Entering the final week of 622 feels cathartic and my thoughts have come full circle. Assignment #1 focused on defining openness in education and I was drawn to the humanistic quality that characterized open access as identified by UNESCO (OER, 2015), “universal access to high quality education is essential “to the building of peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue” (para.1). At this juncture in time the need for building peace and itercultural dialogue is acute. The Ubuntu philosophy, a South African philosophy about interconnectedness, accepts that we are all part of something larger; we are what we are because of who we all are. The Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999) interpreted the concept in the following way. “We belong in a bundle of life. I am human because I belong, I participate, and I share” (p. 31). It is essential that open educational ecosystems incorporate multiple ways of knowing and differing views on what constitutes knowledge and what types of knowledge are promoted, validated and accepted.
My thoughts this evening are twofold. Can, as Peters (2008) contended, “the convergence of collective intelligence” (p. 10) ushered in by the technological revolution ignite an open education renaissance and rekindle debate about the purpose and future of education? Can education brought to a global audience by the affordances of open, be a force that engages individuals and groups whose cultural perspectives are diverse in a dialogue that will rekindle humanity and in the process contribute in a significant way to the ushering an era where the building of peace is a reality.
Duke University. (2015). Ubuntu: A duke community. Retrieved from: http://sites.duke.edu/ubuntu/
Peters, M. (2008). Open education and education for openness. Sense Publishers. Rotterdam. The Netherlands. Retrieved from: https://www.sensepublishers.com/media/729-open-education-and-education-for-openness.pdf
Tutu, D. (1999). No future without forgiveness. Random House. London. United Kingdom.
UNESCO. Open educational resources. Retrieved from: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/access-to-knowledge/open-educational-resources/