Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Liberal and useful knowledge

I am just about to return a library book that has been recalled: Bruce Williams' Liberal Education and Useful Knowledge (2002) is a tiny history of the University of Sydney that describes (among other things) the constant tension between "academic learning" and "working knowledge", a discursive dichotomy regularly referred to by Peter Goodyear (eg Goodyear 2000).

The coincidence of needing to return a book on the subject and currently reading "Technology and the articulation of vocational and academic interests" (Goodyear Studies in Continuing Ed, which I am reading just because it distracted me when preparing for the Distance Education workshop this week...), makes me think about the role of this dichotomy in history and now in practice - and wonder what changes if we do not have it. Clearly needs more thought.

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