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No Education Without Renovation or Construction Without End

November 28,2016

Stanford Prof John Willinsky discusses the past, present, and future of education

By Betty Rice, Werklund School of Education

Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz discuss the post-secondary experiences of women from 1850-1970.

Dean Dennis Sumara's introduction to professor John Willinsky.

Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz discuss the post-secondary experiences of women from 1850-1970.

Listen to professor John Willinsky's talk No Education Without Renovation or Construction Without End

On September 26, as part of the Werklund School of Education’s 50th anniversary weekend celebrations, Stanford University Professor John Willinsky made a pilgrimage home, of sorts, to the University of Calgary, where his career in post-secondary education began.

Willinsky, who is currently the Khosla Family Professor of Education and director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford University, is also a part-time professor of Publishing Studies at Simon Fraser University.

Well-known for his work in the area of open-source publishing,  Willinsky is the director of  the Public Knowledge Project, which conducts research and develops open source scholarly publishing software in support of greater access to knowledge.

His books include the Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED (Princeton, 1994); Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire’s End (Minnesota, 1998); Technologies of Knowing (Beacon 2000); and The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT Press, 2006) and the forthcoming Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke (University of Chicago Press, 2017).

His talk on September 26, entitled No Education Without Renovation or Construction Without End, focused on both the philosophical and physical structures of education from its earliest beginnings to the present day.  He discussed educational “renovations” that resulted in the creation of the first universities, then focused on the nature of the educational resources that have been constructed thus far into the new era of digital technology.  He wrapped his talk by offering his perspectives on a few of the encouraging implications for teaching and research into the future. 

Throughout his presentation, Dr. Willinsky emphasized the continual pursuit of the promise of education and the fascination of learning that rises from the halls of post-secondary institutions, including structures such as the newly renovated Education Tower at the University of Calgary.