“Knowledge society” and its conception of knowledge : “Interchangeable knowledge workers” and the redundancy of the traditional education

jeudi 12 novembre 2015, par Igor Bijuklič

If the purpose of educational process is becoming something else, such as restoring economic growth and decaying economic conditions, thus is prone to changing also the character of knowledge that is supposed to be taught in school. The ongoing strategies for future education (example ET2020) and their belief that schools should place greater emphasis on teaching entrepreneurship and business mentality (also as a class teaching principle) rather than on problematic reading skills and literacy or civic education, is clearly indicating that the “knowledge of the future” will not be about, let’s say how to understand the world we are living in, but it will have to prove its legitimacy in technical innovation and entrepreneurial action. But if the conception and character of knowledge that should be taught is changing in this direction, then also the approach of school system and educators toward students and their future “function” is prone and subjected to change corresponding these new demands. To put it simply, to fulfil itself, knowledge society requires most of all knowledge workers, whose value can be now determined by their “function” and output in the processes of knowledge society (innovation, creation, production etc.) for which they are educated and to which they are reduced. But at the same time their uniqueness as persons is highly questionable if not lost at all, because a certain “function” of a knowledge worker can always be fulfilled by another one with more elevated skills, higher efficiency or a newer idea, thus they are interchangeable by their nature. Looking from the perspective of an individual student the problem regarding the ESL phenomenon becomes even more evident. If the purpose of education is levelled to let’s say economic survivalism and employability, then school can be understandably perceived just as a type of training for future work opportunities and market competition. If so, nothing is preventing that school education (educators also) could easily be regarded as something expendable, because what activity can offer better training for work opportunities and entrepreneurial skills, than the practicality of the work itself or of any other specialized work training programme available on the market ?


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