Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

The Myth and the Millennialism of ‘Disruptive Innovation’

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Here are a couple of (education-related) end-times predictions from Clayton Christensen:

In 15 years, half of US universities may be bankrupt.

By the year 2019 half of all classes for grades K–12 will be taught online.

Disruptive innovation will be, as Techcrunch (among other acolytes) is happy to profess, the end of school as we know it.

Such is its inevitability, so the story goes, that new players can enter the education market and, even though their product is of lower quality and appeals to those who are not currently “customers,” oust the incumbent organizations. (Incumbents, in this case, are publicly funded, brick-and-mortar schools.) As Christensen and his co-authors argued in Disrupting Class in 2008, “disruption is a necessary and overdue chapter in our public schools.”

But like many millennialist prophets are wont to do when their end-times predictions don’t quite unfold the way they originally envisioned, Clayton Christensen and his disciples at the Clayton Christensen Institute (which was recently renamed from the Innosight Institute) have just tweaked their forecast about (public) education’s future. 5 years post-Disrupting Class, “disrupting class” will look a bit different, they now say. Via @zunguzungu.

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