Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Catholic Case Against MOOCs

MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) are all the rage in many quarters of the higher education "industry."  The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article by Jonathan Malesic, a theology professor at Kings College in Pa. titled "A Catholic Case Against MOOCs:"

There is one way in which MOOCs seem to line up with a major historical goal of Catholic universities: They offer access to college-level instruction for people who have been excluded because of poverty, remoteness, or others' prejudice. But the altruistic promise of MOOCs has been empty so far.


Catholic organizations have known for a long time that to educate the poor, you have to go to them. In fact, to educate anyone fully—addressing their moral and spiritual development as well as their intellect—teachers and students must be present to each other.

This article drives at the heart of a debate we should be having over what is the purpose of education.  Are we selling a product that is bought by our customers - the students.  Or, is it a moral enterprise aimed at developing the whole person.

HT: Kevin Lee


Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink


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"Are we selling a product that is bought by our customers - the students. Or, is it a moral enterprise aimed at developing the whole person."

We are currently struggling with the Catholic elementary school in New England where we send our kids. The school is pressuring parents and children from the 4th grade on to rely primarily on the i-Pad in order to institute "common core" standards. A justification is that by spending hours on the i-Pad our children will become "global digital citizens."

Of course when we try to broach the subject of whether it is prudent to substantially rely on computer, internet, and screen technology we are met with blank stares by our Catholic school principal and teachers. The school allows for our children to be an exception to the i-Pad pressure. But more blank stares derive from our concern with the rest of the elementary children being subjected to excessive tech use. The school says, why do you care if your kids are exempt. We didn't know that "I gotta get me mine" was a new Gospel value.

Such is the Anscombe-Macintyrian moral nightmare we live in parts of Catholic New England.

Posted by: ck | Sep 20, 2013 9:47:43 AM