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The Philosophy of Open Learning

Peer Learning and the Intellectual Commons


Edited By Markus Deimann and Michael A. Peters

In this book, internationally recognized scholars provide in-depth insight into the emerging field of open education. The Philosophy of Open Learning provides an overview of the current debates and introduces the reader to the overall discourse on open education. The broad range of topics, including MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and OERs (Open Educational Resources) is aimed at demonstrating that open education has emerged as a new principle for organizing higher education. Based on this idea, the book covers various issues that are backed up by thorough philosophical reflections that provide orientation for the heated debates. Open education is discussed in its various imbrications to other open movements, such as open access, and its relevance for education over the last fifteen years.
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Chapter Six: Of Two Contrasting Philosophies That Underpin Openness in Education and What That Entails


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Of Two Contrasting Philosophies That Underpin Openness IN Education AND What That Entails




We are now faced with numerous examples of the use of the word ‘open’ in the context of education. There are open schools, open universities, open participatory learning infrastructures (OPLI), open courseware (OCW), massive open online courses (MOOCs), open educational resources (OER), open educational practices (OEP) and so on (see, e.g., Atkins, Brown, & Hammond, 2007; Schuwer, van Genuchten, & Hatton, 2015). What these terms at face value seem to share is their reference to the removal of barriers to the access of education. Open universities have relaxed entrance requirements, open courseware and MOOCs allow for free access to courses, as do open educational resources and open educational practices at the levels of materials and practices, respectively, although the kinds of barriers removed and the extent to which they are removed differ widely (Mulder & Jansen, 2015). However, there is more to openness than this prima facie characterization in terms of the removal of barriers reveals. A brief overview of some existing definitions of openness in education can help to make this evident.

An early definition was framed in 1975 by Brian Hill in a book devoted to the philosophy of open education (Hill, 1975; Nyberg, 1975). He discerned procedural, normative and revolutionary openness, which in turn refer to attendance,...

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