Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Good and the Bad - what can be learned from both.

German education system is getting under the microscope. A few weeks ago The New York Times brought an article about the excellence title of TU Dresden (one of 11 universities that gathered this title last year, with the prestigious title is coming along a massive public funding for some years to go for them). It is not often that the German education system makes its way into the North Americas despite the fact that the origins of the the education system there is based in large part by the public upper education (university) initiated by Wilhelm von Humboldt.
Back in mid-January news spread via Twitter, and by the yearly "Unternehmerfrühstück" at Messe Dresden GmbH organized by the City of Dresden (cc Dresden News) where the Rector of the TU Dresden, Prof. Hans Müller-Steinhagen gave a speech (more about it, though in German, here)

Yesterday's notice about the resignation of former Minister of Education Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan spread again, and made it into The New York Times. The story that has been ongoing for about a year now over her dissertation and possible misquoting in large part of it has hit a high yesterday.

However, leaving all deeper inquiries into the matter to others at this point, it is an interesting point that news are spreading nowadays across continents in almost no time, and yet there is a big difference in both.

1. TU Dresden: it got the title back in mid-2012, and made its way into the New York Times about six months later
2. Resignation of Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan happened yesterday, 2013-02-09, and made it into New York Times (online) a day later

1. happened on the edge in Dresden
2. happened in the center of political gravity in Berlin

A major question that arises from that:

Information technology, and the ability to spread news across continents is somewhat lacking an essential ingredient to make stories move across the globe. What could it possibly be?

Sidenote: to my knowledge there are no Dresden-based journalists writing about the ongoings in the region in English. Or should I be wrong at this point? Lot's is happening here on the "edge" of the country especially in research, innovation, and working on shifting the education context to run at similar top level with the hotspots of the world and to a certain point this knowledge tends to be staying locally. Back 80 years and more Dresden has been acknowledged as one of the innovation centers of Europe, and the world alike, and then suddenly the social fabric changed, and made flow of knowledge somewhat dark. Still in some sort of recover time information technology, and English as a first boundary object to accelerate the knowledge flows could spark extraordinary changes we might not have considered yet as a society.

No comments: