Quality-Based Discrimination, Peer Assessment & Technology
In 1974, Robert M. Pirsig wrote a book entitled “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, within which he provided a philosophical argument for the primacy of quality. Quality is described as a metaphysical underpinning of, well, just about anything; an underpinning from which other characteristics can be derived. I read this book for the first time about 2 years ago, after I had become passionate about using technology to better support the development of meta-cognitive skills in students. I was completely amazed how well Pirsig’s conceptions fit with the sorts of assignments I had been promoting as powerful and much needed. In some sense, his depiction of the primacy of quality made explicit an assumption that was at the core of much of what I was doing.