E- learning and ideology-a post modern paradigm or liberal education reborn?

Spencer, Maureen P. (2004) E- learning and ideology-a post modern paradigm or liberal education reborn? Web journal of current legal issues, 4 . ISSN 1360-1326 [Article]


The increasing use of electronic forms of curriculum delivery in higher education brings with it a number of practical challenges for academics, such as the problem of information overload, effective cooperation with technical staff in course design and changed student expectations of teaching. A number of recent studies of higher education have also examined the impact of e-learning on the underlying theoretical framework of university teaching, some arguing that a postmodernist philosophical approach is an appropriate one. Others by contrast have called for a reaffirmation of the principles of liberal education. Drawing on recently published works on the public role of the university the article examines these two apparently conflicting theoretical stances and the implications of this pedagogic discussion for law lecturers in particular. It is argued that attention to both these philosophical currents is important in order maximize the value of electronic delivery. Liberal educational ideals are still powerful antidotes to such anti- intellectual pressures as technological determinism and a narrow vocationalism but an examination of the postmodernist “mood” may also assist the resolution of some contemporary concerns in higher education. The article suggests that academics should not simply look back nostalgically to the Enlightenment certainties of traditional liberal education, locating cognition primarily within the knowing individual. Nor however should they uncritically embrace the more grandiose claims of an ethically aimless postmodern scepticism. Neither philosophy should necessarily displace the other. The challenge is to appreciate both these intellectual tendencies as part of a mosaic of multifaceted approaches to higher education at the centre of which should be an appreciation of the continuing importance of principles and values.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 1640
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2009 18:05
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:13
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/1640

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