1.Why does Professor Fuller say (almost as a joke) that education is ‘a dying art’?
The shape of education is changing. The ‘boundaries’ between learners and instructors are being dissolved. A new form of a peer-to-peer-to-instructor model is surpassing traditional configuration. Free, equal and anonymous learning via Internet is gaining territorry. Maybe the old art is really dying.
3.Professor Fuller argues that there’s historical precedent for considering only some homo sapiens to be ‘human’: what are the political implications of this in contemporary times? And how might such a notion position education?
This cartoon actually illustrates a common concern these days and portrays how education is really happening. It is formatted to reach the elected and overlook skills not valued by academic criteria. There’s an excellent book by Sir Ken Robinson called The Element in which he depicts in a brilliant way the current format of Education (read it in 2h). Also worth watching his speech in TEDS Talks.
4.He suggests that we are questioning the very existence of the ‘human’ because we have failed in the humanist project (for example, we are far from achieving racial, gender or class equality): do you believe this?
I should consider disrespectful for those who strive for human causes to consider that we failed the humanist project. I would say we’re slowly getting there.
5.In claiming that ‘the old humanistic project should not be dropped’, Professor Fuller links his talk to our key theme of re-asserting the human. His stance seems to be that ‘you can only be morally credible’ if you are addressing issues of human freedom and equality. Thinking about education specifically, might we see MOOCs as an example of an ‘old humanistic project’, particularly in the promise they appear to offer for democratisation, equality of access and so on?
Yes, I would say it does. I believe there’s still a long way to be built especially concerning assessment and creditation. Moocs social recognition is still far from being ideal.