico; (b) Wired University which prides itself as preserving its high quality by hiring “star performing professors who are managed by Screen-Guilt type agents.” Sports facilities are leased to professional sports franchises. (c ) Outsourced Tech which—in keeping with corporate trends—hired `business visionaries’ to redesign the institution to create the most cost-efficient operation with all employees laid off and rehired as hourly, part-time workers. Work study students replace librarians. Courses are outsourced to business corporations. (d) Warehouse A&M with lectures for 3000 students per class and all personal contact between students and faculty being accidental.

(2)  President Duderstadt (2000) has proposed some models for the future that are more suggestive of ideas for global lifelong learning: (a) The Diverse University, with ethnic, racial, cultural and geographical variety; (b) The Creative University that focuses on new knowledge, art and so forth, with students as members of teams including faculty for creation of knowledge; (c ) The Divisionless University that “will be far less specialized and far more integrated. A web of structures some real and some virtual will provide both horizontal and vertical integration among the disciplines and programs for professional preparation; (d) The Cyberspace University that links “a vast information network,” offering what ever is needed to anyone anywhere that wants it, with the “promise of enhancing “the intellectual environment of everyone;” (e) The Adult University which no longer offers undergraduate education, but with world-class professors admits only those advanced learners who are intellectually and emotionally mature; (f) The Lifelong University which contract to provide continuing education for a learner’s entire life. It also designs program to bring together undergraduate and older adults who are in the same career areas; and (g) The Laboratory University which gives priority to research and development of profitable products. 

(3) Are computer simulation models of existing or possible future educational institutions needed? Dr. Farhad Saba designed a model that “simulates several key factors in any educational institution.” The robustness of any model, he points out, depends on the selection of its variables and the integrity of the equations defining their relationships. His model, he said, might be expandable to study a university. Jacobson (2000) suggested that “as campus web sites grow and mature, as we continue to add content and process, we are nearing the time when the campus Web will become a software model of the institution.” With a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, William Massey—a higher education researcher at Stanford University—created “a sophisticated financial and managerial model of how a university operates.” The model was based on data from 1,200 institutions.  Called `Virtual U,' it provides a way to try out hiring policies, budget problems, etc.,  "without any serious consequences." (Foreman 2003).

Would it help global education planners see from where they have come if there were simulation models of the four historic types of universities described by Guy Neave (1998) of the International Association of Universities. (a) The Napoleonic model where the state took over the university to foster national aims and goals; (b) the Humboldtian model in Germany which was copied by major research universities; (c ) The Market-Driven University with close ties to industry and the economy; and (d) The British system of academic independence and autonomy. Many efforts are underway to help universities int he developing world, such as the quarterly Journal of Higher Education in Africa--a collaboration between Boston and Dakar--that was in 2003 free to educators and policy makers in Africa.

(4) Nearly all the needed technologies are in place for planning new models to bring greater excellence and professionalism into learning at all levels. Duderstadt’s (2000) suggestions include the long-range goal of a tailored education program for each unique individual. (3.3.1) Individualized self-directed education, he proposes, should be achievable within two generations. However, the individual—also in health care--cannot be separated from the influences of family, neighborhood and community, economic opportunity and from support systems of more adequate support communities.

A preventive health care medical model may be helpful here, for example, to replace the “same course for all” lecture system. It might include:

(a) Personalized Attention to the Individual. (More detail in (3.3) As each person should have a Primary Physician (M.D.) for annual physical examination and regular attention when health problems arise, so also each learner might have an equally qualified Master Teacher (M. T. or perhaps Doctor of Learning) who would regularly examine each person to make to help plan a continuing learning regime. In health care, would we want to replace individualized medical examinations with a mass test applied to everyone so that the same castor oil could be prescribed for all? In time our mass-produced standard subject-matter tests would be replaced with individualized testing that adequately takes account of unique learning style, talents, opportunities, needs, handicaps, limitations diagnosis. At each periodic examination the questions and procedures should take account of the learning history of the individual, should propose programs for deficiencies and more Some effort is made to do so with students who are mentally or, physically handicapped or `challenged.” Shouldn’t every learner have a support team of physical, mental and spiritual specialist/advisors. In the future the lifelong record of every individual should be used in all testing. (See 3.3.1 on such a profile.) Including medical records of each learner, a computerized the educational record should be holistic, including all information about an individual that may affect learning progress. Immediately there are objections, questions of privacy (which can be solved with some difficulty) and of expense. As computerized medical records become more sophisticated it will be easy to add other information as well; and much of the educational and other data will also be is medically relevant, for much physician time is given to stress, accidents, abuse and so forth. Also, learning counselors must give much more attention to a holistic partnership with schools, families and community. (See 3.3 for more.)

Many people do not adequately follow preventive health recommendations—such as diet and exercise—of their physicians, such as many learners do not adequate follow the recommendations of their teachers and education counselors; indeed many college students resent intrusions into their personal behavior and problems as being education-related. Behavior in both cases might be improved with automated daily reminders. Indeed, an adequate `education for all’ program for the entire world will require a great deal of such automation. Certainly the continuing lack of enough trained people for more holistic examination and records will require automated record keeping and cross-indexing of records. Such automation can, for example, be built into electronic textbooks that test each learner during each unit of work. This suggestion looks ahead to a time when much of the world’s routine work in education will be automated, freeing instructors for more time for personal coaching, teaching, tutoring and face-to-face counseling. This can be supported from tradition as a return to `Oxford’ style personal tutoring.

Many learners need a support team of volunteers to help them cope with difficulties. Beyond Big Brothers/Big Sisters and such programs, some need a team approach across many years, even though members of a local support team may change from time to time. Instead of changing teachers each year–or each hour in secondary school–perhaps every learner should have the same teacher--or tutoring/counseling team–across many years for guidance. It is quite possible that juvenile delinquency and adult crime can be greatly reduced in this way. A support team, including Master Teacher and Physician, can help develop a tailored education plan, at all ages, which might include summer camp, art or music lessons, and other kinds of developmental experiences. For certainly not all learning will take place online!

 For the individual delinquent, corrective data and models on learning deficiencies at all levels may begin with crises and problems; for example when learners are delinquent, addicted, runaways from inadequate families, and so forth. Structured learning can greatly profit if early warning signs of difficulty result in holistic examinations and a team approach to solutions. Local instructors, as a serious goal and outcome, can have time for personal attention to each individual if we automate many routine chores. (More in volume 3.)

(b) More adequate and comprehensive diagnostic testing will not just be intellectual. At some colleges the entering student has a thorough physical examination and then is required to follow a regime of physical development to overcome or compensate for any weaknesses, and to get instruction in some kind of sport or physical development program that can be continued lifelong. Shouldn’t such a thorough examination and plan be enlarged to discover regularly other weaknesses: mental, skills development, spiritual development? (Spiritual at least as meaning the arts, creativity, imagination.) Supervised experiences in the workplace or at a time of transition, call also help a learner discover a vocation or a passion that can motivate new learning.

(3) However, whether or not such individualized goals are achievable with present or future technology and resources, here in Volume One we are thinking about planning for transformed institutional forms for learning. As there are efforts to create world economic and weather models, so also what about an equally huge lifelong global learning model? It might ultimately include `best practice’ models from all over the world, including profiles of classes, departments, and of entire colleges and universities. Both medicine and education can greatly profit from more holistic research on a planet with so much ignorance and illness. (2.17 ) <http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/seminar.html

As satellite photos are increasingly used to provide a holistic picture of each small neighborhood, a global lifelong learning model might include data on the adequacy and needs of every neighborhood `school' in the world. What can we learn from their successes and how can they be helped with their failures? Perhaps we also need a global warning system, an alert to every local school and neighborhood that is failing many of its learners, much as a global medical system needs information on contagious disease from every neighborhood. (2.9.5).

(4). Research on more holistic learning (2.17) should be a high priority at a global planning conference. At one major university it was years ago proposed that the medical school, law school, school of education and theological school should all be moved into joint facilities in a slum, where they would learn teamwork in dealing with human crises. Only the medical school went, and has provided high quality care and case study experience in dealing with the most serious problems. However, in that neighborhood where there are so many tragic human failures there are no specialized teachers; indeed one fifth grade class in that neighborhood had a different substitute teacher every month of the school year. Why does that university—of all institutions—give more attention to the body than to the mind?

This suggests a need for better, continuing research on learning (See 2.17) of a quality comparable to the medical research that has in the last half century transformed diagnostic and surgical practices, if not yet all health care. Would not that neighborhood, full of delinquency, provide case studies and clinical opportunities for teachers in training as well as for physicians in training? In addition to a higher quality of transdisciplinary research, perhaps the most important contribution of the preventive health/medical model of professionalism and clinical training is the essential teamwork and holism that has to come to play as a result of the explosion in the quantity of medical knowledge. It increasingly requires not only specializations, but also multi-professional teamwork to cope with the vast amount of data that will be involved in a global health plan to provide adequate health care, and preventive health education for every person on the planet. Perhaps that dreamt-of collaboration of professional schools can take begin in virtual space sooner than on campus? (1.10)

So also a  planning conference will no doubt call for more detailed research on how to provide more adequate learning for everyone on the planet. 

1.4.2.  WHY NOT LEARNING FOR ALL VIA THE INTERNET?

(5) Shortages and availability of knowledge and learning, like shortages of food, are often a matter of politics, but there is also the crucial question of what can be afforded. The quality of learning in many developing nations, for example, declined with the deterioration of the economy and the presence of huge foreign debt. How can that process be reversed without significant outside  help?

Planners must not expect too much from technology alone, which often creates as many new problems as solutions, yet radio and television have been effectively used in many parts of the world to bring learning to places where it was lacking. In fact, such technologies may be the best and most affordable way to bring lifelong quality learning to many of the world s deprived areas. To improve the quality of existing schools, learning via TV and computer networking and Internet access should not replace local teachers but should help them do a better job by enlarging the resources available to them and by training them to use such resources.

Many of the electronic learning packages now available in Europe and North America would not be acceptable to other cultures or adequate to meet the needs of many other countries. Officials of the British Open University, however, have pointed to a “vast store of educational programming” that educators in other countries could adapt and translate for use. It is very expensive to create a distance learning course, but once it is created, and tested through use, it could be made available to poor areas at modest cost. The quality and adaptability of such materials are greatly en­hanced by the Internet that makes possible interactive two-way participation, where TV and radio have largely been one-way com­munication. New tools also make it possible to aid educators in each country and culture in creating and adapting the types of educational programs that are most needed and that could be most effective there.

Many people, however, especially in developing countries, worry that the best intentioned international electronic education, much like entertainment television and commercial films, may become a new form of cultural and economic colonialism, especially if rich industrialized corporations come to dominate the Internet as they have co-opted global television for entertainment. As Finn (1997) warned, will learning institutions also be dominated by such commercial and `entertainment’ interests? A future solution to this problem may be seen in free online Wiki textbooks, for example.

Television and the Internet--like many Asian universities themselves (Lauby 1987)-- are largely a Western import, founded by people with Western values, worldviews, and the concerns of Western civilization. Often, instead of educating people to meet the real needs of their countries, “exported” universities turn out Western-style lawyers and bureaucrats in a much greater supply than is required. So there is an urgent need in the emerging electronic university to recover indig­enous history, value systems, religious insights, art, music, and litera­ture as the foundation for higher education in each culture. For example, Lauby asks, what would Indian higher education be like if it issued from the mainsprings of Indian thought and cultural traditions, and if it were solidly rooted in the soul of India?

This is not, however, an either/or situation. In Asia and elsewhere, learning must also be oriented to international problems and to the emerging global society to prepare a new generation for worldwide citizenship. This will require a “partnership style of education” among the nations and a planning conference must deal with the issue of languages.

1.4.3   TWO-WAY EXCHANGE OF LEARNING

(6) Where one-way radio, films, television, and music CDs—often in the English language--have been largely dominated by Europe and America, the new computer-managed interactive and two-way communication technologies can be an antidote to colonialism and authoritarianism everywhere. These two-way communication technologies make possible more of a partnership in which economically underdeveloped countries can trade lectures, courses, and databases on their history and culture for the latest scientific lectures from other countries.

A global planning conference should therefore give more attention to ways to get translation into every culture as well language and dialect, first especially into southern and eastern Asian countries that have half of the world’s population. Even as much of the process becomes automated, it is going to be time-consuming and expensive.

The electronic global learning system need not ask a student in Indonesia or France to choose between a traditional course on campus or an electronic course from overseas. Where it is useful or desired, the traditional course, with lectures and discussion on campus, can be supplemented and enriched by some videotape lectures by a distant specialist, and “electronic classroom discussion” between students in France and a specialist lecturer in Indonesia or vice versa. A videotaped lecture may come by mail or it can be downloaded from a satellite if it is important to have the most up-to-date information immediately. A class or individual learner can view the videotape and discuss it, and each individual learner can review it, over and over if necessary, to cope with linguistic limitations and formulate questions before the class meets electronically with the expert in another country for questions and discussion. The local instructor can counsel and guide members of a class to profit from such electronically provided resources. (3.4 and 3.6) Much of contemporary international education projects are personal exchange, not electronic.

These numbered ideas are just suggestive of some possible agenda items that participants in a global planning conference might consider.

1.4.4   LIFELONG LEARNING FOR ALL AGES AND NEEDS

(7) Another point of view for the agenda of a global planning conference? Mayur of India has insisted that electronic opportunities must be provided for “everyone, wherever that person may be” and must include all significant kinds of literacy (cultural, technical, mathematical, scientific). never for a moment neglecting the illiterate villagers of Asia or Africa.

At first it would seem that primary and secondary-level learning would only be provided within the boundaries of a country, and not by “electronic providers” from outside. The goal of heightened quality, however, involves an internationalization of learning resources, especially in science and foreign language. John Southworth at the University of Hawaii, for example, conducted a decade of imaginative experiments and demonstrations, via a computer network, to connect primary and secondary school pupils with similar age group classrooms in other countries. Research and experience show that high quality learning can be provided via new technologies where it cannot otherwise be affordable or available.  

1.4.5   NO NEW COLONIALISM?

(8) An eighth issue for global planning is how best to use not only all languages, but also to help each learner—whether at home or overseas—to have an education within his or her own culture. One place to begin will be to provide institutional forms for virtual learning that will (a) provide global and regional administrators and `boards’ that are broadly representative of developing countries; that will therefore be committed to relevant learning for all, and not just an elite; that will make it possible for local planners and  learners to define their own needs and interests; and that will give priority to promoting kinds of learning that people in each neighborhood and culture want and prefer. And (b) that have provisions for obtaining local feedback even from developing country neighborhoods.

Protection against colonialism has been illustrated in the statements of purpose and philosophy of Global Education Associates (GEA), which has operated in seventy-eight countries; and in those of the GLOSAS/Global University projects, as well as other groups seeking to give some leadership to the emerging global lifelong learning. GEA, for example, has sought to define the cultural context, taking account of such factors as regional history giving way to an era of global history; the emergence of an interrelated multifaceted global economy; the coming into existence of a worldwide interstate system that is eroding traditional boundaries between domestic and interna­tional politics; a world culture emerging on top of traditional local and regional cultures; human beings everywhere taking new account of the ecological unity of the planet; and international networking in industry, politics, and education and expanding international institutions.

With such factors in mind, GEA proposed that the foundation for global learning rests on new common understandings, such as the realization that respecting others who are different enriches rather than diminishes each of us; that common human needs and dreams underlie cultural differences; and that the globally educated person will be one who acts intelligently to promote a more humane domestic and foreign policy; compassionately to contribute to the solution of humanity s com­mon problems; realistically to seek to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for all; vigorously to try to promote justice; conscientiously to aim to become involved in the peaceful resolution of conflict with the goal of outlawing war; and responsibly to curb wasteful consumption of the world’s resources. Obviously a global planning conference will here face difficult decisions and issues.

Those planning the Global University System (GUS) project, in part building upon these GEA values and principles published a booklet in Italy (DeMaio and Utsumi 1991) that proposed guidelines for emerging global lifelong learning. The proposals, summarized below, suggest a philosophy of worldwide electronic learning that gives priority to the needs and concerns of developing countries. This and many other details are elaborated in Varis et. al. (2004). also on line and on CD..

(a) Focus on the needs of all. The primary goal of the emerging electronic learning system must be a cross-cultural and global initiative to promote the sort of global lifelong learning that will advance peace and international understanding as “absolutely essential to the survival of humanity on our planet.” As many as possible of the world s people must be provided with learning—including skills to earn a decent living—that is adequate to make possible long-term prosperity, world friendship, peace, and participation in democratic global governance.

(b) An equal partnership. The initiative in a global learning system should be in the hands of the individual learner, with a partnership of educational institutions, government agencies, and industry finding and providing resources to make it possible for all people in the world to obtain whatever learning and knowledge they need. When striving for universal literacy and seeking to make available the very best learning resources to all, priority should be given to the goal of serving especially those who cannot otherwise adequately participate in the emerging global economy and information age. The power of partnerships and the value of alliances  have been demonstrated for many years. (Sharp 2001) On financial savings by merging institutions see: (Williamsjune 2003). <

( c) Freedom for education. Global lifelong learning, especially through electronic connections, must in all societies promote freedom of speech and freedom of thought. In a world of parochial and competing universities that are often controlled by the priorities of governments, industry, and the military, those who finance new learning programs must understand that “control does not follow financing and must affirm the freedom of the university in teaching and research.”

(d) Priority to moral principles. A partnership of many kinds of institutions and individuals “must seek to challenge and question the goals and purposes of those who provide services and of those who use them.” For example, the emerging learning system would reject partnership with a government that wants to use it to get access to technology for war and oppression of its own citizens or those of other countries. Even if the aim appears idealistic, electronic higher learning and research institutions can follow the United Nations, for example, in asking all participants to affirm and support internationally agreed-upon aims, purposes, and long-range goals. From its beginning it should affirm its intention to support curriculum and activities that can promote world harmony and human needs, rejecting any courses or programs likely to be used for the purposes of exploitation, aggression, or evil, destructive ends.

(e) Help humanity meet critical challenges. The lifelong learning system should make every effort to help humanity avert widespread calamity, under­taking research to help solve problems such as the homelessness, hunger, disease, and pollution that now face many if not all countries. Affirming that academic freedom should be for research as well as for teaching, those taking initiative in global higher learning programs and institutions should work diligently to help make it possible for researchers in important fields of knowledge to collaborate across international boundaries, for example, using computer networking and telecommunications and streaming video to coordinate their efforts. Bringing many minds together to explore new alternatives for solving global problems and for the management of complexity can bring enlarged collective intelligence to bear upon all major global issues.

(f) Free global access to information. All officials, faculty, and learners related to the worldwide learning system should affirm “the principle of free global access and exchange of information and resources” and the goal of an on-line and, in time, an open CD-ROM-type satellite library, available to any school, educational institution, or individual anywhere in the world. Security against hackers and so forth must be provided. <http://www.symantec.com/press/2002/n020807a.html> .

(g) A rich interplay of disciplines, cultures, and schools of thought. Courses and lectures that are exchanged should come from centers of excellence recognized for high quality, should seek to be based on the most up-to-date research and methods, should have a clear relevance to the needs of the learner and his or her culture, should respond as rapidly as possible to newly emerging and changing knowledge, and should represent types and contents of training not widely and/or easily available through other means and nearby institutions. In other words, the international electronic learning, whatever its manifestations, rather than being competitive, should seek to improve and complement existing successful efforts, providing outlets and resources on a global scale. A highly significant cultural interchange can be possible through kinds of electronic cooperation that can enable a dynamic synthesis of oneness and diversity. In contrast to the fear of depersonalization caused by technology, a process of sharing and dialog should emphasize neither cultural uniformity nor cultural difference, but should favor “a dynamic synthesis of oneness and diversity, a trans-cultural unity-in-difference.”

(h) More than intellect. Enlarging the goal of improving the quality of excellence  “should involve the heart as well as the mind.” The emerging system should become “not merely personal but trans-personal” so as to address humankind s present need for a sharing of minds and hearts across personal and cultural barriers. To meet the needs of all the world's children for health care, learning, food, and clean air and water, feelings must be shared as well as ideas.

These principles and values have since then be revised and improved at various conferences, such as those proposed at the 1997 Paris UNESCO conference. <http://www.unesco.org>

1.4.6   CAN ALL NATIONS AFFORD TO PARTICIPATE? ALL PEOPLE?

How can individual learners—and even some whole nations-- afford the emerging global virtual university?

(a) Two-way barter and exchange. When we ask how poorer nations are to pay for their share of a worldwide system, the following must be held in mind: “Developing countries possess extensive skills and resources which can be translated into tangible benefits to developed countries” (Vagianos 1988). For example, the best way for a European or American to develop foreign language skills will involve `virtual’ time in China, India or wherever. There are many other kinds of learning opportunities in the developing world that can be traded for needed courses and information, and developed nations can thus benefit from “new sources of political and economic information” and from insights from other cultures. Some collaborating  high schools already each offer one course in trade for getting all kinds of courses for their students.

(b) Another suggestion came from Latin America. Some educators pointed out that hundreds of their students can participate in electronically offered courses with the money it would cost to send one learner to Europe or North America. Also, there are ways to make the electronic exchange of programs affordable through reducing communication costs, now perhaps through wireless systems. Where communication infrastructure is often lacking, as in parts of Africa, various kinds of simple technologies can be made available in one village or neighborhood center for everyone to use.

(c ) As an extensive international technological communications infra­structure is developed for other purposes, such as for use by medicine and industry, a worldwide learning system can piggyback upon it, often using borrowed facilities. Technology possibilities are discussed elsewhere here.

But a global planning conference cannot ignore the digital divide in a world where only a small faction of the population has ever even seen a telephone. Nevertheless, the Internet is increasingly interconnecting all the world’s learning centers, including primary and secondary schools in poverty areas. Some secondary school students are preparing to operate neighborhood tele-centers. (2.18) Already in the 1980's Branscomb (1989) pointed out that as in “research tele-col­laboration, distance learning leveraged economies of scale through the sharing of a valuable resource, was increasing productivity [by reducing both travel time and costs] and compensates for isolation.” The poverty of many underdeveloped countries does not result from a lack of resources but from a lack of learning and the ability to use their own resources.

Despite forthcoming successful ways to reduce drastically the costs of exchanging courses and lectures, some countries still cannot afford even the initial demonstrations and experimentation; and evidently many national education officials in developing countries are not yet convinced that distance learning is worth its sacrificial cost. Its first most evident usefulness has been in upgrading the qualifications and skills of teachers and to provide technicians. Even there, however, even when existing distance learning  is only internal as when a nation connects to deprived rural areas for its own citizens, existing efforts are rarely yet equal partnerships between those who give and those who receive, or partnerships that share with the poor and illiterate. So even as new and more idealistic long-range goals are provided, only the present limited systems will continue to expand and develop, at least until major governments begin to provide large sums for a truly global system. We will suggest one possibility in the section (1.10) on `global land grant colleges.’.

1.4.7   NO LONGER JUST FOR AN ELITE

Some of the best agricultural universities in Asia began as farms where youngsters with only a primary school education were taught better farming methods, so planners of a global learning strategy must not neglect skills or the illiterate. However, planners would need to consider the nature of a global curriculum. Initially, of course, the curriculum  may simply include everything offered online, a total curriculum of all courses from all institutions on all subjects. But simply to add together all courses offered in all countries would fall far short of what is needed in the poorest areas of the world, and in minority and aboriginals’ cultures. Their first wishes may also not be what they most need: medicine and health, agriculture, entrepreneurial skills and simple technological guidance. Only an elite minority are ready for engineering, and computer science but that must be available too for those who are ready.

For the developing world elite, such as the employees and potential employees of international companies, there already is a demonstrated need for much more, beginning with information technology and communications services. Initial surveys found distance learning to be a cost-effective method of providing quality training. Distance education has been in many cases and adequate, and often the only way to provide such education that is wanted by employers. Unfortunately many employees fiind that existing online education is not really offering (1) the skills that they want and need or at the desired time and place. However the first possible funding to provide the infrastructure--that later can be used by all--most often will come from business corporations and healthcare, which are going to be major partners in the emerging global learning system.

It can be a great mistake to see that system as send electronically to other countries only courses and programs (and methods) now being offered domestically on campus. There may be value in some teleconferencing to classes or to learners who come together at a remote site. Such groups of individuals, meeting at a nearby primary school to receive a course electronically, can share costs that, even if subsidized by a government, would be difficult or impossible for any one student to afford alone. However, emerging new technologies are going to make possible what no one has anticipated before.

1.4.8  BEWARE OF HYPE

A global conference should of course heed the warnings that much hype is involved in enthusiasm about information age technology. Herring (in Ess 2001) warns that it may “accelerate cultural homogenization,” pointing out the lack of research “on the effects of computer networking on the world’s cultures.” In the past there has been great enthusiasm about education being transformed by other new technologies, such as television. Most Internet and web content, like TV “is permeated by western values of individual freedom, religious agnosticism, open sexuality, and free market capitalism.” So culture that value “group harmony, religious faith, sexual modesty and/or economic restraint” may reject education over the Internet as “a vehicle of foreign ideology.”

Ess himself--and expert on Internet ethics--points to critics who warn against an `electronic utopianism’ that rests upon `questionable myths.’ How, a planning conference must ask, can the commercialization of for-profit education, especially as it migrates to the Internet, avoid “exploitation, alienation and disparities between the haves and the have-nots?” In the Ess book there are suggestions of ways in which local cultures can be preserved and enhanced. His research also reveals cultural prejudices in the very technology, such as the Internet itself.

Now in light of the suggested principles above, chapters 1-6 to 1-10 propose five possible administrativee systems and  models for higher educations--that begin with what exists-- as a basis for discussion and planning on how they are to be involved in lifelong learning for all. Of course there are others such as
: <http://www.integralevolution.org/multiversity/overview.html>.

Meanwhile, since networking is crucial, Watts (2003) has proposed that "the new science of networks must bring together from all the disciplines the relevant ideas and the people who understand them...a network of scientists collectively solving problems that cannot be solved by any single individual alone or even by any single discipline." More on that in volume three.

Return to Chapter 1.3 | Go to Chapter 1.5


Bibliographical Notes

Charp, Sylvia (2001) "Partnership and Collaborative Learning. (An editorial introducing articles on the topic.)"T. H. E. Journal, October.

DeMaio, David and Takeshi Utsumi. 1991. User Manual of Global Lecture Hall. Bari, Italy: Editionzi Farwell Laterza.

Duderstadt, James. 2000. A University for the 21st Century. University of Michigan Press.

Ess, Charles (ed.) 2001. Culture, Technology, Communication: Towards an Intercultural Global Village. Albany, State University of New York Press.

Foreman, Joel. 2003. "Next Generation Educational Technology versus the Lecture." Educause, July/Aug.

Jacobson, Carl. 2000. “Institutional Information Portals.” Educause, July-August.

Lauby, Paul. 1987. “The New Challenge to Higher Education in Asia.” Breakthrough, Spring.

Neave, Guy. 1998. “Four Pillars of Wisdom.” UNESCO Courier, September.

Norris, Donald et al. 2003. "A Revolution in Knowledge Sharing." Educause. Sept/Oct.

Pór , George. 2001. “Global Brain and Social Evolution.” Presented at the Brussels Global Brain workshop, July. 

Raskin, Marcus. 2004. Liberalism: The Genius of American Ideals. Lanham MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Rischard, Jean-Francois. 2002. High Noon: 20 global Problems and 20 Years to Solve Them. New York: Basic Books. 

 Scully, Malcolm. 2002. "A Network of Global Solutions. Chronicle of Higher Education, September 13

Watts, Duncan. 2003. "Unraveling the Mysteries of the Connected Age." Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 14.

Williamsjune, Audrey.  2003. "Merging Without Overpowering." Chronicle of Higher Education, June 6. 

为一场悄然到来的革命绘制蓝图

联合国教科文组织杂志的编辑莫西(Zaghioul Morsy)指出, 远程教育作为一场悄然到来的革命, 为人们提供了相对低成本的教育和更多的教育机会。

维拉若(Armando Villaroel

关于因特网的一些宣传,为人们构筑了美丽的神话, 这会不会是俗话所说的 错进,错出”?

引自哈拉库维(Herbert Hrachovec

全球规模的综合智力的设计过程中需要什么样的素质?

保尔(George Por

整个世界或是任何国家都不可能在大多数人民缺乏生存、保健、工作所需要的知识的情况下还能长保健康富强。然而如今还不确定的是,网络终身教育计划到底能够在多大程度上给社区、中小学、大学和研究计划带来所需的机会和质量。远程教育和教育共享难道不仅仅只是全球系统的一个方面?我们要如何构筑一个新的系统来为全球全民学习服务?

这场悄然到来的革命是必需的,甚至可能是无法抗拒的, 它将全球网络虚拟学习带进了一个更加广阔的空间。德拉克Peter Drucker曾说过知识革命正引导世界进入一个全新的时代,理查(Jean-Francois Rischard 2002)在关于如何处理复杂性的问题上提出了一个全面的方案。这让我们为之鼓舞。斯库雷(Scully 2002)概括性的指出当人类问题变得更复杂、更全球化、更难以从技术上和政治上着手解决时,预示着综合性复杂危机正在逼进。人类学习的结构 -- 作为人类社会的领域之一 --缺乏更平稳,更快速,更网络化的组织。为了跨越政治和技术的障碍,他们必须超越传统的、等级制的工作方式。理查(Rischard)提出,它将需要,一种新的意识,一种20年后随势发展的远景,然后我们回到这个过程中的步骤,它需要意识到这个远景,然后考虑谁需要采取这些步骤。尤其是在教育方面。

诺里斯等(Norris et al 2003)已经很清楚的看到电子知识不只是一次知识的数字化的收集,而是包含了内容,背景和真知灼见。它是通过在一个相互连接的世界,个体之间的交流、社区之间的交流和知识的共享来获得相互理解的一种行为,包含了知识共享和一种知识经济 诺里斯等,已经指出很多专家并没有深刻思考过知识的本质,通常只是把它当作一样东西,而没有系统的共享知识,特别是没有跨越学科的界限。但是强大的新技术让他们感到到2020年我们获取知识的方式将会极大的丰富。他们报告了在几个国家的大学发展生态的知识文化的例子。 详见:<http://www.transformingknowledge.info/>

二十一世纪民主的大学'Raskin 2004)应该关注人的尊严和精神,关注社会利益' 和所有人的人权;我们这里所提到的还包括学习。同样的,它还必须是一个真实可行的计划,是一个为各个年龄段的人提供全球教育的学习系统。在不久的将来网络将遍布发展中国家的每间学校和每户居民,目前人们还没有充分认识到如何为这样的将来作出有利于教育的规划和部署。这样的规划需要资金来研制出适合全球学制,不同管理和行政机构和乡村社区的机制。例如一位'教育消费者可以与一个全球教育联合企业的一部分或一个地区社区学院连接合作。应该从怎样管理课程竞争和过多供应入手来进行规划,研制出对全球终身教育有益的,人们又支付得起的电子教科书和课件,并考虑到对全球学习者可能需求的各种技术提供培训,使教育软件在劳动力市场也能发挥作用。

 

1.4.0 全球虚拟终生学习的规划过程

我们把全球网络终生学习列入日程, 让我们来探讨这么一个构想,那就是召开一个全世界网络会议, 商讨全球网络终生教育的可能性。的确,假设由联合国教科文组织赞助这样一个会议, 这个会议将作为1997年巴黎会议的后续; 这个后续会议将会有5000-10000位教育规划专家同时在线, 它将是综合智力方面的一次极为重要的尝试。可以借鉴1997年在多伦多举行的全球知识会议(GK97)和最近举行的来自100多个国家的成千上万人参加的在线会议,在此经验的基础上筹办起来(2.4.1)3.10)。这能使计划小组特别来自发展中国家的代表各种需求的小组能够参加在线讨论。 关于在哪里举行和怎么样举行详见<http://www.tappedin.org>。然而,在这里提议的在线会议可以永不停止,持续讨论,直到成千上万参与者所提出的大部分问题都得到妥善的解决。会议还将更新变换当地的和来自发展中国家的计划组成员。为了更好地处理危机和解决困绕,应该邀请公众部门的参与,同样的,还应该邀请来自世界银行(及其类似的机构)的代表和来自政府部门的代表,例如发展规划部门的代表以及其它的批评家们来参与;通过下列网站可以了解尝试解决上述问题的最佳的实践案例研究<http://www.developmentgateway.org> 在开始网络讨论之前预先做好文件提出重要问题的多种解决方案。文件提前几个月放在网上以方便当地小组的准备工作。它们之中很多是极富想象力的,如麻省理工的多媒体中心在这方面做出很多开拓性的工作<http://www.media.mit.edu/research/group.php?type=researchGroup&id=14>

坎姆普贝尔(John R. Campbell)校长 (俄克拉何马州立大学,已退休)建议,在这迅速的变化和充满不确定的未来的时候,每间大学的中心都应该有一支由多个学科组成的队伍来在各个学科领域探索已经出现的、超越计算机空间的新前景和新程序。罗切斯特科技公司的保罗·米勒和西弗吉尼亚大学前校长在一次头脑风暴的会议上提出,应该在现有大学中组织一批人来深入研究如何将现存的教育机构改变为真正的全球全民终生学习体系,该实验研究项目应至少为期三年,由50个人参加,其中三分一的人来自大学,三分之一来自社区,例如讨论在未来二十年后的学习者所需要的学习技能,余下的三分之一为行外的专家。此外还应该研究如何通过切实可行的程序来明智的改革我们的整个教育制度。这样的包括后续工作在内的计划小组能够连接到全球在线计划会议,并且能够在会议上发挥作用。(详见3.10

在这样的一次本地计划会议期间基本上没有报告。大部分的与会者都将进行小组讨论。举个例子,在线会议可以逐字逐句地讨论之前已经准备好的文件,然后根据成千上万在线与会者的意见和评论重新起草。每一份会议报告都将成为一本网络图书,世界上任何地方的规划者和教育者都可以看到重新起草的文件。许多会议小组还将持续在线讨论、定期修改计划。其中一部分人, 经常是每一个当地小组中抽取一个人, 在未来的几年继续在网上持续讨论。

作为综合智力上的一次演练,这次会议做出了重大的贡献。它为学习提供了未来计划,这与在当前各种各样知识会议上所讨论的例如即将到来的超级智力: 谁将被控制?这样的议题相关联。珀尔(Pór 2001) 探究出综合智力的潜能,指出社会的进步正远远落后于科技的进步。所以,现在需要前所未有的努力来提升人性 从二使人类有机会优化社会机构设置以弥合人类条件与人类潜力之间的差距<http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-dialogue.html>

重要的是,计划议程关注未来前景,关注教学而不只是关注管理和体制结构,无论管理和体制结构有多么的重要。相应的教工会议将研究包括许多多媒体教学教育资源在内的多种项目的合作,详见<http://taste.merlot.org/> 这是一个国际性的合作,它将为提高学习能力和教学效果提供高质量的网络资源。另有一些计划议程还将被核查<http://www.aed.org/publications/TechnologiesForEducation/TechEdChapters/02.pdf

珀尔关心用什么方案能把一些最富有和最贫穷的国家连接起来,一起进入更高级别的学习系统?他建议,假设一个学习社会议程逐步形成,使位于 "数字化鸿沟和危机 两端的国家的代表能够在全球论坛上对话。如果它的设计成功的话,对所有参加者都很有价值的学习成果将被优化。如果下一届的八国联盟和全球社会论坛的组织者开始合作,通过网上和网下的共同参与来解决会议的议题,或讨论出最优的方案来解决最棘手的问题,那么我们何不这样来规划呢? 如果问到富有的国家能从中获得什么的话,除了他们为一个更美好的世界和人们更好的生活所做的贡献以外,难道为发展集体共生智力所做的努力和尝试不是很有价值吗?

珀尔还提出其他一些可能对思考网络虚拟终生学习的未来非常有帮助的建议。 因特网变成一个带电的神经系统, 它是一个社区集体智力自我组织和自我改进所必需的基础结构。他预见全球综合智能形成的可能性和将全球连接在一起的智能社区生态系统一样大, 这样的社区正在培植生态系统技术支持下的真知灼见、信息和灵感的知识系统。珀尔使用设计这一术语对新社会形式的出现很有帮助意义,并设计出一个有创造性、决定性的、严格规范的调查,目标在于:

·阐述系统的预期,愿望和要求;

·验证设想和将来系统的其它的表现;

·设计出标准以评价那些选择;选择、描述或者模拟最有前途选择;

·准备一个选中的模型的发展计划。 "(Banathy1998)

珀尔帮助我们解决一些在一次全球网络虚拟计划会议里可能会讨论到的问题:

(1) 哪种系统能在高等教育领域提高富有创造力的、目的明确的人类进化的演变?

(2)我们怎样着手设计那些系统?

(3)谁来关注创造。 支持和改进对学习社区的设计吗?通过个体的设计者还是团队设计者?真的一切改变得如此彻底以至于社区的设计'将满足全球学习系统培训和全球教育系统操作者的需要?

珀尔还建议说,更复杂的问题是,(程序)更可能将包含学习社区而不仅仅是个人;需要机构化之间的网络连接和联盟。在下述网站 <http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/tools/wef.shtml.> 他还谈到社区的健康发展。他使用"学习性探索"这个比喻来解释集体研究的活动系统,它包括这样的子系统:寻找共同的意义和目的; 设计和改进探险社区的通讯和创造知识的系统和实践。这个隐喻意味着在这里提议的在线会议首先期望三种结果:1)新的或已提高的个人和综合能力的发展;2)对知识演变和对某一知识前景的更好阐述的研究和贡献;3)设计结果,包括我们案例中的全球终生学习系统的新设计。

接着,还要考虑以下的问题:

(4) 在网络计划会议上出现的全球范围内的综合智能的设计过程需要怎么样的质量呢?

5)在设计新的终身学习体制和结构方面必要的原则什么,如何资助这样的设计?

6)我们要在哪里找到成功的实践和经验; 例如,在虚拟的学习社区中吗?在专业学习的网络中吗?什么大规模,社会革新过程已经因为重要的技术和知识革新被支持? 详见:<http://www.co-intelligence.org/P-dialogue.html

7)为促进综合智能的出现,需要什么样的操作、责任和协定?

8)在综合智能的出现和运用上旧型和新型大学中的智能创造力中心可能发挥什么样的作用?在各种各样的社区中使合作的知识发展需要什么样的生态系统条件? 详见:<http://pconf.terminal.cz/speeches/benkingtxt.html>

(9) 在终生学习新设计的支持下该如何精心安排科技合成体? (例如, 一个系统能否象Expedia那样一个月为几百万的航空乘客服务或者象MBONE系统,将分散在各地的人整合起来, 这个系统能否发展成依靠内容、将种类繁多的在线课程信息分散到各地,为10亿学习者提供服务? 在线的计划会议能证明他们中的一些吗? 有人经常忽略现存技术规划中有价值的方面,历年来这经常继续这' 列举servs'-各种各样题目上的在线谈话。有批评说,这些是在蹓哒,没有充分的安排到主题上。' 他们看起来像大厅外的面对面的非正式会谈。 列举servs,象关于远程教育的DEOS 谈话,例如, 被实际和理论的问题打断,如即将到来的会议和就业机会的通告,对软件的评估和对在线的教学的风格和他们的效力的辩论。

其实,很多各种各样在线会谈很有价值,并且依靠组织软件创造出很多非常有价值的关系到全球计划会议的讨论。当计划会议提出这些和其他问题和想法, 我们能期待信息时代作为一个重要的目标和结果的一种全新的,整合的全球设计吗?我们将在下一章,特别是在第三章提出一些可能性以下是一些其他最近的建议。

 

1.4.1 一种全新的终身学习模式吗?

一个规划过程,包括怎样为世界上每个人提供在线学习, 这可能首先从利益角度上考虑我们之前提到过的未来高等教育的一些模式,虽然这开了个头,但是没有提到为全人类提供终生教育的必要性。

(1) NEA美国国家教育协会想要不局限于特别年龄或者收入阶层的教育。 我们来讨论以下的4 种可能性: <http://www.nea.org/he/>, (一位批评家在这里建议这些NEA 模式作为讽刺打算.) 我们提出那 -- 象在这本在线的书里的一切一样 -- 他们能刺激想象并且提出重要的问题。

(a) 进入社区学院 (1.9) 我们将在第9 章讨论,一 种模式将利用建立在中学和社区学院、技术学院系统之间的一个无线的网络。中学生或者更低年级的学生将根据他们自己的进度继续进行学业,获得一个中学毕业证书并且顺着教育方向发展。 机构将相互连接并共享资源。

   (b) 在四年制的社区大学,一些学习者可以居住在家里而且可以通过经批准的两年强化公共事业来免费延长他们享受公共教育,使年轻人将原来在运动场上挥汗如雨的热情投放到了现在的社区花园的建设上

c全球技术 大学联合体最终要连接到一个毕业生水平的全球教育系统。 很多教育通过电视会议、因特网,等等来施行,但是仍要求有一段时期的实体教育。有了导师, 学习者可以通过因特网一天24小时的进入图书馆和并接受大学专业人士的在线指导。

(d) 教育保护组织像医学组织(HMO), 终生教育机构通过各种各样的行业和国家的合同来管理教育,使其降低成本提高效益。一些国家政府在按人均摊的基础上付款给教育机构,以鼓励大学更高效率的使用教职工。因此,学生可能被前大学教师成立的私人高等学校所吸引。

NEA(愤世嫉俗地说) 暗示4 种市场驱动的可能性:(a) MacCollege股份有限公司;在那里学生拿走计算机里的帐号卡片,这个公司与座落在墨西哥的低畦地带的Macquilladora 地区的网上;(b) 电视大学,它引以为傲的是通过聘用明星教授来保证高品质的教学。(c)外购的技术, 紧跟合作趋势, 聘请生意幻想者重新设计组织机构以创造一个最划算的操作机制, 所有的雇员全部下岗然后再重新雇佣钟点工和兼职工人。工勤学生替换图书馆管理员。 把课程外包给一些公司。(f)3000个学生一个班的仓库A & M 演讲,学生与老师之间的个人交流变得很少。

杜德斯塔兹(Duderstadt 2000)提出一些将来的模式,这些是对全球终生教育更有建设性的设想:(a) 多样性的大学,允许种族、人种、文化和地理上的差异;(b)重视新知识,新艺术等的有创造性的大学,学生成为创造知识队伍的成员;(c) 无分校的大学, 将更少的专业界限综合 部分真实,部分虚拟的网络结构提供了学科和专业课程的横向和纵向综合;(d) 计算机大学与"一个巨大的信息网"相连接, 承诺提升每个人的智力发展环境, 满足任何人在任何情况下随时的需求; (e) 成人大学,不再提供大学本科教育,但是,拥有世界级的教授只接受智力上和感情上都成熟的高级进修者;(f) 通过协议为一个学习者终生提供继续教育的终生大学。 它还设计学习方案让大学生和有相同职业领域经历的老年人在一起学习;(g)获准研究和开发盈利性产品的实验室大学。

(3)是需要现存的还是将来可能的教育机构的计算机模拟模式?萨巴(Farhad Saba) 博士设计一个模仿任一教育机构的关键因素的模型。他指出,任何模型的稳定性,取决于它的可变量的选择以及确定他们的关系的方程式的完整性。他说,他的模型,是可扩展到研究一所大学的。雅各布森(Jacobson 2000) 建议,随着大学校园网站的增长和成熟, 我们继续增加内容和程序,我们正朝着大学校园网络将成为一个机构的软件模型的方向前进。斯坦福大学高等教育研究者威廉·马西(William Massey在阿尔弗雷德·P·斯隆基金的赞助下,创立大学经营的先进的财政和管理模式。这种模型是以来自1200个机构的数据为基础的。称为虚拟U”,它提供一种"没有任何严重结果的租用政策、预算问题,等等的方法。"(Foreman 2003)

它将帮助教育计划者确定他们的方向,国际大学协会的尼夫(Neave 1998)提出的的4 类有历史意义的大学的模式。(a)拿破仑一世的模型,由国家接管大学以促进国家目的和目标; (b)德国的洪堡(Humboldtian)模式,主要的研究型大学借鉴的模式; (c)与工业和经济密切相关的市场导向型大学模式;(d)学术自由、大学自治的英国系统模式。很多机构努力帮助发展中国家的大学,例如在非洲的高等教育季刊,它是波士顿和达喀尔之间的合作,于2003年对非洲的教育者和政策制定者免费开放。

(4) 几乎全部所需的技术都是为了计划新的模式让各阶层的人都享受到更加优秀、更加专业化的教育。杜德斯塔兹(Duderstadt 2000)的建议包括为每个人量身定制教育计划的长远目标。 (3.3.1) 他提出,个人自学导向的教育应该在两代人的时间内是能够实现的。然而, 在健康保健方面,个人不可能脱离家庭、邻里、社区和经济机会的影响,也不能脱离更充足的社区支持系统。

预防性保健医学模型在这里对替换相同的课程的演讲系统很有帮助。 它可以包括:

(a) 对个人个性化的注意 (更多细节在第三部第三章)每人应该有一初级内科医生(M.D.)每年为他做体检、当出现健康问题时,能给予以特殊的关注。每个学习者也应该有一位同等资格的导师,定期的检查每个人的学习情况,帮助他制定接下来的学习方式。在保健过程中,我们想要适合自己的个性化体检而不是大众化的体检模式,能为所有人预订相同的医用的蓖麻油吗?我们用充分考虑个体学习方式、天赋、机会、需要、障碍和极限诊断的个性化测试并以此取代大众标准的内容测试。每次定期检查的问题和程序应该考虑个人的学习的历史, 应该为那些有缺陷的人提供专门的课程方案,把更多的精力放在那些身体上或是精神上有残疾的学生。难道每个学习者不应该有一支由身体、心理和精神专家或顾问组成的队伍的支持吗? 将来每个人的终生记录应该被用在所有的测试中。 (3.3.1的详细描绘.) 电脑化教育记录包括每个学习者的医学记录,应该是整体的,包括可能影响每个人学习进展的全部信息。 当然, 立即会产生有关个人隐私权的异议和问题,这的确难以解决而且需要大量的花费。当电脑化的医学记录变得更精确时,增加其他信息就变得容易了;大量的教育和其他数据在医学方面有相关性, 因为很多的内科医生的时间用在紧急事件、事故、虐待等方面。此外,学习顾问必须更多注意学校、家庭、社区之间的整体的合作。(更多内容见3.3.)

很多人不完全听从内科医生的预防保健的建议,例如饮食和锻炼, 这就好比很多学习者不完全听从教师和教育顾问的建议;的确,很多大学生对教师的指示侵入他们的个人行为和与教育相关的问题很不满。每天的自动提示可以改进上面两个情况的行为。 的确,一个足够的为全世界提供的面对所有人的教育需要很多这样的自觉行为。当然,由于持续缺乏足够的训练、能从事整体检查和记录的人需要自动记录保存和跨索引的记录。例如,这样的自动化能编进教科书,以在每个单位时间测试每个学习者。这个建议设想到了把那些日常教育方面的工作自动化,把教师解放出来,让他们有更多的时间进行个人的辅导、教学、指导和面对面的咨询,返回牛津式个人辅导的传统支持。

很多学习者需要一个志愿者的支持队帮助他们处理困难。在学兄和学姐相帮的计划下,减轻学习的压力和不适。这需要一支工作很多年、比较固定的队伍,即使当地支持队的个体成员时不时地改变。不能每年或者在中学每个小时更换教师或者辅导,交叉咨询队应坚持多年给予指导。 少年犯罪和成年人的犯罪可能通过这种方法大大降低。一个支持队, 包括老教师和内科医生, 能帮助发展一个精心制作的指导各个年龄青年的教育计划,计划还包括夏令营、艺术展演,音乐演奏或其他各类发展的经验。毫无疑问,不是全部的学习都将在网上进行!

对于个体学习者,各个阶段的学习的缺陷是从危机和问题开始的,需要更正的数据和模式来加以深入的研究,例如当学习者犯错误、沉伦,逃离不完整的家庭时,等等。如果发现困难的早期迹象,然后进行整体的检查并且有一支队伍去解决问题,有组织的学习将非常有益。如果我们使很多日常家务杂事自动化,当地教师,就能有时间充分关注每个人,这是我们想达到的一个重要的目标和结果,。 (更多内容在第3)

 (b)更充分、更广泛地诊断和检测,不只是智力上的测试。在一些学院,刚入学的学生要做一次彻底的体检, 然后被要求遵循一个适合自己身体发展的养生法来克服或者弥补任何弱点,获得能终生持续的运动或身体发展的整体方案的指示。难道这样的一次彻底的检查和计划不应该扩大到争取发现其他弱点: 智力、技能发展,精神的发展吗? (精神至少包涵艺术,创造性,想象力.)。在工作场所内或在某一过渡时期被监督的经历,也能帮助一个学习者发现一种能激发学习的能力或情绪。

(3)但是,以目前或者将来的技术和资源是否能实现这种个体化的目标呢?在第一章里我们在思考规划学习的不同方式时提到世界经济和天气都有大型的预测模型,我们是否也应该努力创造出巨大的全球终身教育模型呢?它可能最后包括来自全世界的最佳实践模型,包括各级各类、部门以及整个大专院校。医学和教育都能受益于对充满无知和病态的地球的整体研究2.17) <http://www.newciv.org/ISSS_Primer/seminar.html

因为卫星照片渐渐地被用来提供每个小的社区的整体图片,全球终生学习模型可以包括世界上每个街区学校的需求数据。我们能从中成功地获取什么呢?社区成员是如何在别人的帮助下摆脱失败的?或许我们也需要一个全球教育预警系统,警示当地的每个将要失去多个学习者的学校和社区,就像一个全球医学系统非常需要来自每个地区的传染病的信息一样。 (2.9.5).

(4). 对更完整的学习 (2.17) 的研究在全球计划会议上应该优先讨论。一所重要的大学, 几年前就提出应该将医学院、法学院, 教育和神学院搬进主校区,这样就能进行团队协作共同解决人类的危机。但是只有医学院搬进主校区,它在处理最严重的问题上提供了高质量的案例研究经验。不过,在附近在有那么多的人类错误的悲剧,却没有专业化的教师;的确,在社区的五分之一的不同班级每个月都会有不同的代课教师。为什么大学的机构总是给予身体比思想更多的关注?

这意味着对更好的,可以与医学研究相媲美的学习质量的继续研究的必要。在上个世纪后半期医学研究改变了诊断和外科操作,并提高了对保健工作的重视。有过失的邻里,和有病的邻里一样,难道不是为接受培训的教师和医生提供案例研究和临床实践的机会吗?除了高质量的跨学科研究以外,专业和临床训练的保健、医学模式的最大贡献是它是集体工作和整体工作, 它不仅越来越需要专业化,而且也需要多个专业协作的队伍来处理为全球每个人提供保健和疾病预防的全球健康计划和涉及全球健康的大量的数据。梦想中的专业学校间的合作会从虚拟空间开始还是从现实中的大学开始?详见 (1.10)

因此,全球计划会议无疑要对怎样为地球上的每个人提供更充分的教育进行更详细的研究。 详见"<http://www.media.mit.edu/research/group.php?type=researchGroup&id=3

 

1.4.2为什么不在互联网上推动全民学习呢?

知识和学习的短缺,像食品的短缺一样,经常是政治的问题,但是资金问题也很关键。 例如在很多发展中国家学习的质量,随着经济的恶化和巨大的外债而衰退。这个过程如何才能在没有重要外援的情况下扭转而脱离窘境?

规划者不应该对来自技术的东西抱以太大的希望,它常常是在提出解决方案的同时也制造出了很多新的问题,然而收音机和电视机在世界上的许多地区发挥重要作用,它们把学习带到教育缺失的地方。事实上,这样的技术可能是最好的,也是世界上许多贫困地区能享受终身教育的最负担得起的方法。但是改进现有的学校的质量,通过电视来学习和计算机网络学习不应该替代当地教师,而是应该帮助他们通过扩大他们的可用资源,并且培训他们使用这些资源来更好的做好本职工作。

现在很多在欧洲和北美使用的电子学习包不被其它文化所接受, 也不能满足其它许多国家的需要。然而,英国开放性大学的官员,已经暗示创办一个大型教育方案的商店的可能性,其它国家的教育者可以根据实际使用情况来适应和解释这个教育方案。开设一门远程学习课程是非常昂贵的,但是它一旦开设并投入试用,贫困地区就可以以低廉的费用使用它。因特网促进交互式双向通讯技术应用于电视和收音机,而原先电视和收音机大都是单向通讯, 同时因特网也提升了这些工具的质量和适用性。新工具也帮助来自不同国家和不同文化的教育者创造和适应这种急需且有效的教育方案。

然而,很多人,特别是来自发展中国家的人,担心最好的国际电子网络教育,会像娱乐电视和商业电影一样,成为文化和经济殖民主义的新形式,特别是,当他们为娱乐共同选择全球电视时,尤其是当因特网是由富有的工业化的公司来支配时。是否正如费恩(Finn 1997)警告的那样,学习机构也将受这样的商业和娱乐利益支配?

电视和因特网像很多亚洲大学一样 (Lauby 1987) ,基本上是从西方进口的,充斥着西方人的价值观、世界观和欧美文明观念。经常,大学出口供大于求的的情况造就西式律师和官僚,而不是按照他们国家的真实需要来培育人们。因此,很有必要在新兴的电子大学里恢复当地的历史、价值观系统、宗教意识,艺术、音乐和文学,以此作为在每种文化里的高等教育的基础。劳比(Lauby)提出询问,如果印度高等教育是产生于印度思想和文化传统的主流,如果印度高等教育植根于印度的灵魂,那么印度的高等教育将会是什么样的?

然而,这不是一个非此非彼的选择。在亚洲和其他地方,学习也具有国际问题导向并且由于全球化的趋势应该为将下一代培育成为全球公民而准备。这就需要在国家中形成一种教育的合作风格,当然也需要计划会议来解决语言问题。

 

1.4.3 学习的双向交流

欧洲和美国基本控制了收音机,电影,电视和音乐CD那样的单向通讯,这些通讯用的大都是英语,新计算机管理的交互式和双向通信技术可能对到处泛滥的殖民主义和权威主义是一剂解药。这些双向通信技术给经济上不发达的国家提供了更多的合作机会,让他们可以用有关他们国家历史和文化的讲义,课程,和数据来交换其他国家的最新的科学讲义。

因此全球计划会议应该更多关注文化、语言和方言的翻译方式, 首先特别是东亚和南亚国家,它们占世界人口的一半。即使是大部分的过程自动化了,它也将是费时和昂贵的。

全球电子学习系统不必让印度尼西亚或者法国的学生在大学传统课程学习方式和来自海外的电子课程之间做出选择。远程专家所做的讲座的录像带和法国学生与印尼专家之间的网络课堂讨论,可以作为大学里讲授和讨论式的传统课程的丰富和补充。已被录制下来的演讲可以通过邮件来传递,或者如果认为立刻获得最新的信息很重要的话,可以用卫星下载下来。一个班级或者一个学习者能观看这个录像并且讨论它,并且每个学习者如果觉得有必要可以一次又一次反复的观看这段录像,这样就解决了语言的限制并且在班级通过网络与其它国家的专家进行提问和讨论之前就想好如何提出问题。 当地教师也可以从这样的网络资源中获益,来指导班级的学生(3.43.6)。很多当代国际教育项目都是人与人之间的交流,而不是人与电脑之间的交流<http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/FIPSE/>

这些设想还只是对全球计划会议的参加者可能考虑到的一些议程项目提出的一些建议。

 

1.4.4为不同需求和年龄的人提供终身教育

7)计划会议的议程的另一种观点是在中小学实行素质教育。联合国顾问, 印度的梅尔(Rashmi Mayur )坚持认为,“每个人,无论是哪里人都必须有使用电子网络的机会, 电子网络须包括全部重要的文字 (文化、技术、数学、科学),绝不能忽视亚洲或非洲的不识字的村民。

最初,小学和中学教育似乎都是在本国范围内施行,并且拒绝外国的电子提供者 不过,素质教育的目标已经提高了,包括了学习资源的国际化,特别是在科学和外语方面。例如,约翰·索思沃思在夏威夷大学,进行十年的富于想象力的实验和阐述, 他通过计算机网络把中小学学生与在其他国家的相似的年龄的学生的教室连接起来。研究和经验显示高品质的学习可以通过新技术来施行,尤其是在它难以获得或难以负担的地方<http://www.ed.gov/offices/OPE/FIPSE/LAAP/funding.html

 

1.4.5 拒绝新殖民主义

(8) 全球计划的第8 个问题是不仅使用全部语言, 而且帮助每个在家或是在海外的学习者在他或她的自己文化内接受教育,不管这看起来是多么理想化。出发点将是提供网格学习的组织模式,这种网络学习 ()将提供全球和地区管理者和董事,他们是发展中国家的广泛代表;这种网络学习还将保证所有相关人员的学习,而并非精英教育;网络学习将使本地规划者和学习者确定他们自己的需要和兴趣;网络学习将优先发展每个街区和文化所需要和喜欢的学习;() 网络学习还将为获得当地人民的反馈尤其是从发展中国家的邻里的反馈做准备。

保护免受殖民主义侵害的措施已经在由78个国家共同运作的全球教育协会 (GEA)的目标和理念的陈述中阐述了;在全球大学项目,以及其他试图寻找新兴的全球终身学习领导的其他小组也阐述了这个措施。例如,全球教育协会,已经想办法确定文化背景,考虑给地区历史,给全球历史的时代让路这样的因素;相互联系的多方面的全球经济的出现,冲击着国内和国际政治之间的传统边界,滋生着一个全球的跨国系统的产生;新兴的世界文化凌驾于传统的和本地区文化之上;各地的人们重新考虑将地球作为一个生态单元,包括工业、政治、教育和不断扩大的国际机构上和国际联网。

由于这样的因素缠绕在思想中, GEA提议全球教育的基础应放在新共识上。认识到要尊重不同的人,会让我们更提升自己而不会贬低自己。认识到普通人的需要和梦想构成了文化差异的基础;认识到受过教育的、具有全球化思想的人是一个能够巧妙的促进国内外更人性化政策的人;怀着同情心去为解决人类共同的问题做出贡献;以实际行动想方设法消灭饥饿、改善所有人的生活质量; 积极努力促进公正; 用和平的方式解决与非法战争之间的冲突; 并且要负责任地抑制世界资源浪费性的消耗。 显而易见地,全球计划会议将面临难以解决和决定和问题。

那些设计全球大学体制(GUS)项目, 部分建立在这些全球教育协会(GEA)的价值观念、原则的基础上, 为新兴的全球终身学习提出指南的意大利 (DeMaio & Utsumi 1991) 公布一本小册子。经总结,那些提议,提出了全球网络教育应优先考虑发展中国家的需要和关注的理念。和这有关的很多其他细节在瓦利斯(Varis et al. 2004)、网上以及CD上有详细说明。

1关注所有人的需要 新兴的电子学习系统的主要目标是采取跨文化和全球性的行动以促进全球终身教育,这种类型的教育将推进世界和平和国际理解,这是人类在地球上生存的必要条件。让世界上尽可能多的人接受教育,都学到过一种比较体面生活所需要的技能,这有助于营造一个长期繁荣、友爱、和平和人人参与的全球民主世界。

2)平等的合作。全球学习系统里的主动性应该掌握在个体学习者的手中,由于教育机构、政府机关和企业共同合作,一起寻找和提供资源,全世界的人得以获得他们所需要的任何学习和知识。在争取普遍识字并且让所有人获得最好的学习资源的同时,让那些不能参与到新兴的全球经济和信息时代的人们优先获得这些资源。合作的能力和联盟的价值已经在多年前就被证明了,(SHARP 2001)。合并的机构的财政节约见: (Williamsjune 2003)

3教育的自由 全球终生学习,特别通过电子网络连接,必须在所有的社会里促进思想和言论自由。政府、工业和军队的优先权经常控制着许许多多的教区和竞争中的大学, 那些金融上的新学习计划必须理解控制并不能保证学校优质高效,因此必须确保大学在教学和研究上的自由。

4道德规范的优先权 尝试多种机构和个人之间的合作,这必须挑战和质疑那些提供服务和使用者的目的和意图。例如,如果政府想要利用这个体系来获得技术以对本国的公民和其他国家的公民进行战争和压迫, 新兴的学习系统应拒绝与之合作。即使目标似乎理想化,电子网络的高等教育和研究机构应响应联合国的号召,例如,要求全部参加者并且支持国际上达成一致的目的,意图和长远的目标。从一开始,就应该肯定其意图是支持提升世界和谐和人类需求的课程和活动,拒绝任何可能被用来剥削、侵略的,邪恶的、破坏性的目的过程或者程序。

(5) 帮助人类应对残酷的挑战 终生学习系统应该尽量帮助人类避开到处泛滥的灾害, 承担研究以帮助解决诸如无家可归,饥饿,疾病和污染的问题。虽然这些问题并不是每个国家都有的, 但是却是很多国家都需要面对的。可以肯定的是学术自由应该用于研究和教学, 那些施行高等教育的计划和机构应该采取行动、积极发挥作用,鼓励在重要的学科领域里的研究人员跨越国际边界的限制进行协作。例如,使用计算机和电信联网,采用流动式接收技术的视频传播协调他们的工作。把很多思想集合在一起为解决全球问题和复杂性管理提供新的选择,这样就使扩大的集体智能得以应对所有重要的全球问题。

6免费全球信息的准入 所有与全球教育系统相关的官员、教职工、学习者应该肯定信息和资源的全球免费准入和交流、世界上任何学校、教育机构或个人都能享用在线、即时、开放的CD形式的卫星图书馆。但是必须实施防止黑客入侵和其它的安全措施<http://www.symantec.com/press/2002/n020807a.html>

7学科、文化、思想学派的充分交流。交流的课程和演讲应来自公认的高品质的精英中心,应该想办法基于最新的研究和方法,应该对学习者和他们的文化需要有一个清晰的相关性,应该对新兴的且不断变化的知识尽快做出回应,并且应该进行其它方式或邻近机构不能提供的各种类型、各种内容的训练。 换句话说, 国际电子学习, 无论它显示出了什么,都应该尽力去改进和补充已获得的成功,提供全球规模的出路和资源,而不是去进行竞争。非常重要的文化交流可以通过能够动态综合独一性和差异性的电子组合来进行。与技术引起的对人类智能的弱化的恐惧相比, 共享和对话的过程不应该只强调文化同一性也不应该只强调文化异质性,而是应该支持 "统一和差异,以及跨文化求同存异的动态的综合"

8不止是智力。扩大提高精英教育质量的目标"应该包含内心和思想"。新出现的系统应该变得不仅仅是个人的而且是跨个人的 以便于满足人类目前跨越个人和文化障碍,分享思想和心灵沟通上的需要。为满足全世界孩子的保健、学习、食品、清新空气和水的需要, 感觉必须和思想一样被分享。

从那时起这些原则和价值已经在各种各样的会议上被修正和改进,例如在1997联合国教科文组织巴黎会议提出的那些准则,详见<http://www.unesco.org>

 

1.4.6 所有国家都负担得起吗? 所有人都负担得起吗?

个体学习者、甚至是一些国家如何才能负担得起新兴的全球虚拟的大学?

(1) 双向交易和交换。 当我们在疑惑那些最贫穷的国家如何支付全球系统共享的花费时,我们可以考虑发展中国家拥有大量的劳力和资源,这些可以卖给发达国家从而转化成实实在在的利益(Vagianos 1988)。例如,一个美国人或欧洲人学习外语的最好方式就是在'虚拟'的中国,印度或其它地方学习。在发展中国家,还有其他很多种学习机会,这些可以用来交换所需的课程、信息,而发达国家也可从政治、经济信息的新资源以及对其他文化的深入了解中获利。一些互相合作的大学已经通过交易的形式,来为学生提供各种各样的课程。

(2) 另一个建议来自拉丁美洲。 一些教育工作者指出,他们成百上千的学生能通过电子网络提供的课程进行学习,其中的花费与把一个学生送到欧洲或美国的花费要小得多。此外,还有一些方法通过降低通讯成本,比如无线电系统来使得通过网络进行的教学方案的交换能够比较让人负担得起。通讯基础设施缺乏的地方,比如在非洲的部分地区,一个村落或社区中心里的每个人都可以依靠各种各样的简单技术来进行学习。

3)如果广大的国际技术上的通讯基础设施的发展是为了其它的目的, 例如医药和工业的使用,全球学习系统可以,经常使用借来的设备。 我们将在其它章节讨论技术的可能性。

全球计划会议不能忽视世界上的在电子技术方面的两极分化,仍有一小部分人甚至没有看到过电话。虽然如此,因特网正渐渐将全球学习中心连接起来,这其中包括贫困地区的中小学。一些中学生正准备经营附近的通讯中心 (2.18) 20世纪80年代布兰斯科姆(1989)已经指出如同在 "研究通讯合作,远程学习通过一种有价值的资源的分享调控经济规模,它正通过降低旅行时间和花销来增加效能并且消除隔阂"。很多发展中国家的贫困,不是因为缺乏资源而是因为缺乏学习和使用他们自己的资源的能力。

尽管即将出现能大大降低交换课程和演讲的费用的成功的方法,一些国家仍然不能承担开始阶段的论证和实验;很多发展中国家的国民教育官员显然还没确信远程教育是值得花费投资的。其实,第一个最明显的用途是在提升教师的资格和技能并且提供技师方面。然而即使在那里,现有远程学习只限于国家内部连接适合自己公民的贫困农村地区,现有的努力很少是提供者和接收者之间的平等的合作,或者与穷人和文盲同享的合作。因此即使提供了新的和更理想化的长远目标,也只是把目前有限的系统继续扩大和发展,至少要到多数政府开始为一个真正全球的系统提供大量资金。全球政府赠地学院可能性的问题上将在(1.10)章讨论。

 

1.4.7 不再只是精英教育

亚洲一些最好的农业大学开始只是一些有小学文化的年轻人学习更好的耕作方法的农场,因此全球学习策略的计划者不能忽视技能或者文盲。不过,计划者将需要考虑全球课程的性质。当然,最初,课程可能只是简单的包含所有在线的东西,从全部机构获得的涵盖所有科目的课程。把提供给所有国家的全部课程简单的相加,不符合世界上最贫困的地区的需要, 也不符合在少数和土著居民文化方面的需要。 他们的第一个愿望也不是他们最需要的: 医药、健康、农业、企业家的技能和简单的技术上的指导。只有少数精英准备好了工程, 计算机科学也只为那些准备好的人提供。

对于发展中国家的精英,例如那些国际性企业的雇员和潜在雇员,他们需要更多的东西,从对信息技术和通信业务的需要开始。初步检验发现远程学习是一种提供素质训练的节省成本的方法。 远程教育在许多时候都很有用、很充分,是提供雇主要求的教育的唯一的方法。令人遗憾的是很多雇员发现,那些现存的在线教育其实没能给他们提供他们需要的或在必要的时间和地点需要的技能。然而第一笔可能用在基础设施上的资金,稍后则可以全部使用,最经常来自商业企业和保健,他们将是在新兴的全球学习系统里的主要的合伙人。

认为这个系统只是把国内大学提供的课程、方案和方法通过电子网络传输到其他国家是巨大的错误。对班级或者共同来自边远地区的学习者来说,一些电信会议可能很有价值。这样, 由个人组成的小组,聚在附近的小学,通过电子网络接受一门课程能够分摊费用,一个学生即使有政府的资助,也很难甚至是不可能独自承受这笔费用。

 

1.4.8 谨防不切实际

全球会议当然应该警戒过多的宣传广告卷入对信息时代技术的狂热。赫林(Herring  ESS 2001) 警告说,技术可能会加速文化的同一性”,他还指出对计算机网络对世界文化的影响和效果方面上还缺乏研究。 过去大家对通过其它的新技术,例如电视机来转变教育形式很有兴趣。大多数的英特网和网上的内容, 像电视,都充斥着西方的价值观念如个人自由,宗教的不可知论、性开放、和自由资本主义。因此强调 " 集体协作,宗教信念,性理智及/或经济控制 "的文化就可能拒绝网络教育,认为它是一种传播外国观念的媒介。

埃斯和因特网伦理学方面的专家把矛头指向那些告诫大家要戒备那些建立在不可取的神话上的'电子乌托邦思想'的批评家。计划会议质疑,怎么样才能让以盈利为目的的教育的商业化特别是当它进入因特网时,避免穷人和富人之间的"剥削、疏远和分化,埃斯书里提到了保护和提升当地文化的建议。他的研究也揭露了在技术方面的文化偏见,例如因特网本身。

现在根据上面建议提到的原则,作者从第6章到第10章提出了高等教育的5 个可能的模型,以现存的情况为讨论和计划的基础开始探讨怎么样让所有的人都能进行终生学习。 当然了还有其它一些方面,如:<http://www.integralevolution.org/multiversity/overview.html>

同时,既然网络是很关键的,瓦茨(Watts 2003) 提议"网络的新科学必须从全部学科、相关设想和人们的认识整合起来,他还提出一个科学家们合作解决问题的网络,科学家可以通过合作解决仅靠个人或仅靠一门学科无法解决的问题。详情见本书第三篇。

 

 

The Future of Higher (Lifelong) Education: For All Worldwide: A Holistic View
http://ecolecon.missouri.edu/globalresearch/chapters/pdf/1-04.html
For more information contact Parker Rossman
July 12, 2006 -- Copyright © 2002-2005 Parker Rossman