The question of the structure of knowledge and the foundations required for building new knowledge in the 21st century is one receiving considerable attention and response today as universities struggle with the extent to which content should be derived from what matters in the world now, what aspects of older forms of disciplinary organisation remain relevant, and what needs to be done differently to prepare for a rapidly changing world. This paper explores the relationship of emerging debates and practices about networked knowledge creation, utilisation and dissemination to understandings of the formal disciplinary organisation of knowledge in universities in this context. It draws on two lines of theory with conflicting views about appropriate directions for knowledge and curriculum today: (1) from theorists which emphasise the emerging possibilities and more fluid spatialisation that is core to knowledge in new times, and (2) from those emphasising the destabilising of traditional disciplinary hierarchies and criticising the extrinsic forms which now govern curriculum and pedagogy. The paper outlines these debates and examines some of the existing evidence about the recent rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in relation to the lenses offered. In the context of these new courses, it argues that although both arguments offer valuable insights, neither position can be seen as wholly adequate for characterising the shift towards these new knowledge forms.
|Keywords:||Knowledge, Disciplines, MOOCs|
PhD Candidate, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia