Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Khan Academy and Co. just let them rise

A lot's been said about the Khan Academy and the wave of massive online open course providers like, I'm not going to say anything about those MOOC's, I'm going to talk about the old boys network that rules over present-day education. The network that should not be defended by teachers. Teachers are mostly passionate, putting all their effort into the upbringing of responsible citizens on just a meagre salary. While we recognize that children are our future, we should put our money where our mouth is. I thing we all agree on that.

This article is just about the Dutch situation, however I imagine it's more or less equal across the western world. Recently I've come across the "schoolboekenscan" or "schoolbookscan" a paper presenting the view of the Dutch market authority (Nma) on the concentration of educational resource providers across the board. It paints a grimm picture of the market concentration. The turnover of eductional resources in the Netherlands of primary education alone is 115 million Euro per year. 80% to 90% Of this market is divided up between three mayor publishers (ThiemeMeulenhoff, Noordhoff, Malmberg). The rest is divided among smaller publishers.

The market authority adds that the teaching-methods are more or less customized to the wishes of the publisher with only a small amount of effort being spend adjusting the content to the wishes of actual teachers. This same pattern is projected on middle school and high school educational resources in the Netherlands.

The sad thing most of the money of educational resources is public expenditure. Just imagine 115 million Euro being spend on open source teaching methodes, pedagogically and didactically based on present day scientific knowledge. One country is all it takes to shake the foundations of education if they began with opening eduction with maths and arithmetic (both widely adaptable across the globe).

It might even create some room for the games I so love.

How about your countries? What is it's situation?

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