I thought THE’s Chris Havergal discussion (viz 21-22 mins) about the effects of social media on the coverage of universities was extremely interesting. This is something I wrote about a few years ago as the shift from the ivory tower to the glass tower which is a metaphor which didn’t […]
Digital inequalities have long existed within education, both within traditional educational spaces and practice, and within specifically digital interactions. These inequalities have deep roots in extant socio-cultural and socio-economic inequalities, and yet emerge in unique ways through the macro and micro dynamics of education and digital technologies.
We die so the others can be bornWe age so the others can be youngThe point of life is live, loveIf you can, then pass it on, right?
From Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People pg 33-34: Libraries are not the kinds of institutions that most social scientists, policy makers, and community leaders usually bring up when they discuss social capital and how to build it. Since Tocqueville, most leading thinkers about social and civic life have extolled […]
We can’t find meaning in the world, in the sense of a process of maturing and coming to find a place for ourselves which is satisfying and sustainable, simply through the internalisation of a symbolic order and/or the replication of our natal circumstances.
And some nights I lose the feelingAnd some nights I lose controlSome nights I just lose it all when I watch you dance and the thunder rolls And maybe I’m lonelyThat’s all I’m qualified to beThere’s just one and onlyThe one and only promise I can keep As long as […]
The outdoor spaces which functioned to facilitated interaction have been problematised as spaces of viral contagion, leading our movement through them to be restricted to the functional.
There’s a video of me from 10 years ago on YouTube and it makes me feel old:
I wrote in yesterday’s post about being an ‘efficacious agent‘. Dewey has a much better term for this: freedom. The freedom which comes from the “power to frame purposes, to judge wisely, to evaluate desires by the consequences which will result from acting upon them; power to select and order […]
This is a new monograph series on public sociology which will include work that addresses public and
community engagement and the relationship between sociologists and their publics.
What does it mean to be an efficacious agent? Some sketchy notes on critical realism and educational sociology
In the last few months, I’ve been trying to define my interest in education and often find myself coming back to the idea of the efficacious agent. This is a placeholder really but it rests on my sense that education (in the broadest sense of the formal or informal) leaves […]
I’m unsure whether ‘collateral learning’ is a throwaway phrase used by Dewey in Experience and Education or whether it’s more fully developed elsewhere. However I’ve found it a really useful concept to make sense of informal learning through social platforms and their impact upon the socialisation process.
It can seem obvious that there’s some relationship between social media and public sociology. These are platforms which offer free, instantaneous and immediate access to seemingly vast audiences around the world. They hold out the promise of engaging immediately, outside of traditional structures and without relying on the intermediaries who have tended to be involved when academics interact with the non-academic world.
I understand the point to be that existence is higher or fuller when things are acting through us rather than action arising from us, reflecting an involvement in our situation rather than a detachment from it. To reclaim the Homeric gods doesn’t necessitate polytheism but it does mean cultivating a sensitivity to the range of potentials inherent in each situation, overcoming what has gradually lost in modernity.
What I find particularly valuable in Dewey is his sense of how as an individual “passes from one situation to another, his world, his environment, expands or contracts” with the “knowledge and skill in one situation becomes an instrument of understanding and dealing effectively with the situations which follow” (pg 44). The nature of this experience constitutes the conditions which facilitate or frustrate the individual’s flourishing.
I found this reprint from Hubert Dreyfus quite inspiring to engage with again, over a decade since I read the original book. It feels more relevant than ever when considering the constraints of education during the pandemic, with the core challenge posed by Dreyfus of how much involvement can be established remotely being one which anyone teaching via Zoom will have felt over the last year.
The ability to inquire and create constructively and independently without external controls.
What sorts of experiences do social platforms generate? What “attitudes and habitual tendencies” (pg 38) are being generated? Which “are actually conducive to continued growth and what are detrimental” (pg 39)?