(For online discussions follow the hashtag #bccagora on twitter or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/vVODOh)
A conversation about outsourcing education, higher education culture and adjunctivism.
Saturday, May 10th from 9:00 am to noon –
Berkeley City College, room 431
2050 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
There have been numerous conversations in the last few decades about the neoliberalization of higher education and how colleges and university are increasingly being conceived as needing to adhere to the parameters of private sector business and market values. Even if the actions, paradigms and goals of educational leaders and institutions are not directed specifically towards the privatization of this area of public services; nevertheless, they manage educational institutions as if they were, or should be, run according to the models of private businesses. An example of this is the ever-increasing emphasis on productivity, budget constraints and the massification of education. In the case of this last development, illustrated by last year’s obsession with MOOCs, it is interesting to note that most of the conversations about MOOCs did not focus on the idea of open education but rather on using them in ways that could serve the greatest amount of students with the fewest resources. Furthermore, more and more corporations are directly or indirectly influencing curriculum, for example, through research and materials produced by textbook giants. Another example of this corporate influence can be found in the use of consultants to outsource critical operations of the educational institutions such as technology and assessment. At the same time, perhaps because of the focus on economic productivity, another phenomenon that has become predominant in the last two decades is the precarization of instruction in the form of adjunctivism. In this short conference/conversation we will discuss these issues and debate the possibilities and consequences of conceiving higher educational institutions that conform to the parameters of the private business model.
Audrey Watters is a writer who’s worked in the education field for the past 15 years: as a graduate student, college instructor, and program manager for an ed-tech non-profit. Although two chapters into her Comparative Literature dissertation, Audrey decided to abandon academia, and she now happily fulfills the one job recommended by a junior high aptitude test: freelance writer. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Edutopia, MindShift, Fast Company, Inside Higher Ed, The School Library Journal, O’Reilly Radar, ReadWriteWeb, Campus Technology, and The Huffington Post, in addition to her own blog Hack Education. She is the editor and lead writer for Educating Modern Learners, and she is also currently working on a book called Teaching Machines, due out in 2014.
10:10-11 / Panel 2 following Audrey’s presentation a discussion about outsourcing education and higher education culture