The price of everything…

I have been thinking recently about values. On Friday I will be hosting a discussion webinar for the Open Ed Sig on this very topic so my reflections are in part due to this. I am no expert in this area but I am interested in how our values are operationalised in our day to day activities, and how the choices we make reveal what we value.

I was reminded of Oscar Wilde’s line on “knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing” and came across this nice blog post by Paul Bernal. Today happens to be the day of action on Net Neutrality and my friend and co-author Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou shared a post on her blog which is also relevant to my reflections. On a recent flight I listened to Stella McCartney describe her business ethics as part of her Desert Island discs interview. Unsurprisingly, given her upbringing, her values (which include emphasis on sustainability of craftsmanship, importance of animal welfare) are central to her products.

I feel the UK is currently scrutinising values – particularly after the Grenfell Tower disaster. Our politicians language and actions are being more closely examined and not before time. I am also disturbed by the rise of Artificial Intelligence especially when seen as a way to further reduce human interaction such as that which should be increasing between students and real human teachers. Do we really value our young people so little that we cannot offer them the same level of interaction that we enjoyed in our upbringing?

There is still time to speak up for what we value. Let’s do so at every opportunity and redress the balance to ensure that we can sustain a society that cares about the quality of ordinary people’s lives above all.

Here’s a snapshot of the mentimeter poll we carried out in the #openedsig discussion:


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