Re: [unrev-II] The future of higher education

From: Henry K van Eyken (
Date: Sun Nov 18 2001 - 04:08:06 PST

  • Next message: Jack Park: "Re: [unrev-II] The future of higher education"


    I fully echo your sentiment that the most important use for OHS/DKR is in
    lifelong education. I like to add a dimension to that term "lifelong
    education." We have come to perceive it as an extension of formal education or
    of formal education with real-life experiences thrown in. Either way, lifelong
    education is perceived as a personal thing.

    I believe it is in the spirit of friends of Engelbart to attempt to define a
    form of education that recognizes the need for educational complementarity,
    something like x heads are better than one. I know, we are already making
    practical use of that on an ad-hoc basis. Organizations attract humans with
    specific skills to round out the desired overall skill of the organization.
    Engelbart's work serves to perfect the interactions so as to do a better job of
    using multiple talents within an organization, or, as I myself prefer to put
    it, doing a better job of using multiple talents engaged in a communal project.

    Not to lengthen this post too much, but we must explicitly recognize that
    educational complementarity does not limit itself to intellectual areas of
    expertise, but also takes into account multiple intelligences such as those
    isolated by Howard Gardner of Harvard:
    (1) linguistic, (2) logico-mathematical, (3) musical, (4) bodily-kinesthetic,
    (5) spatial, (6 interpersonal, and (7) intrapersonal. Gardner is looking at
    additional intelligences as well.
    Looking at the list, one readily recognizes how schools especially value the
    first two forms of intelligence. Grading, admissions, psychological screening -
    all these emphasize those two forms. Without detailed study, I am assuming that
    it is these two forms that are primary in creating social and/or financial
    success. Our organizations are very much structured around that, but there are
    circumstances under which other forms are (the most?) important prerequisites
    for survival.

    Doug does recognize multiple intelligences and their complementarity, although
    not formally classified as done by Gardner. Nevertheless, Augment and the OHS
    are still perceived primarily as tools related to the first two types of
    Gardner's intelligences. (Inclusion of multimedia may broaden that base.)

    I propose that we also pay due attention to complementarity of intelligences in
    the collective IQ. Now, don't ask me how we are going to institute that in,
    say, the development of Fleabyte, which seeks to become a DKR ammenable to
    utilization in an open hyperdocument system. I haven't got the answer and I'll
    be pleasantly surprised if somebody else has. But at least we can recognize the
    need for explicitly cultivating the utilization of such complementarity in the
    hope that by doing so we will eventually stumble onto solutions.

    Jack refers to a document called "THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: For All
    Worldwide, a Holistic View," by Parker Rossman. It appears to be an important
    document for us in terms of content and in terms of its mechanics of developing
    into a better document for it wants to be a "living document."). In this sense
    it is akin to our own groping. Problem is, we can't be all expected to come
    fully to grips with it. If we, as Friends of Engelbart, are to succeed, we must
    recognize the need for applied complementarity in our, this most informal,
    "organization." And this need applies to a number of topic areas.

    My question now is, how can we best, and in a spirit of free-mindedness,
    "organize" ourselves to effectively address topic areas so as to make effective
    use of complementarity of interests and expertise?

    What I am hoping for here is that we first stab away at this question (as we
    usually do on this forum) and then discipline ourselves somewhat (as we rarely
    do) to refine the aggregate of responses into a short, to-the-point proposal
    for creating effective complementarity. I propose that somewhere in the process
    someone will step forward to assume the role of "threadmaster" to cast the
    intellectual ingot for our e-journal.

    That refinement is so essential. Some wag has said many decades ago that the
    educational literature is more voluminous than nutritious. As an e-journal we
    should recognize this and learn how to separate, refine, and then make things
    digestible for communal use. In other words, we need to establish a process and
    manage it. (Yes Rod W., I feel the vibes.)

    If we succeed in this we may be in a good position to have mutually fruitful
    exchanges with Parker Rossman. May be exchanges that lead to co-operative


    Jack Park wrote:

    > It is my firm belief that one of the most important use cases for OHS/DKR
    > technology resides in the vast expanses of human activity called
    > learning. Parker Rossman posted some comments to the Global Brain list
    > that included a URL that led to the following site:
    > This is a 3-volume (I've not looked at the entire manuscript yet!) online
    > manuscript entitled _The Future of Higher Education: For All Worldwide, a
    > Holistic View_.
    > On that page, we read:
    > TOPICS. Especially corrections of errors."
    > which leads me to believe that this manuscript is intended to be a *living
    > document*. I suppose that were it to be contained in a DKR implemented
    > with NODAL, the document would include version control.
    > In any case, we read:
    > "Volume One begins with institutional forms and structures and focuses on
    > preservation and transmission of the knowledge and wisdom of the past.
    > Volume Two is on the future of research. Volume Three focuses on the
    > individual: learning and teaching. They should be seen as an 'outline' to
    > which web page addresses will be added."
    > I cannot make any concrete value judgements on the manuscript; I have just
    > begun to probe its depths (and download it for further study). But, Volume
    > 1, Chapter 2 begins with the following George Gilder quotation:
    > "The force of microelectronics will blow apart all the monopolies,
    > hierarchies, pyramids and power grids of established. . . society. --George
    > Gilder"
    > I confess: that quote mirrors my own sentiments.
    > The manuscript merits the following:
    > review by all who take an interest in education
    > discussion, perhaps here, perhaps in some *real soon now* OHS
    > environment
    > possible collaboration with Parker Rossman to further meld the
    > boundaries between our interests and those expressed in the manuscript.
    > Cheers,
    > Jack
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