Further thoughts on the Connectivism course:
I like inclusion of the negotiation of meaning and the nature of network nodes instead of hierarchy. A favorite author of mine has been John Shotter who also speak in this way. In a rewrite of a 1994 book (Conversational Realities Revisited; (2008; http://www.taosinstitute.net/) he says that life as an academic leaves us with something missing, something to do with creativity, novelty and the uniqueness of everyday life. He says that an excessive focus on linguistic representation (note the similarities to Stephen’s rejection of the centrality of representation) has left us (as academics) unable to be receptive to our “spontaneous bodily reactions to events occuring around us” . . .. This is a highly philosophized notion of learning and practicing (based primarily on Bakhtin and Wittgenstein) that may be supportive of a connectivism theory and may refute my previous assertion that the theory is not mature.
Also; this is a comment I made to Stephen’s post this morning (9/10/08).
This post reminded me of many of the problem associated with higher ed today. *Tuition cost are too high! *The current structure is not conducive to supporting a life course that may include 4 or 5 different career paths, in knowledge intensive environments, where lifelong intellectual growth is expected! *If innovation is important to the economy, we must ramp up our intellectual infrastructure through community development and make it more accessible to all. Can current pedagogy address these issues? I think experimental pedagogy is needed, just like this course is offering.
I also indebted to Geof Cain’s comment that led me to think in pedagogical terms. These critiques and Stephen’s responses have a lot to do with pedagogy. Any learning theory will imply a pedagogy, but I think connectivism’s implies pedagogy even more than most because of the importance of the network aspects and because I think the theory and the course are really directed right at practice and an experimental pedagogy.
An update to a previous post. I mentioned Vygotsky’s idea of tools and concepts reflecting back on and changing the learner. I should have referred to these tools and concepts as artifacts. This word reflects Vygotsky’s approach better and is also consistent with Karl Poppers work on the 3 worlds, physical, mental and artifactual.