Openness and global educational development

The global knowledge economy comprised of increasingly integrated cross-border distributed knowledge and learning systems represents a new stage of development that is characterised by a fundamental sociality—knowledge and the value of knowledge is rooted in social relations. More than any time in the past, the global economy and society is undergoing a massive transformation from the industrial age dominated by the logic of standardised mass production, epitomised by the assembly-line in the auto-industry, to a knowledge economy characterised by decentralised networked communications, ‘intellectual capital’, and a range of information-service industries driven by brainpower and the constant demand for innovation.

This does not mean the demise of the industrial economy, but rather the development of a new relation between manufacturing and information services that permits the sharing of knowledge through open source models and the continuous redesign of flexible production regimes. It also means the rapid development of “mind-intensive” industries especially in the software, media, healthcare, education and other intellectually based industries. Increasingly, the move to the ‘knowledge economy’ redefines the value creation process, alters the organization and pattern of work, and creates new forms of borderless cooperation and intercultural exchange. This has led many national government and international organisations to plan for a restructuring of economy that increasingly focuses on knowledge, education, and creativity.

The Centre for Global Studies in Education initiates and supports research that extends and develops the notions of ‘open knowledge economy’, open education and open science as forms of global educational development. This research is already the subject for many acclaimed and award-winning books and papers on knowledge economy, creative economy, open education, open science, and openness (see below).

In 2012, State University of New York (SUNY) awarded Prof. Michael A. Peters an honorary Doctorate of Letters his work in this field.

CGSE will also pursue topics related to sustainable development in education and environmental education.

Current research project related to this theme:

Canada SSHRC Partnership Grant $2 Million: The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) is a partnership between academic research institutions and national/international organisations in order to address the lack of coordinated analysis and development of environmental sustainability policy in education (Lead researcher: Marcia McKenzie).Professor Peters is one of two members of the international scientific committee of SEPN that met in Toronto in 2011 and has ongoing links with the project.

The SEPN research program integrates policy document analysis, community consultation, data analysis and knowledge mobilisation in maximising the team’s strengths in developing, mobilising, and disseminating research. It aims to improve how environmental sustainability is taught and practiced in Canadian K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions, and will analyse existing policy and practice and develop new national models.

Selected recent published works related to this theme:

Gonzalez-Gaudiano, E.J. & Peters, M.A. (2008) (Eds.)Environmental Education Today: Identity, Politics and Citizenship. Rotterdam & Taipei, Sense Publishers.

Peters, M.A., Liu, T-C, & Ondercin, D. (2012) The Pedagogy of the Open Society: Knowledge and the Governance of Higher Education. Rotterdam: Sense.

Peters, M.A. (2012) ‘Openness’ and the Global Knowledge Commons: An Emerging Mode of Social Production for Education and Science. In: Hugh Lauder, Michael Young, Harry Daniels, Maria Balarin, John Lowe (Eds.) Educating for the Knowledge Economy? Critical Perspectives. Oxford: Routledge.

Peters, M.A., Besley, T., Araya, D. (2013) (Eds.) The New Paradigm of Development: Education, Knowledge Economy and Digital Futures. New York: Peter Lang. (Forthcoming)

Peters, M.A. and Bulut, E. (2012) (Eds.) Cognitive Capitalism, Education and the Question of Digital Labor. New York: Peter Lang.

Peters, M.A. and Roberts, P. (2011) The Virtues of Openness: Education, Science and Scholarship in a Digital Age. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers.

Peters, M.A., Ondercin, D. J, & Liu. T-C. (2011) Open Learning Systems: The Next Evolution Of Education,  Review of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 10, pp. 9–24

Peters, M.A. & Britez, R. (2008) (Eds.) Open Education and Education for Openness. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.