[Humanist] 26.258 brave new world & its institutions

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Aug 29 07:28:31 CEST 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 258.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    lachance at chass.utoronto.ca                                (13)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.254 brave new world & its institutions

  [2]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>                        (59)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.254 brave new world & its institutions

        Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 09:07:18 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.254 brave new world & its institutions
        In-Reply-To: <20120828052622.D72A4289DDB at woodward.joyent.us>


You may be interested to know that outreach begins early...


McMaster Children and Youth University

The program is a free, monthly Saturday-morning lectures is aimed at
students, 7 - 14 years of age, with the goal of engaging them with
exciting educational topics while providing a sneak peek into the
university environment.

It reminds me that a set piece in the Harry Potter novels was the journey
to Hogwarts ...


        Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 12:20:12 -0700
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim1 at verizon.net>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 26.254 brave new world & its institutions
        In-Reply-To: <20120828052622.D72A4289DDB at woodward.joyent.us>

Dear Willard,

I do hope my remarks are not to be [mis]taken as critical of the whole
future opening for Open Education for millions, and I think Dr. Rugg offers
a crucial question, as to what about career futures for participants?  It
would be analogous to the statistical studies appearing daily in major
newspapers about certain diseases that yield valuable insights as to paths
for research, and even Obits like the one for an epidemiologist, one Dr.
Beasely in today's Los Angeles Times, who broke open the way to treating
hepatitis B, his subject in Taiwan in his youth, a project he found
difficult to get Taiwan leaders to accept.  I am all for such studies,
which cost money, time and very careful intelligent analysis.

[Parenthetically, had Willard attended my Bronx High School of Science he
would have been neither an unhappy nor bored 15-year old, a public school
with selective admissions that boasts a number of later Nobelists from its
first 50 years.]

I would add to the thread only that it commenced with the 60million$
reported to be employed by MIT and U of Virginia, 2 institutions, research
leaders in the US and world for the TV or Internet recorded instructions,
and perhaps testing by machine.  I have no arguments against widespread
access to such curricula.  And reiterating, for materials that can be
machine tested, multiple choice and such, like X marks the answer, as with
SATs and GREs, fine.  For raising the level of masses of persons who cannot
or do not wish or intend to pursue university level work for four years,
much of it preparation for post-graduate work...and expenses..think
Medicine, think Law, it has shown itself practical, practicable, and
valuable.  For Engineering research there is postgrad work that may not be
amenable.  Laboratories, even for undergrads, if not for OU enrolled
students, are essential, and costly.  I think we all must know that.  And
this discussion may worth a little more time for the Digital HUMANITIES
folk.  Meanwhile, it will take more than a village to prepare and maintain
the oncoming challenges of the unborn civilization[s] of the near future,
civilizations slouching towards ... The Cloud?

I will reiterate, I think the subject of OU should be disentangled quite
from the matter of canned courses to be offered at the non pareil research
institutions, and agglomerated universities of our time in the US.  The
Chancellor who set UCLA on its incredible progress to first rate, Dr.
Franklin D. Murphy, who arrived in 1960, a year before my being hired, gave
a public lecture I have never forgotten.  It was skeptical and minatory.
Reviewing the 20th Century history of colleges in major universities, he
observed that most of them began to become umbrellas for schools of
Education, Engineering, Business, Law, Art, Architecture, and Medicine —
the Professional Schools, in short.  He thought that may not have been the
healthiest or best development, or evolution.  In retrospect, it may be he
was a prophet discoursing in the wilderness of our careening civilization,
driven by technology, the same Tekne by which all civilizations have
developed since the Sumerians tamed the rivers and the Yellow Emperor
founded the first Chinese dynasty.

I suspect practically nothing is known about the way the media, if all
applied as in a Skinner Box, to the earliest months of child development,
may be the proper or best vehicle for human creatures' development and
education.  That is a challenge for DHists to keep in mind.

Jascha Kessler

Jascha Kessler
Professor of English & Modern Literature, UCLA
Telephone/Facsimile: 310.393.4648

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