Automation and the reproduction of knowledge

I understand the allure which MOOCs can have for those inspired by the idea. Why relegate people to second tier tuition at regional universities when the best teachers in the world could teach everyone remotely at little cost? There are many problems with this vision but one that’s little remarked upon is the question of how the next generation of teachers would come to be produced. If the university system is reduced to a few centres for stars and supporting hubs then where are the future superstar professors likely to come from? How do they develop the pedagogical gifts in virtue of which much of the university system is being dispensed with? Unless an advocate for automation, which is in essence what MOOCs represent, can answer this question then I can’t see why we should take their vision of institutional change seriously.

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