Analysis Of Burke's 'Admonishment Of Coursera'

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Admonishment of Coursera
Although a Burkean pedagogy does begin with appreciative reading, Burke also demanded a process of admonishment be used to examine the negative spaces created by equations (LAPE $%#). With this move, Burke hoped that students would not take the explicit motives of a text at face value, instead contrasting them with the underlying motives to determine the larger force of the text. With its strong valorization of technology and goal of mastery, it is likely Burke would have suspicious of Coursera. Using Burkean concepts, I first examine how the educational ladder helps to identify Coursera’s education as a pedagogy of motion and next evaluate how Coursera’s user of a principle of personality reifies a psychology of information.
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However, innovation alone does not make a good education. Therefore, I now turn to Burke’s educational ladder to evaluate if Coursera is able produce students who are able to master information in the ways that are most beneficial to democratic society. As the first words to orient students to Coursera’s program, as well as the texts’ status as representative of the larger goals of the company, the site’s slogan is an apt place to begin to deconstruct the ratios that will help place Coursera on the ladder. In the slogan, “take the world’s best courses, online, free” the act (take courses)-scene (online) ratio is given primacy. The additional clause of “free” indicates that the scenic conditions are the best available and thus are foregrounded. Berry notes Burke’s ladder defines this specific ratio by order, specifically cause-effect determinism (80). Coursera’s rhetoric fits this description well. The “mastery” cluster suggests as strong cause-effect relation between the acquisition of knowledge and life success. Additionally, the primacy given to professors as purveyors of knowledge fits into Burke’s broader association of the lower rungs with “partisan indoctrination,” as Coursera expects students to master knowledge and unquestioningly accept it as the …show more content…
To begin, this informational psychology is entrenched Coursera’s reliance on the “student as consumer” metaphor – best illustrated the cost cluster’s focus on the benefits of free education and the program’s overall value. While Burke’s “Linguistic Approach to Education” identified this student as consumer orientation as a problem in 1955, Klumpp & Lamm argue that with publications like “US News’ top universities” this attitude has only become further entrenched, preventing inquiry into the impact of education beyond the individual student (153). In focusing on the individual student, Coursera turns knowledge into commodity for students to consume, rather than the lifelong process Burke hoped it would be. Students need only consume the correct courses to succeed, an orientation more suited towards the mechanization and capitalism of motion than the action of critical

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