In this essay we argue that a Deweyan experience economy will best support the higher education (HE) sector in the future, and we draw a contrast between that economy and the sector’s current focus on informational concerns, as expressed by the recent rush to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other mass online informational offerings. We base our argument on current developments in music education and music technology that we see as being preemptive of wider trends. We use examples from a three-year study of online and offline music pedagogies and outline a four-year experiment in developing a pedagogical experience economy to illustrate a theoretical position informed by John Dewey’s theory of experience, Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of habitus and capital, and recent work in economic geography on epistemic communities. We argue further that the future of the HE sector is local rather than global, experiential rather than informational, and that therefore a continued informational approach to the future of HE risks undermining the sector.
A Deweyan Experience Economy for Higher Education: The Case of the Australian Indie 100 Music Event
Phil Graham is professor and head of music at Queensland University of Technology. He has published across a wide range of areas, including political economy, linguistics, and education. Prior to entering academia, Phil had a lengthy career as a professional musician, composer, and producer.
Michael Dezuanni is a senior lecturer and researcher in the field of digital cultures and education. He is the deputy director of Queensland University of Technology’s Children and Youth Research Centre. He is a joint appointment of the Faculty of Education and the Creative Industries Faculty. The aim of both his teaching and research is to explore the most effective, productive, and meaningful ways for individuals to gain knowledge and understanding of the media and technologies in their lives.
Andy Arthurs is a professor of music and sound in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. He has a professional background in recording, songwriting, composition, and performance, and he is cofounder and producer of DeepBlue, a new experiential, immersive, and innovative orchestra, which forms the basis of much of his research.
Greg Hearn is research professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology. His work focuses on policy development and research and development for new technologies and services in the creative industries. He has authored or coauthored over twenty-five major research reports and books. He is the leader of the Creative Workforce 2.0 program in the ARC Center of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. He works with universities and governments in South Africa, Brazil, and Brunei on creative-industries-related educational issues.
Phil Graham, Michael Dezuanni, Andy Arthurs, Greg Hearn; A Deweyan Experience Economy for Higher Education: The Case of the Australian Indie 100 Music Event. Cultural Politics 1 March 2015; 11 (1): 111–125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-2842457
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