Go to the Globe and Mail homepageBy Robert Luke. Canadian postsecondary education has its solitudes: universities, polytechnics, colleges; provincial jurisdictions; the industry-academic divide. Canada may lead the world in the attainment of higher education, but we often neglect to recognize that this considers all types of education combined. Our failure to knit these systems together, and to link education and research to social and economic outcomes, will affect our long-term prosperity and capacity to innovate.
As we modernize our approach to education in a globalized world, there are lessons we can learn from the open-source movement. Open source provides the language of collaboration and co-operation – the basis from which programmers stitch discrete pieces into a coherent whole. Applied to education, open source emphasizes the agency of learners and the importance of both formal and informal education.