September 23, 2014

Edupunks need to grow up

 

Am I the only one to find this Edupunk meme ridiculous? The adolescent ethos, music, etc, are matched only by the adolescent narcissism,  anger, wilful non-conformity,  sanctimony, and tirades against authority. Fine, except this is all coming from teachers!  

No seven ages of man here. These guys look intellectually and emotionally indistinguishable from their students. In keeping with that ethos comes their abhorrence for  The Man, the capitalist who is at the root of all Edupunk problems, and the guy who oppresses society, and the downtrodden. Normally, only teenagers take the time and energy to seek out with such vehemence these archetypal injustices. Are these father-figure issues? (You have to wonder at times, what must go on in their classrooms.)

But that rage contrasts with a dopamine credulity towards those who claim that ‘ industrial capitalism is a ridiculous game’ or the depravity of things like the DIY culture.  It was a destitute Marxist trope that animated this meme last week, via a science-fiction novel, written, btw, by a guy who flirted with Naziism.  It is from that novel that they lifted the ugly communist/fascist metaphors – vultures of capital, and captialism’s will to power, etc, to attack, er, Blackboard.  (As if that target were otherwise likely to go unnoticed.) The rebellion as  temper tantrum, had begun.

Now, Edupunks  are starting a movement  to expropriate power from the capitalists (and with cool music supplied by all the major labels!) Apart from that, there is nothing new from them.

 Except that Edupunks are seeking to politicize (and I would argue, infantilize) discussion in this space. Already this has begun. If there is one thing worse than what Blackboard is doing it is the attempt to reduce this discussion to ideology. I don’t know about you, but I do not see counter-culture and conspiracy as serious educational domains. 

 It is also dismaying to see the lack of edublogger critiques. Everybody loves Edupunks, it would seem. (I thought this was all about multiple perspectives, not an echo-chamber.) So here is my take: Allowing Edupunks to define themselves as agents of humanitarian uplift is absurd. Forty year old tenured men in hoodies, talking about revolution is no more than perpetual adolescence and self-indulgence.  By appointing themselves as the Defenders the Oppressed they are pre-empting the right to lecture on the subject. Personally I reserve that right for someone with a grown-up argument and a relatively serious attitude.

Of course they have the right to say whatever they wish and that is fine. Ultimately, however, I would not recommend that we politicize learning 2.0 and certainly not by reducing it to the level of  of DIY culture. Have they raised a real issue after all?

 Ken Carroll

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    Comments

    1. Actually, the critiques – Belshaw, for example, and Warlick – began within a day or two of the idea being announced, which may actually be a new record. So it’s hardly fair to say everybody loves edupunks.

      And while I’m correcting misconceptions, few of the people who self-identified as edupunks are actually teachers.

      I think you are mistaken to confuse the target of edupunk criticism as ‘the capitalist’. The target is, more accurately, authority. It’s true that many capitalists have used wealth to appropriate authority. But the two are not identical.

      More significant is the suggestion that edupunks are “seeking to politicize (and I would argue, infantilize) discussion in this space.” Leaving aside the pointless ad hominem, I would suggest that discussion in this space is already very politicized, and that edupunk is a reaction to this.

      If you look at the things the people involved have stood for over the years (and not, say, their postings over the last week) you’ll find that they are strongly in favour of things like open access, personal empowerment, diversity, and such.

      These are political positions, yes, but they are positions that are actively and consistently opposed by people who are in positions of authority. We have had to deal with politically inspired curricula, blocking of applications and websites (including our own), legal threats and lawsuits, funding and political issues in the workplace, and more.

      It takes a lot of willful narrowness to say that it is the *edupunks* that are politicizing this space. Ideology is *dominant* in this space, and edupunks are calling it out, naming it, and pointing at it for all to see.

      The final criticism is that you oppose the attitude – “These guys look intellectually and emotionally indistinguishable from their students.” And “Forty year old tenured men in hoodies, talking about revolution is no more than perpetual adolescence and self-indulgence.”

      Fair enough. But I think you miss the point of this. Conventional wisdom would say that these people should put on suits and make their points intellectually in polite society. The attitude is – in my opinion – a way of saying that the game is rigged. That no change will ever emanate out of polite society, which structures specifically to preserve its privilege.

      You write, “Personally I reserve that right for someone with a grown-up argument and a relatively serious attitude.” I have been making sucg arguments for decades. View them here: http://www.downes.ca/me/articles.htm

      From my perspective – you haven’t deal with any of these arguments. You haven’t engaged on the positions I advocate at any level, save perhaps the most superficial, as it relates to your own self-interest.

      As for Junger: the author you accuse of ‘flirting with Nazism’ was influenced rather more by Nietzsche than by (say) his friend Heidegger, and he actually refused a Nazi post and position in the party, a very courageous anti-Nazi stance for a German in that era to take.

      I could debate – and have debated – these points to a considerable degree of nuance and intellectualism. But the serious attempts are reduced to caricature and ridicule by the polite society, which, as I said, serves to protect its own self interest, and little else.

      I think that what discomfits people about the edupunks is that they are grown adults doing things the authorities would disapprove – it is, indeed, anti-authoritarism, impolitely expressed, which is *exactly* the point.

      And insofar as they may appear to be ‘defenders of the oppressed’ – may I say, if they are like me, they looked, and they saw that the position was vacant. Nobody in polite society gives a damn about the oppressed. Though they are very quick to criticize anyone who lists a finger.

    2. p.s. my punk roots – people like Ted Axe and the Action, and F.I.S.T. – have mostly been erased from history.
      http://ottawaexplosion.blogspot.com/2008/03/action.html

    3. Carroll Ken says:

      Stephen,

      Agreed that my post did come across a bit ad hominem at times. That was unfair and it has no more place in the discussion than the ideology I decried. Apologies to those concerned.

      I would strongly disagree, however, with your contention that the space was ‘highly politicized’ simply because software companies were operating in it. (Unless you want to argue that every commerical act is a political act.) The ‘society is rigged’ argument is one of pure ideology again, and something we could never resolve here. But let me just say that I do not accept it because I’m am optimist and I would never let such pessisism kill my belief in the great changes that the individual can make. (Including, perhaps, er, Edupunks.)

      I am also fully behind all forms at open access, personal empowerment, diversity, and so on. But these are NOT necessarily political positions either. (You and I, at different points on the political spectrum can beleive in them with equal enthusiasm.)

      Nor am I ever going to defend Blackboard, I can assure you. They are a disgrace, not because of their politics (I have no idea what their politics are, and nothing could interest me less) but because of their execution. A company with any vison/savvy/acumen would never treat customers like this. It’s bad, really bad business in the long run. They deserve to fail because they are useless. The market will eventually catch up with them. (Consider, if every time you saw a company offering lousy service would you conclude that it was an act of political repression? How would that make sense?)

      You mentioned suits. I don’t wear ‘em. Nor do I have ‘vested interests’outside of the companies that I founded. I have never been a corporate guy – never could work for them – but I do not see the free market (especially, now in the golden age of web 2.0 entrepreneurship) as a some form of abject repression. We all have a fighting chance. If anyone out there is truly feeling cynical about what the market is offering, why not create your own start-up to do it better?

      Ken

    4. Carroll Ken says:

      Stephen,

      I also tried to post on your Half an Hour, but Blogspot is blocked here in China and I can’t comment through a proxy.

    5. Hello, Ken,

      In reading through this post (as I did, a couple times) before replying, I was left wondering if you had actually read any of the posts you linked to. For example, you link to the post “Authority is not truth” — in this post, the author links to a very detailed analysis that debunks some blatant inaccuracies of a WaPo article. What is the matter with that? It’s an excellent model of critical thought. Read the article. Please.

      RE: “These guys look intellectually and emotionally indistinguishable from their students.” — I don’t know what’s worse, the disdain this shows for students, or the pretension about the value of appearance.

      This also flies in the face of your line in your most recent comment: “You mentioned suits. I don’t wear ‘em.” — which flies directly in the face of your picture on your about page, which is of some guy (you?) in a coat and tie. Personally, I don’t care. But, since you brought it up… IMO, wisdom doesn’t need a fashion sense.

      You also mention “Forty year old tenured men” — and this comment again raises the specter that you haven’t actually read the people you criticize. Who among them has tenure? (Hint: not many). Your generalizations diminish your credibility.

      In your original post, you say, “Ultimately, however, I would not recommend that we politicize learning 2.0 and certainly not by reducing it to the level of of DIY culture.”

      Then, in a comment, you say: “I also tried to post on your Half an Hour, but Blogspot is blocked here in China and I can’t comment through a proxy.”

      This juxtaposition raises a couple thoughts: First, in the states, anyways, education is politicized. IMO, learning 2.0 is a useless expression that, like most labels (and I include edupunk as well, btw) reduces some useful ideas to bitesized pieces the marketing guys can sell — but that’s an entirely separate conversation. NCLB, net neutrality, the role of texbook companies in creating policy decisions — you’d need to be blind to deny that politics and economics haven’t played a role in shaping educational policy.

      And then, you say that Blogspot is blocked in China. So how is it that blogspot is blocked? Feels a little political to me. Any impact/connection between learning/net neutrality/censorship?

      Also, as you read the posts you link to, do you ever get the sense that maybe, just maybe, there’s a little tongue in cheek going on here? Maybe? Because, as the author of one of posts you link to, I feel pretty comfortable saying you missed it.

      Cheers,

      Bill

    6. Andy Best says:

      I’m not familiar with ‘Edupunks’ or the book you posted so don’t take this as a defence of them or it.

      The testing system, or banking system, of education that most industrialised countries follow is a direct reflection of the authoritarian capitalist system. It seeks mainly to put people into a ranking table so that we know how to place them ‘efficiently’ into society.

      A serious critique of this is set out famously in Paulo Friere’s book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”.

      You can work alternatives to this in obvious easy ways. My first 5 years in Shanghai (from 2000) were teaching children with Shane.

      Once I got out of head office and became a branch manager over at Dingxi Road, I dropped the dress code. Shane rules were to wear shirt and tie starting right at playgroup age. Among other traditional devices.

      I simply, wore casual clothes and talked to the students like humans who were not below me. Once the relationships were built (about two to three months) I had absolutly zero behaviour issues and waiting lists for all my over performing classes. This was coupled with collaborative, not competetive, classroom activities.

      I had 5 year olds doing phone call role plays and the older students (8-12)into creative writing and poetry.

      It was a great time – all acheived by taking the ‘authority’ out of the occaision.

      An older book that is also worth checking in that respect is ‘Teaching Teenagers’ by herbert Puchta …but that one is a bit elementary if you have teaching certs and experience.

    7. Jen says:

      36
      female
      jeans and barefoot
      eLearning Director
      edupunk

    8. John Connell says:

      I’m wondering why teachers have to be ‘intellectually and emotionally’ distinguishable from their students?

      And (just in case) I’m not saying they should or should not – I’m just wondering why it matters whether they do or not?

    9. Dave says:

      Godwin’s law / Reductio ad Hitlerum?

    10. Alan Levine says:

      Sounds like some punk peed in your Cheerios. Ouch.

      Tossing back stereotypes does not add much; and what is being bantered (and your research missed by wary post) is less about *being* punk-like and more about a spirit of entrepreneurship, not necessarily just sticking it to the (Blackboard) Man.

    11. zard says:

      “The old teacher/student hierarchies implode on the web. Good. Those were social structures, not learning structures anyway.”

      Whew! What immature proto-Nazi wrote that edupunky spiel?

      Or is it okay to talk about breaking down the hieracrhy between student and teacher as long as you’re using it as advertising copy to push a product?

    12. Andre Malan says:

      Edupunk is a name for ideas that all of these people have been pushing for a very long time now. Most of them are fantastic ideas. The real change that I have seen in their blogs is a rich injection of culture into their visions. Now, not only are they doing a great job of highlighting and providing solutions for some of education’s big problems, but they are also providing insight into a fascinating cultural phenomenon.

      Edupunk aside, as a student I am disgusted by the fact that you feel that your status as a “teacher” gives you the right to be intellectually and emotionally superior to me and my peers. I promise you that over the course of my education I have come across many educators that have been found wanting in both those areas. Those individuals also always seemed to be the least “punk” of my teachers, those who conformed to the traditional way of thinking without ever considering that they may be wrong.

    13. Carroll Ken says:

      Bill, For the record, I rarely wear suits, but for some reason I’m in a suit in the photo. I wasn’t being deceptive.

      John, adolescent anger or anti-social behavior are not virtues that extend productively into middle-age. A midle-aged teacher who thinks his job is to subvert authority is guilty of a lack of restraint. If education is about the search for truth, then it appears to me that the subversive teacher has embraced a (cynical) foregone conclusion and claims to know the truth.

      Dave, good point. This is why I was so dismayed at the ‘vultures’ type of vocabulary. No-one needs that in this debate.

      Alan, in fact, there IS much in common here. I believe that you and I believe in the same type of things: personal empowerment, open access, learning for all, etc. One is through open source, for example, while the other is through private initiative. In this sense we are allies. This is why we must not let the political ideology divide us.

      Ken

    14. Carroll Ken says:

      Andre,

      I didn’t say anything about teachers being intellectually or emotionally superior to you or anyone else. I did say, however, that they need to display greater maturity than adolescents.

      Ken

    15. Carroll Ken says:

      zard, I didn’t criticize anyone for saying that teacher/student relationships implode on the web. They obviously do. I criticized people for politicizing the discussion and reducing it to a crass ideology.

      Ken

    16. SolKeegan says:

      Ken,

      Maybe you were a little personal in this post. First of all you seem to have a British interpetation of both punk and DIY culture. I agree with you that those are pretty ‘depraved’ in reality. Perhaps more than the US equivalents. You may be overstating this relative to the American interpretation .

      All cultures that I know of, and I am an anthropology major, delineate very clearly between men and youth behaviors. In all socieites apart from our own, the roles are very clearly defined, often with painful rites of passage . Disruptive or anti-social behavior would be aggressively confronted. It could be that our culture has literally bought into the youth culture soon after those demographics became lucrative targets with cash to spend in the 1950s. Some of us then fail to grow out of that since there are so many ways (products) for us to deny the aging process and our society tolerates it.(Not unlike the Hollywood fixation,) It is interesting that this has actually been a discussion here – “Should men behave differently than youths?” This question could only happen in the West.

      Or were you just link baiting???

    17. Carroll Ken says:

      SollKeegan,

      I wasn’t, erm, link baiting, though of course I realized that this would provoke strong sentiments.

      I think you have a point about how traditional societies would need to have clear role definitions – I guess for the sake of stability. Which is not to say that those are wholly malleable. We simply do not know the lasting effects of the social changes that have emerged in the last few decades.

      Two generations ago our own society was still wedded to traditional roles. In China, still, it would be inconceivable for mature men to engage in social (not political) protest. It is also true that in the meatnime, western society has tended to embrace a cult of youth. Again, in China, there is no stigma about getting old, for example. To call someone ‘lao’ (meaning ‘old’) before his surname is seen as an act of respect but in the west it would be an insult.

      Ken

    18. They call themselves EduPunks, but just look who pay’s them their salary. Hypocrites the lot of them. They must free themselves from the bonds of institutional servitude before you could consider themselves Punks!!!

    19. John Gordon says:

      “A midle-aged teacher who thinks his job is to subvert authority is guilty of a lack of restraint.”

      That may be true to an extent (or under certain circumstances), but I think that a teacher who teaches his/her students to question authority is doing a pretty good job.

    20. Jonathon Senger says:

      Bravo,Ken.

      This had to be said and I am glad you did it. These people conflate their teaching work with political activism. They truly are impetuous, irresponsible, and incapable of seeing ther own ‘will to power’. Are they so afraid of the truth that they have to instill beliefs like all good ideologues. They fear that the youth will not imbibe their own authoritarian mores (believe what we believe, but do not question leftist orthodoxy) so they have to push them on the kids. You have exposed ther childishness and their poitical agenda. They say they seek liberty but they seek something else entirely. They are a disgrace.

    21. zard says:

      When you attack people who you feel “look intellectually and emotionally indistinguishable from their students,” it’s easy to see that as a critique of the implosion of “the old teacher/student hierarchies.” And your broad attack on all DIY culture as “depraved” is an outspoken — and rather extreme — political ideology.

      It would seem you’ve have clouded any point you were trying to make with cheap shots, blind anger, and rank hypocrisy. How very punk rock of you.

    22. I do not want to get into an overly academic intellectual dialogue here, I think others have done a much better job than I could do; I am here to simply air my thoughts on some of the points you raised about society in general. My writing style is raw and gritty, but I hope my ideas are not discounted because I am not spending time carefully crafting my prose to match some polite society norm of what an educators should sound like. Here we go:

      You say,

      The adolescent ethos, music, etc, are matched only by the adolescent narcissism, anger, wilful non-conformity, sanctimony, and tirades against authority. Fine, except this is all coming from teachers!

      Willful non-conformity and tirades against authority are what got me into teaching.

      You say,

      These guys look intellectually and emotionally indistinguishable from their students. In keeping with that ethos comes their abhorrence for The Man, the capitalist who is at the root of all Edupunk problems, and the guy who oppresses society, and the downtrodden. Normally, only teenagers take the time and energy to seek out with such vehemence these archetypal injustices. Are these father-figure issues? (You have to wonder at times, what must go on in their classrooms.)

      It’s funny that you have no clue what a classroom nonconformist classroom like this looks like. It makes me wonder when was the last time you actually interacted with students? The fact that only teenagers take the time and energy to seek out with such vehemence these archetypal injustices is proof enough of why they are so prevalent in our society today. Idealism is not a trait of the young. We owe it to them to remain willful and angry, until the injustices have stopped.

      You say,

      I don’t know about you, but I do not see counter-culture and conspiracy as serious educational domains.

      This is where it becomes completely obvious that we occupy two different worlds.

      You say>

      Allowing Edupunks to define themselves as agents of humanitarian uplift is absurd. Forty year old tenured men in hoodies, talking about revolution is no more than perpetual adolescence and self-indulgence. By appointing themselves as the Defenders the Oppressed they are pre-empting the right to lecture on the subject. Personally I reserve that right for someone with a grown-up argument and a relatively serious attitude.

      Again you are using the language of a dying educational system; Lectures, grown up, appointments etc are all words of an educator mired in old school ways of viewing both authority and education. To quote an early punk master himself:

      Don’t stand in the doorway
      Don’t block up the hall
      For he that gets hurt
      Will be he who has stalled
      There’s a battle outside
      And it is ragin’.
      It’ll soon shake your windows
      And rattle your walls
      For the times they are a-changin’.

      You say,

      I would not recommend that we politicize learning 2.0 and certainly not by reducing it to the level of DIY culture.

      And I say to any one reading this post, that this is exactly what we do! I invite you Ken to come by and take the challenge. How do you suppose we right the ills of society? But then again you may not see anything wrong,

      You say,

      I do not see the free market (especially, now in the golden age of web 2.0 entrepreneurship) as a some form of abject repression. We all have a fighting chance. If anyone out there is truly feeling cynical about what the market is offering, why not create your own start-up to do it better?

      Maybe because more than half the world lives in abject poverty and war so you can live in the luxury of being an entrepreneur.

    23. Dupont says:

      Wow! This is fascinating. I haven’t had this much fun amongst educators in years. You accused these guys of being childish and they answer in unison to the affirmative. It’s hilarious. I love the way this last guy totally beclowns himself with this treacly moral superiority. He’s pretending to be all all rational but he really is seething with boyish anger: “We owe it to them to remain willful and angry, until the injustices have stopped.” Well, he is going to be pertmanently angry, and it looks like he has a long life ahead of him. (How old is he? 4?) Then least but also last is his belief that you live in luxury because the 3rd world is in poverty. How dare you do that to the 3rd world? Why didn’t someone stop you? It really is hard to fathom how anyone can be so clueless. No, actually, wait, Marxists are all clueless. That’s why they call them Marxists.

    24. Carroll Ken says:

      OK, hang on, Dupont. This is is getting ad hominem again. For the record I will block any further personal attacks from anyone. Let’s try to keep it civil.

    25. Whenever I start a conversation like the one we are having, I promise myself that I needn’t have the last word, and I remind myself to try not to write from an emotional place. I also tend to lash out and apologize after, perhaps that has something to do with my four-year temperament. So let me get the apologies out of the way; I did not want to trivialize this debate with an emotional tirade against Ken, although that is clearly what I have done. The way I see it there are two things happening here:

      1. We are on the same side and are educators working toward helping other people, be they young or old, learn how to better communicate, collaborate, and work for a better world, a place that is motivated and run by our collective faith in humanity, peace, and love. If this is the case then we must lean to put aside our difference, learn to not quibble over semantics, learn not to isolate or belittle anyone who is part of the conversation, and finally get to the business of change. If you are one such person Ken or Dupont, or any of the other commenter who are so irked by edupunk then I am sorry for being so childish in my response.
      2. The other case is that you are not such a person and that you are motivated by outdated norms of success and wealth. You see the world and everything and everybody as an opportunity to exploit and make money. You are not looking to make things better for all, but for yourself. If this is the case than we have a much wider gap to overcome. I am aware that there is an in between, but I think it is safe to say that most people are either content wit the way things are and what to move up the economic social ladder, or they are dismayed and want to bridge the gap. Most teachers I have seen are the latter.

      We can volley insults back and forth forever; when people of opposing political views talk this is what usually happens. I don’t have an answer for how to rectify this issue. All I know is that when I was a teenager, I mistrusted authority and saw through the hypocrisy my school was teaching me about the state of the world. I have lived in Africa for two years and worked in inner city school sin the US, I have seen first hand the destruction the capitalist system leaves in its wake. I never claimed to be a Marxist, although I admire Marx greatly. I am simply looking for a better way. I am not clueless about the causes of global poverty and the role of the IMF and World bank in the state of the developing world, so please do not insult me as if I am.

      @ Dupont you are right I will be angry for a while. Probably until the day I day, but I do not see my anger as a detriment, I see it as fuel. For the revolution is a long time coming!

    26. standuke says:

      What I find dismaying about this debate is the widespread ignorance about how educational institutions work. There is no training in educational ‘civics’, for students or educators, and I’m shocked at how many people sit around fantasizing about who ‘controls’ education.

      The biggest impediment to change in academia is the inability to coordinate the efforts of hundreds, or often thousands of teachers simultaneously. This isn’t a corporate conspiracy–it is the byproduct of academic freedom. It may be frustrating but teachers and administrators do not react en masse when they encounter a good idea. Some embrace it, but most are too busy with other things. The reason textbook and technology vendors appear to wield disproportionate influence is because they are the only players in the educational world who provide standardized products to a multitude of teachers and students.

      This is almost an aside, but maybe not: Some of our most prestigious universities in the US collectively control hundreds of billions of dollars ostensibly dedicated to their charitable educational mission. These universities have not embraced ‘memes’ like branding or franchising (that is expanding beyond their current physical campus boundaries) much less anything remotely resembling a true web presence (MIT is making an effort). Anyone serious about innovation in education needs to be thinking about how to gain control/influence over their money. Any by control, I don’t mean joining the faculty or becoming president of the university, I mean generating political and social pressure to force them to deploy their resources in a productive manner. (This ‘meme’ is what business people call leverage; using someone else’s resources for your own innovative purposes) These institutions eventually will have to be shamed into doing something with their $$. If edupunks want to write diatribes about innovation, maybe they should target the ‘charities’ that actually have some $$ and are sitting on the sidelines, not the publishers and edutech companies.

    27. Henning says:

      Strange stuff. I came to the conclusion there is no value for me in it that justifies delving any deeper into it.

      Personally, I do not at all believe in the sustainability of any social revolution. The fundamental interpersonal texture in human society will not change until the day we start tempering with our genes. There will always be teachers and students, old and young, established and non-established. Social roles. And conflicts.

      Of course we can and should smooth out problems – but wherever possible not by rebelling or by becoming morally superior people but by making our systems more efficient. The better world must become a by-product of more comfortable lives.

      A new medium surely makes some parts of life more efficient and thereby enables new organizational alternatives. But the very existence of hierarchies, inequally distributed physical and non-physical features as well as huge gaps among different age groups are invariant. I can already be distinguished from a student because of several physical features which give away my age group.

      @Jabiz,
      to me your articficial dichotomy appears to be hardly applicable to a real world setting. I for my part feel neither motivated by some world changing ideology nor by the exceptional financial or career perspectives (surely not). But teaching can be a fulfilling profession all by itsself. It is fun. And I am not the only one thinking that way.

    28. Ken Carroll says:

      standuke,

      I think these are excellent points. The market is an incredibly complex thing. No single paradigm can possibly hope to explain it, and certainly not the view of markets as instruments of oppression. You have pointed out some of the many issues that are at play here.

      Jabiz, I can see that you mean well. I am definitely in your first category – that is, I beleive we can all work for the same types of outcomes, even though we have different political perspectives on the world. This is precisely why I reacted to the politicization that edupunk atempts to create. I beleive their view of the market (the ‘vultures of ‘ that started the meme) is hateful, one-dimensional, and wrongheaded. Obviously people are free to think and beleive what the want, but bringing ideology into the debate will prove destructive and will exclude people who do not share those sentiments. I feel it is worth resisting.

    29. A excellent debate, and a fascinating glimpse into the political and ideological realms we have on hand at the moment. I have personally gained a lot from this discussion – everywhere it is taking place, and for that I am thankful for edupunk-ism. It has caused me to reflect on my own motivations and actions, and of those around me. It has raised more questions in me than anything else has in a while, and I sense that it all is pointing to one of those persistent and elusive truths we all grapple with at some point in life. Perhaps I have some growing up to do, I dunno, but for where I am now this is all I know and all I can do. The world keeps on turning. Thanks for the reads.

    30. Ken Carroll says:

      leigh,

      I guess my perspective on things may be at odds with the prevailing thinking and perhaps that brings a new angle to the debate. I think it would be a mistake to exclude poeple on the basis of their politics by injecting ideology.

      I have also learned from the discussion.

      Ken

    31. Ken Carroll says:

      Andy,

      To be clear, I maintain that teachers need to display a greater level of maturity than the studetns they teach. This includes showing restraint in political matters. This was not an insult to students as you have wrongly suggested. I see it is an ethical requirement upon the teacher to respect students and not to railroad them with political views.

      Second, I love Paolo Freire. He is the greatest educational thinker that I know of. But you have to approach him critically. Here’s my general guide to him: everything Paolo Freire writes about learning is well worth considering; everything Paolo Freire writes about politics is well worth ignoring. He wrote about the farmers in Brazil 60 years ago in an age when Marxism seemed plausible, an age of hellish, pre-Democratic S American governments. That has litle to do with today, despite what your ideology-loving confreres might suggest. It is dismaying that people cannot read Freire crtitically. He himself knew that his politics would not apply in other contexts – he made it very very clear in his writings.

      I remain of the opinion that we mneed more learning and less ideology.

      Ken Carroll

    Trackbacks

    1. [...] cans. Let’s see there’s Jim’s original post, the comments, the definition, the critique, the defense, the “narcissism”, the Wikipedia article, the other article (and the [...]

    2. [...] but please do not get mired in discussion. This challenge is about action. As I was reading some posts and feeling my blood boil,  I began to think of what something like EduPunk would look like beyond [...]

    3. [...] point – to piss off those who try to look too closely at it, who take it too seriously (such as Ken Carroll – come on Ken, lighten up). Whatever the original impetus, and however diverting some of the [...]

    4. [...] Hmm. «Has EDGE» I’ve done little more than ponder this: I wonder if I have lost the amount of edge I once had? School can often be injurious to your education. Maybe working in a university can have a similar effect. Nothing more to say really. PS.  Not everyone likes Edu-Punks. Ken Carrell. [...]

    5. [...] June 2008: Ken Carroll says “Edupunks need to grow up“: “Am I the only one to find this Edupunk meme ridiculous? The adolescent ethos, music, [...]

    6. Andy Best says:

      What is (and is not) Edupunk…

      I had a few words with Jim Groom over at Bavablog via the comments after following up on his Glass Bees post in which he coined the term Edupunk. We realised, via some of the more negative replies, that some……

    7. [...] This whole phenomenon has led someone to suggest that me and my friends are immature thugs with fascist (maybe even latent Nazi) leanings. I guess that makes us Brownhoodies. I’m reasonably sure this is the first time my work has [...]

    8. [...] the recent brouhaha it became clear to me that both DIY and edupunk can mean different things in different contexts. So [...]

    9. [...] coincido con Stephen cuando, ante la idea de Ken Carroll de que “[los Edupunks] están tratando de politizar la discusión [sobre la tecnología [...]

    10. [...] This whole phenomenon has led someone to suggest that me and my friends are immature thugs with fascist (maybe even latent Nazi) leanings. I guess that makes us Brownhoodies. I’m reasonably sure this is the first time my work has [...]

    11. [...] coincido con Stephen cuando, ante la idea de Ken Carroll de que “[los Edupunks] están tratando de politizar la discusión [sobre la tecnología [...]

    12. [...] Am I the only one to find this Edupunk meme ridiculous? The adolescent ethos, music, etc, are matched only by the adolescent narcissism,  anger, wilful non-conformity,  sanctimony, and tirades against authority. Fine, except this is all coming from teachers!…  These guys look intellectually and emotionally indistinguishable from their students…  Allowing Edupunks to define themselves as agents of humanitarian uplift is absurd. Forty year old tenured men in hoodies, talking about revolution is no more than perpetual adolescence and self-indulgence… I would not recommend that we politicize learning 2.0 and certainly not by reducing it to the level of  of DIY culture. (Ken Carroll) [...]

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