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Freedom to innovate

Deneen, CC and Prosser, M ORCID: 0000-0002-4974-7776 2020 , 'Freedom to innovate' , Educational Philosophy and Theory , doi: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1783244.

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Abstract

Freedom to innovate in teaching and learning are essential to meaningful higher education. Universities’ rhetorical commitments to freedomand innovation are ubiquitous and quite homogenous. Beneath therhetoric, however, lie sharp divides between neo-liberal andHumboldtian approaches to innovation, course design, teaching andlearning. This article argues that to understand the authentic approachof a university to innovation requires going beyond the rhetoric. Wemust instead examine context-specific experiences and understandingsof the curriculum, especially in terms of teaching, learning, assessmentand evaluation. Making this critical examination, we see thatHumboldtian frameworks rely on broad understandings of value connected to learners and their communities. Neoliberal frameworks bycontrast reduce and essentialise these understandings to customer service provision. Treating students as customers has significant implications for how innovation is defined and enacted through increasingaversion to the risks inherent to attempting innovation. Quality evaluation and assurance processes inevitably align with an institution’sauthentic approach, regardless of what rhetorical commitments suggest.The article concludes by suggesting ways forward grounded in teaching,learning and evaluation. These are congruent with a Humboldtianapproach and may, through their application bring the rhetoric ofteaching and learning innovation into alignment with experienced reality.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Deneen, CC and Prosser, M
Keywords: higher education, neoliberal, freedom, learning, teaching, assessment
Journal or Publication Title: Educational Philosophy and Theory
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0013-1857
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1783244
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia

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