Latest update: May 1, 2006


To school, or not to school: is that the question?

April 14-27, 2006


The paragraph below, copied from the Web site of Collaboration Across Borders, served to announce an online dialogue that has meanwhile taken place.

Jan Visser, President of the Learning Development Institute and former UNESCO Director for Learning Without Frontiers, will be facilitating a discussion on the extent to which the school should be considered an essential - or even merely helpful - environment for fostering learning. Some people prefer to do entirely away with the school; others see no harm; yet others see the school as unavoidable but would like to improve what happens inside its walls. Online education has adopted many of the metaphors that inspire the brick-and-mortar schools. Hence, there are good reasons to raise pertinent questions about the schooling practice and the rich array of connotations that go with it at a time when more and more learning takes place in virtual space. You can check out Jan Visser’s ideas and activities at and Jan made some telling contributions to our discussion on Assessment of Online Discussion in Jan 2006, and we look forward to his ideas on how to overcome the underdevelopment of learning and other topics.

Anyone interested in exploring what was being said during this rich dialogue will have to sign up for Collaboration Across Borders, which is a simple procedure and free of charge. After signing up and logging into the site, the now closed discussion can be accessed at

The following prompt for discussion inspired the dialogue.

A brief summary is forthcoming and will be made abailable on the Web site of Collaboration Across Borders and here.