After bouncing off of it a year or so ago, I recently decided to restart Cory Doctorow’s novel Walkaway (which led NPR reporter Jason Sheehan to describe Doctorow as “Super-weird in the best possible way”). The audiobook is excellent, and since I started a couple of days ago, it’s displaced my podcast listening and given me another chance to wrestle with Doctorow’s ideas here.
There is way too much going on (and I’m not far enough into the book) for me to engage with the underlying message of the novel (or even to be sure of what it is yet), but one passage stood out to me so much this morning that I have to write it down now.
The desire to “enhance” or “improve” learning is a noble one, but I’m increasingly convinced it gets too much attention—and distracts us from as (or more) important questions about education and technology.
Appreciate Joshs’s reflections here—espeically as it relates to disciplinary and language differences within education.
link to ‘Some Thoughts on the Open Scholarship in Education (OSE) Working Meeting | Joshua M. Rosenberg, Ph.D.’
My issue with computer science education isn’t the idea of computer science education—it’s that it’s overwhelmingly driven by workforce and economic concerns instead of concerns related to citizenship and democracy.
Look, I’m not opposed to expanding computer science education, but if the motivation is to fill jobs and keep tech giants thriving, that seems to me to be a red flag. Education ought to focus on democracy above the economy; we need to be producing citizens, not employees. There are ways to teach tech in a way that supports democracy and produces citizens, but if I get grumpy about computer science educstion, it’s because we rarely talk about it that way.