03 SES 04 A, Can Educational Knowledge Be Powerful? Part 1
Symposium to be continued in 03 SES 06 A
Micro-credentials have moved from the margins to the mainstream in post-secondary education policy. For example, they have been accredited within the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, and included in a review of the Australian Qualifications Framework. Colleges and universities in many countries are seeking to introduce them. They are linked to other policy aspirations such as stackable credentials, badges and ‘e-passports’. Micro-credentials vary in size, but essentially are small components of learning that are certified that may also contribute to a formal qualification (PWC, 2018). The promise of micro-credentials is that they will enable individuals to keep up with the relentless pace of change in the knowledge society and meet the future needs of work, and provide disadvantaged people with access to credentials that will recognise their skills and lead to jobs (Ifenthaler, Bellin-Mularski, & Mah, 2016). They are also legitimated by progressive discourses of student centred learning that focus on self-regulated learning, self-efficacy, personalisation, and self-realisation (for example, see Wills & Xie, 2016) This paper argues that first, micro-credentials are an extension of competency-based education models of curriculum which are based on disaggregated and atomised skills that deny students access to disciplinary knowledge and to the criteria used within disciplines to judge knowledge claims. Moreover, they represent the incursion of competency-based education curriculum from vocational education where it has been dominant for about 30 years, to higher education. Second, they contribute to the fragmentation of work through tying micro-credentials to disaggregated skills and undermine the link between qualifications and occupations. They further shift the responsibility from the employer to the individual to invest in their skills and second-guess the requirements of the labour market so that the individual is ‘market ready’ and able to enact a ‘market performance’ (Brown & Souto-Otero, 2018). This paper will show the connections between micro-credentials and competency-based education curriculum. It will demonstrate how micro-credentials exclude disadvantaged students from access to powerful knowledge and further entrench their disadvantage in the labour market. It will examine the progressivist language of legitimation of micro-credentials to show how this has been recontextualised and co-opted by instrumental discourses that emphasise the realisation of the self in the market through investment in human capital (Bernstein, 2000).
Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity (2nd ed. ed.). Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Brown, P., & Souto-Otero, M. (2018). The end of the credential society? An analysis of the relationship between education and the labour market using big data. Journal of Education Policy, early online doi:10.1080/02680939.2018.1549752 Ifenthaler, D., Bellin-Mularski, N., & Mah, D.-K. (Eds.). (2016). Foundation of digital badges and micro-credentials: demonstrating and recognizing knowledge and competencies. Switzerland: Springer. PWC. (2018). Lifelong Skills: Equipping Australians for the future of work. Retrieved from Melbourne: < http://www.atn.edu.au/siteassets/publications/lifelong-skills.pdf > viewed 12 Janaury 2019 Wills, C., & Xie, Y. (2016). Toward a Comprehensive Theoretical Framework for Designing Digital Badges. In D. Ifenthaler, N. Bellin-Mularski, & D.-K. Mah (Eds.), Foundation of digital badges and micro-credentials: demonstrating and recognizing knowledge and competencies (pp. 261-271). Switzerland: Springer.
Some networks have already started to plan their chairperson(s).
But at the moment chairpersons are only pencilled in, as we will still need to check for time conflicts between presentation and chairing duties. EERA office will work on this in due course and then officially let chairpersons know about their chairing duties.
Meanwhile, thank you for your patience.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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