About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2441-2450
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

EDGE-UCATING: A CHALLENGE TO EDUCATORS, RESEARCHERS, AND SOCIETAL DEVELOPERS TO DEMOCRATIZE INTELLECTUAL BREAKTHROUGHS

T. Fox

National-Louis University (UNITED STATES)
Can we provide ordinary citizens with the expert knowledge and opportunities to work at the frontiers of what is known? Research and practice is showing that nearly all citizens in all societies can be educated to work at the edges of expert knowledge. Many researchers, like I, have seen this happen in our teaching in developing countries, as well as in disenfranchised populations within post-modern societies. But even more important to acknowledge than our pedagogical experience is that neophytes getting to the edges of what is known is become more possible, more natural, and more prevalent. Citizens of every society are becoming adept at taking on the intellectual challenges of working where known rules do not necessarily hold. The current demands of information and media access on citizens of all societies, along with the globalization of expert knowledge, suggest that nearly everyone can be successfully involved with intellectual frontiers – if they are efficiently educated to do so. I suggest calling this efficient process “edGe-ucating.”

We have many experiences of what can be done to edGe-ucate neophytes of all ages. BioQuest (1993), for example, a program for first year college students to study the unknowns in biology, has been operating successfully for over 20 years in many universities in the world, including the United States. David Cavallo, an MIT engineer, has been guiding Thai villagers, among other populations, to break through expert understandings to address specific local problems that require “sophisticated mathematics, biology, engineering, physics, and computer science” (Cavallo, 2000).

One implication from recent research and experience in bringing neophytes to the frontiers, and beyond, is that this requires a new kind of involvement from specialists and their respective institutions. New approaches to curriculum are required, and new relationships between knowledge experts and ordinary citizens need to be drawn for democratizing intellectual breakthroughs.

The intent of this paper is, first, to report where my research is headed in arguing why it is possible to have ordinary citizens reach nearly all borders of human intellectual work, and subsequently assist in breaking through those borders. My second purpose is to show how this can be done in an efficient manner, through a new approach to curricular design, which I call, “edGe-ucating.” My third purpose is to show how the democratization of intellectual breakthroughs can transform all societies, but especially societies that have been poorly served through current educational models. My fourth purpose is to challenge expert researchers (along with their universities and outside agencies) to locate their responsibilities within this enterprise of democratizing intellectual breakthroughs.

Since the idea of “edGe-ucating” is new, it may not be a surprise that the phenomenon touches a variety of topics within INTED 2010. The varied topics addressed by this paper include: education and globalization, diversity issues in science and technology, and the impact of education on development. Other topics addressed include new challenges for higher education, new experiences in curriculum design, and links between education and research. Finally, it is hoped that my presentation can stimulate new joint research and education projects, as well as new research into learning and teaching methodologies that have not yet been imagined.

@InProceedings{FOX2010EDG,
author = {Fox, T.},
title = {EDGE-UCATING: A CHALLENGE TO EDUCATORS, RESEARCHERS, AND SOCIETAL DEVELOPERS TO DEMOCRATIZE INTELLECTUAL BREAKTHROUGHS},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {2441-2450}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Fox
TI - EDGE-UCATING: A CHALLENGE TO EDUCATORS, RESEARCHERS, AND SOCIETAL DEVELOPERS TO DEMOCRATIZE INTELLECTUAL BREAKTHROUGHS
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 2441
EP - 2450
ER -
T. Fox (2010) EDGE-UCATING: A CHALLENGE TO EDUCATORS, RESEARCHERS, AND SOCIETAL DEVELOPERS TO DEMOCRATIZE INTELLECTUAL BREAKTHROUGHS, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 2441-2450.
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