The origins of the Western higher education system go back to ancient Greece when religious institutions, hospitals, museums and individual scholars such as Plato and Aristotle founded schools where knowledge in many arenas was shared, sometimes with students simply gathering under a certain tree at a certain time.
Even with the rise of universities in the middle ages, this informal means of education continued in many forms including apprentice programs. As schooling became more structured as a profession in the 20th Century, this spirit of of one-and-one learning flourished at open universities that emerged in the 1960s and ’70s and the whole constellation of workshops held in community centers or the backrooms of bookstores today.
The Internet brings a whole new universe of possibilities in connecting with people who can teach what you want to know. One of many examples is P2PU (Peer to Peer University) which last year launched the School of the Open in partnership with Creative Commons
The aim of the School of the Open is to guide people to the information and wisdom they seek by making it easier to navigate the immense world of on-line learning through “online courses, face-to-face workshops, and innovative training programs on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research.”
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