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Article in Journal ()

Open learning and the demise of discipline?

Nicoll K & Edwards R (1997) Open learning and the demise of discipline?, Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 12 (3), pp. 14-24.

First paragraph: This article began as an examination of the influence of open learning on disciplinary practices within the university. Although there are trends towards the development of open learning in many countries and in a wide range of institutional contexts, there would appear to be little or no exploration of the potential effects of this on the disciplines - the bodies of knowledge to be acquired. Where comment does exist, it focuses largely on the practices of modularisation and student choice associated with open learning and the potential for learning to become 'superficial' rather than 'deep'. In other words, through open learning learners may develop a limited understanding across a range of subjects, rather than deep learning in a discipline or disciplines. The intention in writing this piece was to draw on the work of Foucault (1979 and 1980) - in particular, his thoughts on pedagogical practices and discipline as both a systematic body of knowledge and exercise of power - to look at the way in which the disciplines are influenced through the development of open learning. In particular, we were interested in whether these trends could be said to be resulting in the demise of discipline, or in a reconfiguration of disciplinary practices. The issue was seen in a relatively simple sense where 'open learning' and 'the disciplines' could be isolated as objects for study and where the former could be seen to have an effect upon the latter.

AuthorsNicoll Katherine, Edwards Richard
Publication date11/1997
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0268-0513

Open Learning: the Journal of Open and Distance Learning: Volume 12, Issue 3

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