Sunday 20 June 2010

Due Process and Bureaucracy

To what extent is bureaucracy in institutions ultimately concerned for fairness for individuals? To what extent does it relate to 'due process' and morality? What is the relationship between the ontological matters of 'being fair' with the epistemological matters of knowledge and learning?

To be practical about this, is it fair for a student to fail because they 'don't know' something that we deem they ought to know (an aspect of the subject)? Is it fair for a student to fail because they fail to follow the rules of the bureaucracy (particularly if their failure doesn't give them an advantage over other students..)? Is it fair for a student to fail because their teachers failed to follow the rules of the bureaucracy? These are clearly different questions, and different circumstances... but we tend to lump them all together...

Do we need more bureaucracy to deal with increased diversity? What's the risk of removing bureaucracy? Do we risk removing fairness? If we need more bureaucracy, is that a move towards ontology from epistemology in education? Is the epistemological emphasis on knowledge an enlightenment thing - and is it finished?? Maybe there's hope for cybernetics in the institution yet! Andrew Pickering will be pleased!

The improvisation is a sort of study in pentatonic scales...

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