Tempered radicals: how to bring change in open education without rocking the boat.

To be delivered at OER 23 4 – 6 April 2023, Inverness, Scotland https://www.alt.ac.uk/events/open-education-conference

Tempered radicals: how to bring change in open education without rocking the boat.

‘Tempered radicals’ are individuals who are committed to and identify with the organisations in which they work and yet are also committed to a cause or ideology which is fundamentally at odds with the dominant culture in that workplace. Debra Meyerson  has written about how these change agents make tactical decisions to effect change without making trouble (Meyerson, 2008) . If you think you too may be a tempered radical this is the session for you.

We have been working for 10 years to build institution-wide approaches to releasing learning materials as open education resources which fundamentally challenges ingrained practices of  copyright, fees, IP protection  and academic ‘side-hustles’(Rhoads, Berdan, & Toven‐Lindsey, 2013; Weller, 2014). Opening up some of the most ancient and elite institutions like never before. (Walsh, 2011). We work not through revolution or protest but by balancing a delicate set of incremental initiatives and partnerships which provoke thought, nuance and behaviour change.

In our presentation we will share our experience of being ‘tempered radicals’ working toward transformational change in organisations with historical structural traditions while still being digital disruptors.  Bringing a researchers critical eye to ones’ own organisation can be challenging for ‘insider researchers’ who walk a delicate line between being part of a community or outwith. But there are insights and understanding that only an insider can bring to a task and the advantages which flow from being situated within the organisation may ensure that the resulting changes are more sustainable.

Early initiatives led to more substantial innovations in how education is delivered and consumed–even at the best institutions. You will be encouraged to think about how your own radical agendas have been tempered by your experiences of your workplace and how this tempering can be used to make you stronger and more successful as agents of change in the organization you care about. (Eggers, 2013)

In this reflective practice presentation we will offer a contribution towards the practice of open education with a reflective and critical component. We will share stories, evidence and data to describe the serendipitous impact this work can have.

Refs

Eggers, Dave. (2013). The circle : a novel.: Alfred A. Knopf.
Meyerson, Debra. (2008). Rocking the boat: How tempered radicals effect change without making trouble: Harvard Business Review Press.
Rhoads, Robert A, Berdan, Jennifer, & Toven‐Lindsey, Brit. (2013). The open courseware movement in higher education: Unmasking power and raising questions about the movement’s democratic potential. Educational Theory, 63(1), 87-110.
Walsh, Taylor. (2011). Unlocking the Gates. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Weller, Martin. (2014). The battle for open: Ubiquity Press.

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