Schools and classrooms, as well as the work place and the Internet, are considered today as learning environments. People are regarded as learners and the main target of school education has become ‘learning’ pupils and students how to learn. The roles of teachers and lecturers are redefined as instructors, designers of (powerful) learning environments and facilitators or coaches of learning processes. The aim of this paper is to argue that the current self-understanding in terms of learning environments is not merely about a renewal of our vocabulary, but an indication of a far more general transformation of the world of education. It is argued that the current self-understanding in terms of ‘learning environments’ and ‘learners’ indicates a shift in our experience of time and place; a shift from (modern) historical self-understanding towards (post-modern) environmental self-understanding. The essay draws upon Foucauldian concepts in order to map the modern organisation of time and space in ‘schools’. This past organisation is confronted with the current organisation of time and space in ‘learning environments’. By contrasting both maps the paper focuses on the main characteristics of the current experience of time and space, that is, ‘environmental self-understanding’, and explores in the final section the dark side of this self-understanding.
From schools to learning environments: The dark side of being exceptional.
Simons, M., & Masschelein, J. (2008). From schools to learning environments: The dark side of being exceptional. Journal of philosophy of education, 42(3-4), 687-704.