Placing the spotlight on open educational resources: Quality alternative or alternative guise?

Donella Joy Cobb

Abstract


The quest to enhance the quality of teaching in low-income countries has encouraged international aid agencies to look for alternative platforms to provide teacher education. Open Educational Resources have attracted the attention of the international community because of their ability to provide accessible and cost-effective teacher education programs across diverse cultural contexts. Yet, despite increasing support, little consideration has been given to whose knowledge, values, and cultural norms are legitimized within these open education platforms. This paper responds to such concerns by drawing on Bernstein’s (2000) notion of regulative discourse to examine the Open Education Resources for English Language Teachers (ORELT) teacher education modules. Findings reveal that regulative discourse is strongly framed within these ORELT modules, which supports the socialization of teachers and their students into Western culture, values, and beliefs. This paper challenges the assumption that Open Educational Resources are a socially neutral pedagogical platform and raises questions about the educational and cultural implications for local contexts.


Keywords


Open Educational Resources; Bernstein; open education; educational development

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