Open Access Week 2018 -what does open knowledge mean in education?

Open Access Week 2018 -what does open knowledge mean in education?

As part of our blog series for Open Access Week 2018, we caught up with Professor David Powell, Editor of Teaching in Lifelong Learning, to chat about what this year’s theme, designing equitable foundations for open knowledge, means to him.

This summer, I heard Professor Milena Dragićević Šešić, of the University of Arts, Belgrade, speaking about how ‘academic capitalism’ (Dragićević Šešić 2018) shapes the publishing and reading of our research. The main point Milena made was that her University expected her to publish in highly-rated, prestigious journals, though the irony was that her own students could not access her articles because they were published in fee-paying journals and her University could not afford the subscription. To me, that is shocking; it seems neither fair nor acceptable.

Part of my work as director of the Education and Training Consortium and HUDCETT is to edit the University Press’ Teaching in Lifelong Learning: a journal to inform and improve practice, which is aimed at teachers and trainers from the further education and skills sector and those who research it. The sector is poorly funded compared with schools and universities, and its staff and work are under-researched and thus largely invisible outside the sector. The journal aims to address this by offering new writers an opportunity to publish their work and because we are an open access journal then teachers and trainers from the sector can access this research because it is not locked away behind a subscription. For me, making research freely available is at the heart of socially just education; it’s moral and ethical praxis (Mahon, Kemmis, Francisco, and Lloyd, 2017), levelling the academic playing field, and making knowledge accessible to all. As such, in a small but important way, open access publishing is, in my view, ‘changing, for the better, the world we live and practise in’ (Kemmis, McTaggart, and Nixon, 2014, p.27).

References

Dragićević Šešić, M., (2018, August) Educational challenges and ethical dilemmas in time of academic capitalism: is “expanded professionalism” a solution for a sustainable and inclusive society? Keynote at Association of Teacher Educators in Europe Annual Conference, Gavle, Sweden, https://www.delegia.com/app/Data/ProjectImages/11205/Abstract_Milena_Dragicevic_Sesic.pdf

Kemmis, S., McTaggart, R., and Nixon, R. (2014b) The action research planner: doing critical participatory action research. Dordrecht: Springer.

Mahon, K., Kemmis, S., Francisco, S., Lloyd, A., (2017) Introduction: Practice Theory and the Theory of Practice Architectures. In: Mahon, K., Francisco, S., Kemmis, S., Exploring Education and Professional Practice through the lens of practice architectures. (pp1-30). Singapore: Springer.

You can access Teaching in Lifelong Learning on our website.

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