Closed ideology echo chambers in Voc. Ed. and Training System

Echo-Chamber

Some of the most common traits of closed ideology echo chambers include lack of plurality, lack of debate, tribalism (“us and them” mentalities), censorship and the punishment of heretical thoughts or actions.

Closed ideologies are dangerous because they allow wrong-headed and often extremist ideas to flourish because they go unchallenged.

It is not about denigrating training provision by private registered training organisations (RTOs) – though it must be recognised there are “rogue operators using the market for profiteering from Government subsidies”. Nor is it seeking to insulate TAFE Institutes from competition from Private RTOs; which can add useful diversity, innovation and choice to the overall VET System.

Closed ideology echo chamber

A closed ideology echo chamber is a group or environment in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an enclosed system.

Most of these closed ideology systems rely heavily upon indoctrination and censorship to deny inhabitants the thinking skills and information necessary for them to “break out“.

Other common features of closed ideology environments include the identification of enemy ideologies, tribalism, the targeting of hate figures and the punishment of heretical thoughts and actions.

Internet based closed ideology

The most obvious example of Internet based closed ideology phenomena is the one-sided VET Private Provider LinkedIn groups. Private Registered Training Organisation groups are spreading like wildfire.

Their LinkedIn pages have almost identical brands of rhetoric, which is a mash up of propaganda promoting profit making, Human Capital models of people/student management, learning / teaching / education as products, and consumerism as the driver of all.

One of the most unprofessional things about these groups is the way that they endlessly harp on because people dare to criticise them based on arguments of fact or alternative models whilst routinely purging their pages of all critical comments and banning all dissenting voices from ever coming back.

It takes deep hypocrisy to whine on and on about being an integral part of the Vocational Education and Training System, whilst routinely blocking or deleting non-conformist comments from your LinkedIn page in order to create a pure closed ideology echo chamber.

Conclusion

Closed ideologies are dangerous because they allow wrong-headed and often extremist ideas to flourish because they go unchallenged.

Some of the most common traits of closed ideology echo chambers include lack of plurality, lack of debate, tribalism (“us and them” mentalities), censorship and the punishment of heretical thoughts or actions.

Although the Internet has opened up a plurality of unorthodox perspectives for those who are prepared to look for them, it has also created the opportunity for extremist groups to create closed ideology sink-holes to trap those who prefer nice simple environments free of discourse and debate, where they can have their opinions spoon fed to them and continually reinforced.

There’s not much that can be done to confront closed ideology echo chambers like the Private RTO LinkedIn groups because any attempt to engage them in debate will end up with you getting banned from the group and your comments eradicated.

It is not about denigrating training provision by private registered training organisations (RTOs) – though it must be recognised there are “rogue operators using the market for profiteering from Government subsidies”.

Nor is it seeking to insulate TAFE Institutes from competition from Private RTOs; which can add useful diversity, innovation and choice to the overall system.

We need to lift the horizons beyond the Public versus Private RTO dialogue and view the Vocational EDUCATION and TRAINING System as one.

I suspect the best that anyone can hope to do is to point out the alternatives to short-term consumerist and product-laden ideological traps, and hope that most people have the good sense to find a common-sense, long-term balance to them.

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