Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration & midwifery education

Last week Otago Polytechnic was the first educational institution in Australasia to sign The Cape Town Open Education Declaration.

Open access

The Declaration supports the principle of free and open access for all to education resources. The underpinning philosophy is that open access will support educators and learners to "create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go".

I have taken the Declaration at face value but I believe that there has been some concern about it, and people such as Stephen Downes have pointed out that the process of developing the Declaration has not been an open one. And the Declaration does not take into consideration the millions of people who do not have access to the Internet.

However, Otago Polytechnic has decided to support the Declaration because it agrees with the spirit of open and shared access to resources, collaboration and learning.

Implications for midwifery education
Quite how the Declaration will impact on midwifery education has yet to be debated. However, we are making small but positive steps to sharing resources starting with the web seminar that Sally Pairman hosted last week.

I would love to hear from any midwives or midwifery educators who are interested in the concept of open access education and professional development. How do you think the Cape Town Declaration is likely to be taken up in midwifery education?

Image: 'Table Mountain panorama' coda

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