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Tag: openped

Translation of Paquette 1979 article on open pedagogy (first half)

Some Foundations of Open Pedagogy

(First half of the translation of Claude Paquette’s 1979 article on open pedagogy:  Claude Paquette “Quelques fondements d’une pédagogie ouverte.” Québec français 36 (1979): 20–21.)

Note:  a later article (2005) is over here, and if you run it through Google Translate it actually does a really good job of translation from French to English.  The 2005 article understandably has a much more academically grounded and situated description of open pedagogy.

For more than 10 years now, teachers in Quebec are trying to integrate an open pedagogy into their daily practices. This pedagogical approach has been the object of several publications which have underlined both the foundations of this approach and its practices. It is important to underline that this pedagogy is in constant evolution and that the diversity of attempts of educators allow for further articulations, de look at the nuances, the resources and the limits of this pedagogy.

Open pedagogy is not a collection of pedagogical procedures applied in class that then result in the same outcomes of any other pedagogy. It is actually a way of thinking and a way of acting. It consists of an innovative way to view the educational act/endeavor. Evidently, there are procedures and proposed tools. However they have no value if they aren’t used in conjunction with the foundations that shape the tenants of an open pedagogy.

Open pedagogy is centered on the class interaction between the student and the educational environment that is proposed. From this interaction, significant connections will be revealed for the student that will allow him/her to begin a learning process. The educator therefore has the primary role of contributing to the creation of this educational environment. For the champions of open pedagogy, creating the educational environment has three levels: the creation of a physical class environment, learning activities, and instructor intervention. These three dimensions are obviously interrelated.

Some basic principles

  1. Open pedagogy is based on the respect for individual differences

 Students are all different and they learn in different ways. Too often these differences are only perceived as being about different speeds of learning. In my view, the differences can be found at various levels and it is essential that the educator be aware of that. Students are different from one another in terms of: their interests, their concerns, their speed of learning, their cognitive style, their talents, their previous experiences, etc…It will therefore be important for the educator to encourage learning situations that are broad enough to allow for respecting these differences and to call on them.

  1. Open pedagogy is based on individual development

 The goal of the learning is to arrive at an individual development. Every person is unique and it is necessary that they find themselves in an environment that will allow them to develop according to their own individuality. Individulising learning development is not synonymous with individualism. Individualising learning development implies much more of a global and personalized development. Both can be performed in close relationship with the other. Seen under this light, classroom learning can’t limit itself to the accumulation of information contained within a program. Learning should be situated at several levels of consciousness:

  • Information necessary to understand the world
  • The development of skills to realize their own potential
  • The relationship between themselves and others
  • The relationship between themselves and the social context/social world
  • Etc…

Open pedagogy practices tries to promote learning situations that integrate these different levels rather than separate them.

  1. Open pedagogy is based on an indirect influence of the educator

Educating is an act of influence. In open pedagogy, this perspective is accepted. At that moment the educator plays an important role. Despite this, we believe that the influence of the educator should be indirect. There is an influence, and therefore an intervention, but one that is adapted to the conditions and the to the evolution of the student. The educator doesn’t intervene in order to cram the student with content but rather to help them find their way according to their differences and potential.

  1. Open pedagogy is based on a natural learning process derived from the internal strength/dynamism of the student

If we are talking about a natural learning process we are also talking about a complex phenomenon.   It’s not sufficient to tell the student to go develop his/herself and expect them to do it. Respecting a natural learning process implies that we create a sufficiently rich and diversified environment so that the student can respond and undertake their learning.






Reflections on #OER17 – From Beyond Content to Open Pedagogy

By @choconancy Nancy White

In 2012 I attended the Open Ed conference in Vancouver , provocatively titled Beyond Content.  This was the same conference where Gardner Campbell captured our hearts with his infamous quote “this is not what I meant at all” , mirroring a sentiment that open was being co-opted by corporate interests and heading down a slippery slope of open-washing and dubious learner benefit.  But what also struck me about this particular Open Ed conference was that  the sessions weren’t really about Beyond Content in the way I had anticipated…the session archive shows that we were still very much talking about OERs, open courseware, and beginning to explore open textbooks. In other words, content was still how we framed open at this point in time.

Flash forward 5 years and I’m still buzzing from #OER17, a well timed conference framed around the Politics of Open. This particular event, with tightly and masterfully curated keynotes and sessions, was able to demonstrate without a doubt that we are beyond content.  The keynotes and sessions I attended fearlessly tackled a range of topics around open that I’m not even sure I heard the word OER once over the course of the two days.  There are already so many great summaries written up and collected over here, but it was the first time I felt that we were truly moving our conversations beyond content.

I, along with my colleagues who travelled from Mexico presented on an evaluation of a faculty development program – lovingly known as the Agora – designed around open pedagogy and it was fortuitous to catch a blog post by David Wiley and subsequent tweet storm prior to our last day, last session time slot.  David’s post outlines a number of good provocations about How is Open Pedagogy Different? but ultimately niggled me in a way I found difficult to articulate.  The crux of the argument was that the open pedagogy needs to be defined by the 5Rs, because if not, how was open pedagogy different from just plain old pedagogy.

Let me begin by saying that my own institution has benefitted greatly from OERs.   We participate in developing and reusing open textbooks and are three years into developing a Zed Cred/Zee Degree, we have adapted two CC BY courses provided to us from Athabasca University, and we have without a doubt been able to innovate because others have been willing to share their open content.  And we have to acknowledge that the 5Rs – which in my reading are framed around content but is something that is contested in in the tweet storm – provide good clarification for what open is in the context of OERs.

But I had to ponder whether OERs and the 5Rs have anything to do with open pedagogy.   In other words:

  • Is content essential to open?
  • Can you have open pedagogy without OERs?
  • Is content what defines pedagogy?

And if we do assume that OERs are essential to open pedagogy, can we ever really move Beyond Content?

Back to our open pedagogy presentation.  The Agora design process was focussed on what an open design would actually be a means to which can be summarized as:

  1. Open as a means to facilitate a faculty culture of collaboration across the university and across disciplines
  2. Open as a means to connect with a broader, global community
  3. Open as means to challenge and expand existing understandings of student centre learning
  4. Open as means to challenge ways of doing, in this case,  the options and possibilities of digital technology and mobile learning
  5. Open as a means to make the lives of faculty easier in their pursuit of better teaching and learning
  6. Open as a means to create a sustainable approach to faculty development

Ultimately we did create content that fits quite nicely with the 5Rs, but the goal of our open pedagogy design process was not to create OERs as a means towards or even as an essential component of open pedagogy. The Agora was alternatively all of the ‘isms –  behaviourism, connectivism, constructivism, constructionism – but the ism doesn’t really matter.  Importantly, the open pedagogy design was at times technology-enabled and at times it didn’t use technology or the internet at all.  OERs didn’t allow us to practice a different pedagogy, rather the open pedagogy of the Agora was a bricolage of activities and practices that at times resulted in OERs and at times didn’t.

If OERS and open content is a way for us to open the door a little bit more, then great. But it’s not the only way to open, and is not even a requirement in my view.  And if I took anything away from #OER17, it’s that there are so many directions to explore, critique, challenge when we talk about open.