Hey Mike, I’ll slightly disagree with you, but let me start with what I agree on: I agree that having access to a wealth of content makes it easier for the teacher to focus on process and not pre-define content. I think that David Wiley never necessarily talked about pre-defined content, but this pre-definition is what bothers Jim and me. So it’s not exactly the same thing. But the privileging of content is what David Wiley talked about and is still problematic IMHO
Let me take your examples: Newton’s law. It’s one thing to be *told* the law in order to use it; it is am entirely other thing to learn it by doing an experiment and figuring it out yourself. You learn so much better by doing it. Of course, the teacher “knows” the law before asking you to do the experiment (whether the teacher pre-designs the experiment or allows students to design their own to find relationships between any two pre-defined variables). There’s always content at play. But is content the “foundation” of learning? Do i need to read Gramsci or Foucault to identify hegemony and power? No! Many illiterate uneducated people come to similar conclusions, they just express them in more basic ways. And here’s the big issue: content can seem colonizing. When I, in Egypt, feel (because of my Anglo education in US/UK institutions) that I cannot express my oppression (or whatever) except with reference to some scholar from a different culture to mine, who does not truly express my oppression, it is problematic. But it happens because of the foregrounding of *particular* content in our education, doesn’t it? Choices of content are political, and allowing learners to bring their own (whether this means finding stuff online or bringing their own personal experience) is very different from saying “content is infrastructure”. No one said throwing away content is ok. All I am saying is that throwing away the *process* of learning would be more fundamental. I’ll write another post about OER & colonialism in response to another blogpost I read yday