Guest post on the Lords of MOOC Creation: who’s really for change, and who in fact is standing athwart history yelling STOP? →

Susan Amussen and Allyson Poska in a guest post on Historiann, “who’s really for change, and who in fact is standing athwart history yelling STOP?”:

Those involved in the globalization debate hem and haw about how McDonalds homogenizes foodways around the world, but the debates about MOOCs have (surprisingly) lacked any similar discussion about the homogenization of knowledge and perspective. While this might be less of an issue when the subject of the MOOC is a topic in computer programming, it can be quite serious when MOOCs turn their attention to the humanities and descriptive social sciences. For instance, to talk about World History from a U. S. perspective and present that view as a definitive narrative obscures the power relations between American scholars and scholars in the rest of the world, and makes it even more difficult to construct counter-narratives to American hegemony and Western dominance.

This is actually one aspect of the MOOC debate that I had completely failed to consider – while I had read quite a bit about the dominance of elite institutions and their imposition of their way of thinking, especially their impact on community colleges, it’s their impact on the rest of the world’s way of thinking that’s going to be most detrimental.