February 2008

Open Content Methodology and Subject-Oriented Educational Environment

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e-Learning is perceived as a new word in pedagogical science and practice, a way of overcoming of crisis of education in all its manifestations. However, technological solutions influence on the organisational aspects of training, allowing making educational processes more flexible and focused on the user. But as usual in the basis of e-learning system still lay traditional pedagogies build on a paradigm of transmitting of knowledge and cultural samples, conceptually rooted in 'The Great Didactics' (1657) by Jan Amos Komenski (Comenius). 

Post-non-classical methodology

There is a correlation between the level of social development and dominant methodologies. The transition to the next level is accompanied by the paradigmatic transformation of methodology. The methodology corresponding to the Industrial Society is a classical methodology, 'classical picture of the universe'… but an integrated picture of the universe could not be shaped when taking into account the existence only of the macrocosm and microcosm and not considering presence of the world of information (Infoworld).

Knowledge with which the educational theory and practice operates is the same information which is somehow transferred, structured and created by Subjects during inter-subject interaction and/or through a cultural layer (and education, as it known, is a part of culture). For this reason, in order to understand the post-non-classical approach to education it is necessary to consider at least three central points: a challenge of the Subject's destination; role of the environments surrounding the Subject, including society and its concrete varieties; and conditions for the subject-to-subject interaction.

Society as Environment and mediator

In general case, we, in our capacity  of possible Subjects (or differentiator of inner and external), always find ourselves plunged into some environment which is per se a specific exemplification of the Holistic World. Socium and all its professional and social areas (including education) exist as such environments and exemplifications.

The question is to which extent the Subject can see the subjectiveness of the Holistic World through a concrete, formed, or designed environment? If this extent were equal to zero, the subjectiveness of the Subject itself would stay indistinguishable. Subjectiveness is a property imparted by a Subject to some components of the environment, which interact with it, or the environment as a whole (i.e. the whole world). The Subject's inclusion into the Picture of the World means not only the inclusion of a person into all observed processes but also the inclusion of the other part of interaction, namely of the World as a Subject. The environment (including such as societies) serves as their meeting point and mediator.

Object-oriented environment and normative educational paradigm

Both Industrial and Consumer  Societies are unaware about a  human being as a Subject and the World as well as about their 'middle' position. Knowledge about a human being is unimportant for them. In this sense, the Industrial and Consumer Societies are rather Objects than Subjects. In both Societies, the  borders of the socium are the borders  of the World. Hence, the aims of the mass education systems of these societies exist within the range from pragmatics to socialization. These societies have no need in Subjects and they lean not on Subjects (and World) but on norms and  hierarchy of prescribed relations  that allow the elite to govern/
manage the non-subject majority  of people, organisations and productions.

Below, there are several characteristics of the Industrial and Consumer  Societies given in correspondence to the aspects mostly general and important  for a Subject.

Industrial society

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