EDEV_505 Week 1_7

There are a few points in your post that I’d like to comment on and ask you about, but space only allows me to pick one. In paragraph two, you state that “Ranking does no discriminate among values which are equally important” (Yee, 2016), (or, ranking arbitrarily discriminates between equally important values) which you use to differentiate Perley’s attack on JIU (Ogden, 2008) as a difference in kind not in rank value. I fully concur with your analysis, but perhaps there is yet an unexplored avenue to this differentiation. I think that an interesting aspect of Rokeach’s value ranking method (Hitlin & Piliavin, 2004) is that it forces readers of the Ogden case study to consider the possibility that there may be a line beyond which Perley would accept online education. Rather than place values in either-or dichotomous states, ranking introduces the notion of distance between values, and with that distance, the idea that an item may change ranking value if certain attributes are altered. In other words, the earlier difference in kind can be reinterpreted as a difference in rank.

So far, the metanarrative in this board is to impute a distinction between modernist and postmodernist values held by Perley and JIU respectively. Indeed, that notion formed part of the discussion question itself. However, this distinction may be questioned when the nature of values themselves is understood. Rath, Harmin and Simon define values as “beliefs, attitudes, or feelings that an individual is proud of, is willing to publicly affirm” (cited in Halstead & Taylor, 1996, p. 5). They are used as a primary mechanism for judging the worth of something and are more than mere preferences and likes (Halstead & Taylor). Perley draws on many parts of education to attack the system at JIU including a distinction between training and education, the role that the physical space plays in educational change and the delivery mechanisms for educational content. Each of these elements have been discussed extensively in recent papers, (for example Garavan, 1997, who provides a very concise but useful distinction between education, training and development), and as long as the issues are not resolved, labelling a person’s publicly stated values as modernist or postmodernist risks conflating the person with the issue at stake.

I suspect that Perley is a modernist, but the state of knowledge regarding the mechanics of how educational processes occur is too fragmented to allow for definitive judgments to be made. We can list (as Wolfgang and I did) elements that appear dichotomous, and perhaps a case can be made that the totality of elements falling on one side or another serve to define the position. However, much (but not all) of Perley’s case rests on issues that can be argued to be based in values that fit both modern and postmodern positions. I should take one extreme example (from Wolfgang’s list) to demonstrate the fluidity of possibility. The role of student feedback is judged to be a factor in the decision of labelling a value to be postmodern (Amann, 2016). The idea behind this is that there are multiple views of the educational process and that feedback provides a useful mechanism for aligning actions in accordance with views and needs of teachers and students. Clearly, this is a postmodern position according to the definitions in Fuller (2005), Milliken (2004) and Strohl (2006). Yet over a century ago, Dewey (1909) noted that there is a failure “to recognise how essentially individualistic the latter methods [of moral education] are, and how unconsciously, yet certainly and effectively, they react into the child’s ways of judging and acting” (p. 21). Effective teachers understand the role and nature of feedback even though the language with which we discuss it is different in this century. What do you think?



Amann, W. (2016, April 9). Lessons from the JIU case. Message posted to https://my.ohecampus.com/lens/home?locale=en_us#.

Dewey, J. (1909). Moral principles in education. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Fuller, S. (2005). What makes universities unique? Updating the ideal for an entrepreneurial age. Higher Education Management and Policy, 17(3), 27–49.

Garavan, T. N. (1997). Training, development, education and learning: different or the same? Journal of European Industrial Training, 21(2), 39–50. http://doi.org/10.1108/03090599710161711

Halstead, J. M., & Taylor, M. J. (1996). Values in education and education in values. (J. M. Halstead & M. J. Taylor, Eds.)Values in education and education in values. London: The Falmer Press.

Hitlin, S., & Piliavin, J. A. (2004). Values: Reviving a Dormant Concept. Annual Review of Sociology, 30(1), 359–393. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.30.012703.110640

Milliken, J. (2004). Thematic reflections on higher education: Postmodernism versus professionalism in higher education. Higher Education in Europe, 29(1), 9–18. http://doi.org/10.1080/03797720410001673265

Ogden, J. (2008). CYBER U: The Accreditation of Jones International University. The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.

Strohl, N. M. (2006). The postmodern university revisited: reframing higher education debates from the “two cultures” to postmodernity. London Review of Education, 4(2), 133–148. http://doi.org/10.1080/14748460600855195

Yee, J. (2016, April 10). Tensions between different value sets. Message posted to https://my.ohecampus.com/lens/home?locale=en_us#.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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