Sunday, January 28, 2007

Educational iatrogenisis

A stand against wikipedia is headline news in Inside higher ed. Here it is reported that the history department of Middlebury college has banned the use of wikipedia.
The blanket decision seems to me to be an exercise in hammering.
I want to cry for freedom in education, not so that people are disadvantaged by being subject to misinformation (which btw is also present in text and journals) but the primary purpose of education is (in my considered opinion) to encourage thinking and to share knowledge. What irony for an educational institution to tell people what they can or cant cite, read ... think. The dwarfing of thinking is an abusive act for an educational institution to engage in.
Is there a word for institutionalised education induced dysfunction?
Educational iatrogenesis?
Feel free to contribute alternate possibilities.


  1. Anonymous2:03 PM

    Ahh a new word for thinking about education - I like the new thinking it engenders about education. I see that it can include "the false diagnosis of "non-diseases", overactivity and over confidence of the medical establishment,".- perfect

    There are so many parallels that can be drawn between the institutionalisation of learning and the institutionalisation of health - I have pulled my dusty copy of Illich's Medical Nemesis off the shelf and will re-read it whilst we are on the road this week. Looking at the dust on the spine and the yellowing of the pages it has been too long on the bookshelf

  2. Anonymous3:02 PM

    Hey Ailsa check out the parallels between pathological behaviours in institutions and behaviours in alcoholism in Tarina's blog post I have got so far behind in my blog reading I have missed treasures

  3. Thanks for the link Arti, I especially enjoyed the reminder that the best learning technology ever invented was conversation. Lets keep conversing