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Thursday, 4 July 2019

On the sustainability of teaching

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Recently I contributed to this final Future teacher 3.0 session by briefly sharing why I work in the open and support open educational practice (OEP) for teachers. I cannot separate that journey from the decision to learn more about ownership of digital learning objects and the use of Creative Commons licences. 
Sustainability is at the heart of that decision. Teaching as a profession is about creating the conditions for learning and growth and currently our wealthy economies are dominated by austerity and the drive to reduce regulation, resulting in open season on working terms and conditions. The gig economy continues to grow  and we will reap the negative effects of the societal impact.

The human cost of forgetting our humanity, our responsibility to one another, in favour of short term rewards is shocking. 

In my discipline the race to market language learning has decimated a real understanding of the fundamental fact that language is a human act, to improve you need to use it with real humans! 

It may seem dull to learn how to operate and share resources online legally but at the heart of that learning is freedom which is central to the sustainability of teaching. Already inequality of access to language learning is growing, access to learning resources more widely is being limited according to wealth:
These threats should be resisted by us all, but particularly by teachers. In a typical tongue in cheek tweet, Dave White commented on the difficulty of replicating human interaction through AI:
To sustain a good quality of human life we must first value each other, whatever our talents, flaws, differences and challenges and then refuse to support changes which undermine our collective potential to thrive.