I am Dreaming: I read about this beautiful quote which talks about ‘an education of the heart based on a pedagogy of desire’ and I was immediately struck by the simplicity of it. It is true! If I am sentimental and passionate about something I will learn it; If I can find a few other people who like it just as much, I will make time for them. If I can express it to other people and weave it with beautiful colours using technology, I will take time out to do that too! Not merely because it looks exquisite and people will extol its myriads of colours but because it pleases me to be a part of creating and then sharing it. For I have gained from other people and it is far more exciting to pass it on then keep it to yourself.
But not all dreams can come true: The reality of life is that there are uncertainties lurking around the corner and the caution is often meted out to be aware of these. However, it is also a reality that the future can be planned for but not predicted. Wisdom ,as the research around scenario planning suggests, is to dream around these uncertainties and just have an alternate dream up your sleeve.
We know for a fact that some of these are identifiable uncertainties and we don’t know what direction they will take;
- The financing of learning in the future ( user funded or globally funded)
- The space( physical or virtual) it will take place in; and
- The mode of delivery of Higher Degrees ( Learn as you go (personalised) or generic)
So what will it look like in 2040: The Scenarios explored
This is the Butterfly which has come out strong from its the initial but required struggles of the cocoon and is able to spread its wings. Resplendent in its myriad of colours, it is able to explore its surroundings and fly at will. Individualised learning defines its ability to glean from the open sources available to it.
The Persevering Cocoon, has struggled and grown to protect itself with the uncertainties that were thrown its way of unavailable finances and limited resources. However it still is resilient and manages to survive through the changes, finding a way to presevere.
The Flourishing Tree is well watered and has deep roots; it has taken its time to grow and draw on the nourishment and sunlight and is now beginning to bear fruit. It is thriving and replete because it has space to breathe with all the free courses that are readily available alongside the funding invested by people with a vision.
The Struggling Seed is geminated and survived, but only just! It has had limited funds to develop and grow so has had to manage with whatever MOOCs it can avail of. However, without the right support and arrested development it has now etiolated and therefore not had an opportunity to bear fruit.