teachers are laborers, not merchants

Frederick de Boer:

I got an email request to talk about online-only education and why I’m such a skeptic that it can replace physical education. I’ve written about this before but let me try to sum it up.

Here’s the model that the constant “online education will replace physical colleges” types advance: education is about gaining knowledge; knowledge is stored in the heads of teachers; schooling is the transfer of that knowledge from the teacher’s head to the student’s head; physical facilities are expensive, but online equivalents are cheap; therefore someone will build an Amazon that cuts out the overhead of the physical campus and connects students to teachers in the online space or, alternatively, cuts teachers out altogether and just transfers the information straight into the brains of the student.