Friday, March 21, 2008

Information for Knowledge is Public Domain (3rd Week)

World is only exist because of human perception. Human perceives everything sorround him by the help of his senses. His brain with the help of billion neurons perceives information coming inside through his senses (eyes, ear, skin, nose, mouth). Perceiving information with the previous of information will construct knowledge. Knowlegde is made through the development of information that human gets from their environment. That is the reason why information is very important to human life. Without information, there is no life, no world, no coffee, no burger, no juice, no things. With the information, we human develop our quality of life. That is also the reason why information is human rights. Human is given by God all the senses to get information for free. It is given. Only natural cause which can prevent human from getting the information. No any single human being in this earth can prevent any other human being from getting information because all the senses are given since we born. If only we don't have any of the senses so we could not get the information. But nowdays, the blindman or woman are helped by the others to get the information.
This information will be pilled up in our brain becomes knowledge and skill. Education is the way how human being update their knowledge by comparing the new information with the previous ones. The process of comparing between prior knowledge and new information will formulate a new concept. The new concept is becoming a new knowledge. That is the process of human being educate himself. The education can only happened if there is a lot of information. That is the reason why information is important to education.
Before the enlightenment movement in Europe and England, information was kept in certain area such as in monastry where all priests lived. Information was an exclusive rights of a certain group of people called themselves "holymen". Until then, some of the schoolars such as such as Thomas Paine, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and David Hume questioned and attacked the existing institutions of both Church and State.
Knowledge needs to be communicated and acted (Habermman) in order to get the highest quality and truth. Knowledge is collaborative work of people not just a certain group of people (exclusively). As it is a collaborative work, knowledge will always be updated and renewed. Education as a system of updating knowledge needs to be active (Rousseau), modern (Paulo Freire), genuine (Paulo freire), creative, free and collaborative (Grundvig).
In education the participants should take an active role. The participants should act in order to get inform. The participants is not a "bank" which needs to be filled by information. By doing things, the participants will experiece new things. New experience will lead to new information. New information will lead to an updated knowledge. The participants needs to actively share their findings to other inorder the get the truth from other perceptions from other people from different background. The sharing activity will also gain the local wisdom from the other group of people. The sharing activity will also prevent the education from a tool of colonialization. The movement of spreading and forcing a certain believe or values to the other part of the world. All of the people has the right to share what they think right or true without forcing other people to except it. More over, we try to understand why they think right or true.
The sharing activity happened in the institution called education. Before we have schools as a place of education,the sharing activity happened in the family, inside the tribes or in the place where the expert lived. In that era, it was common to send away a child to a place where there was an expert, with the hope that the child will get the knowledge from the expert. After that the schools was made, parents send their children outside their family, their tribes and their region to go to school. When the printing technology improved, books had become a tool of sharing knowledge and information. Experts wrote books to share what they knew. The problem then, book has become a comodity which people needs to spend some money to get one. From this era, the information is no longer a public domain. It becomes a private domain, where only a certain group of people can access it. The group which has some money to buy books. The information is limited not by natural causes such as the disability of our senses, but by individual or a certain group of people. A group of people can be a government or a coorporation. If the situation is continually happening there will be a disparity of knowledge. Knowledge is exclusively kept by certain individual or a certain group of people. The local wisdom or any original concept which do not come from this "group of people" can not enrich the knowledge itself and can be vanished. There will be the colonialization of knowledge and information. If this happens, there will be a economical gap in the world. The gap is getting bigger between the developed country (possess knowlegde & information) and developing or underdeveloped country (no access to information and knowledge). The group of people (countries) which has an access to information or knowledge will not be able to "sell" their product to other group of people (countries) which has no access to information because they are poor. If the access of information is improved, the flow of knowledge will be equally spread through out the world. The gap will not be so big that the process of exchanging resources (natural or else) will be balance. But this idea is not accepted by all groups of people. For example if all books are digitized and put in the network so everyone can access them for free, the printing company will lose the business and collapsed. According to JJ Rousseau, mostly the wealthiest and most powerfull members of society will be afraid of losing the power and business if there are an improved and free information or education. The questions now is "Are the education and information humanright?" "Are we ethically allowed to make a business on education and information?" Please Give comment on them. Thank you.

1 comment:

Peter Rawsthorne said...

I believe the question about education being a human right has already been answered, and we are working toward making it a reality;
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001547/154743e.pdf

Making education a business, that could be a good thing for it increases competition (also IMHO, a good thing) I really think education should be a blend of all approaches, it depends on the resources available to the individual, family, community, region and country. At some point we have a responsibility to help others. So international "laws" to educational businesses should give some kind of credit for work they do for those less fortunate or with less access...