Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching, University of Cape Town
The warp and weft of open education and social justice
By implication open education subscribes to notions of social justice, but implementation strategies and research often focus on economic injustice to the exclusion of cultural and political inequities. Moreover, despite altruistic motivations, open education activity may unintentionally reproduce many of the existing inequities that it seeks to change. Drawing upon the projects in which I am involved I will highlight the intertwinement of open education and social justice in projects in the global south, by illustrating ways of strengthening equitable access, cultural equality and political legitimacy.
Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She teaches Online Learning Design and Advanced Research Design courses to postgraduate students and also supervises Masters and PhD students in Educational Technology, Higher Education Studies, and Open Education.
She holds a PhD in computer-assisted learning and has taught and supervised in the field of information communication technologies (ICTs) in education since 1994, first at the University of Pretoria, then at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and now at UCT. In addition she was the Principal Investigator of the IDRC-funded Research in Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project which investigated the adoption and impact of the use of open educational resources in 21 countries in the Global South. She is now an advisor to the Digital Open Textbooks for Development (DOT4D) project and the Principal Investigator of a government funded investigation into opening learning in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Higher Education institutions in South Africa. Cheryl also holds the UNESCO Chair in Open Education and Social Justice at UCT.