Monday, May 27, 2013

Deconstructing "Disruptive Innovation"

Audrey Watters:

Like so many millennialist entities faced with the harsh realities of faltering predictions, the Innosight Institute (now under its new name) offers a new prediction.

But, let's be clear, the organization doesn't just predict the future of education. The Clayten Christensen Institute does not just offer models -- business models -- for the future. It does not simply observe an always changing (education) technology market. It has not simply diagnosed the changes due to technological advancements. It has not simply prophesied or predicted what future outcomes might be.

It's written a best-selling book (or two) about disruptive innovation. It has actively lobbied governments for certain aspects of its agenda (its mythology?), becoming a vocal proponent for its particular vision of a disrupted and innovative future. The Clayton Christensen Institute is a member of ALEC, for example, a corporate lobbying organization whose education initiatives include writing and pushing for legislation that enables the outsourcing of education to for-profit, online education providers and that eases the restrictions of entry to the market of the very virtual schools.

"Over time," the new white-paper reads, "as the disruptive models of blended learning improve, the new value propositions will be powerful enough to prevail over those of the traditional classroom." And so, according to the Christensen mythology, despite any sort of hesitatation about the hybridity of disruption, disruption will prevail. And so, indeed, it is written. And so, it is told.

1 comment:

EC said...

The flip side of disruptive innovation, which upends the status quo by making something that is a bit shoddier but much, much cheaper, is "artisanal" innovation, which makes things that are much, much better and a bit more expensive. Even as the powers that be promote "disruptive innovation" in education, nattering on about "Baumol's disease" or whatever, they are of course choosing artisanal schools for their own children. Grr.