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Context-Based Projects: The Possibility of an Optimistic Learning Approach in the Technologically Enabled University

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David RoseORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Emerald Publishing, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Contemporary education is in danger of losing that idea, expressed in Humboldt (1810/2002), Schleiermacher (1808/1991), Newman (1852/1996), Habermas (1987) and MacIntyre (2009), of the university as an autonomous, communal, intellectual space for scholars. The present chapter addresses the correlation between historical ideas of the university and pedagogies of learning but resists the easy pessimistic assumption that learners are contemporarily being reduced to elements in the reproduction of symbolic capital. It instead proposes an optimistic opportunity for learners to respond to changing material pressures in a socially autonomous way through an innovative pedagogical technique. Practices that manifest interdisciplinary, enquiry-based learning and are no longer dependent on outmoded individualistic modes of subjectivity are required in order to sustain an appropriate understanding of the autonomy of places of higher learning, as opposed to the ideological understanding of the autonomy of the individual. The main claim made in these pages is that, in order to protect the virtues of higher learning, the role of the lecturer needs to develop from that of expert, bastion or guardian of knowledge to that of steward or facilitator and the role of student needsContext-based learning; object-centered learning; guerilla modules; assessments; enquiry-based learning; problem-based learning; education; university; history; dialectical materialism; technology; globalization; commodification; fetishism; capital; autonomy; independence; collectivism; academy; community; alienation capitalism

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rose DE

Editor(s): Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P., Makhanya, M.

Series Editor(s): Blessinger, P.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: International Perspectives on the Role of Technology in Humanizing Higher Education

Year: 2021

Volume: 33

Pages: 49--67

Print publication date: 12/11/2020

Acceptance date: 02/12/2019

Edition: 1


Publisher: Emerald Publishing

Place Published: United Kingdom


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781839827136