After reading this excellent paper on Emergent Curriculum, I have come up with the following summary with my comments in italics.
1. Education purposely shapes the subjectivity of those being educated. It helps students to become responsible citizens, problem-solvers, people able to ‘think for themselves’, and so on. Thus one could say the function of education is to produce certain kinds of subjectivities.
Education here is about shaping people, likely through the appropriate “education system”, with indoctrination of certain values and principles, through the implementation of education policy and procedures, and educational processes (like schooling), and human intervention, where necessary, especially when educators are employed to execute the “function of education” with technology and tools (computers, books, artifacts, media etc.). As shared in my previous post: The other concept is essentially the indoctrination, that people have to be placed into a framework from childhood to adulthood, in which they would follow orders, and often not to challenge the orders. (Noam Chomsky)
If the outcomes are not met (for whatever reason), the educator is considered to have failed in his or her responsibility to educate.
The responsibility of an educator is directly related to the outcomes in formal education, but in the case of informal education, there are two questions:
(a) Are the outcomes defined by the educators, or education authority, or that by the learners? What about the accountability of educators?
(b) If the outcomes are not met, would the educator be considered failing in his or her responsibility to educate (the students)? How about the responsibility of the learners in the education process? What sort of obligations and responsibility are expected from the learners in the education process? Would any other parties be responsible for the success or failure in the education process? For instance, if the failures are due to the system problem (e.g. failure of the computer system in an e-learning program), whose responsibility would it be? The educators? Or the technology supporters?
2. The main problem with this conception of education is that it means limits must be placed on the kinds of meaning that can emerge in a classroom.
In typical classroom education, there are learning goals and objectives to be achieved. So there are limits imposed – especially in a time-based structured curriculum, where every students would be expected to complete the educational requirements, and thus achieve the learning outcomes, through appropriate assessment and validation, in order to complete the units or course.
3. It is possible to distinguish education from unguided learning.
Yes, education involves definite purpose, whilst unguided learning may not have definite purposes. The challenge with a purposeful education may however not be always meaningful or relevant from the students or learners points of view, as shared here by Keith:
“We learned in spite of not being taught well. Some of us figured out early in our education that the most efficient way to progress was to skip, or at least pay little attention to, classes we found boring or pedestrian, or even incomprehensible, and “teach ourselves,” seeking out help from more advanced colleagues or, in my case, the teacher whose classes I largely ignored.”
If the learners are not responsive to the education process due to a loss of interests or inability to cope with the education process, then it is likely that the learners would seek alternative avenues of learning himself/herself, or might even withdraw from the learning process. Education, however, might still be possible if the learner continues with “self-education”. In this respect, education could be related to unguided learning.
4. Education still remains a form of planned enculturation or ‘training’.
Yes. This is how education is viewed and valued in society. However, education in a digital era should also include the extension to the unplanned enculturation, where educators and learners would co-learn in the learning ecology. This is especially important when learners and educators are immersed in an open, social learning environment, where active interaction, participation would be part of the emergent learning, with an active, fluid curriculum emerging beyond the rigid structured curriculum. Such enculturation could be realised in an education environment such as MOOC.
5. In contemporary multicultural societies, the difficulty with education as planned enculturation lies in the question of who decides what or whose culture should be promoted through education.
This could be challenging in multicultural networking societies. So think global, but act local could be a better alternative in tackling complex problems, within boundaries.
6. Is education about training?
Yes, in formal education, and not necessarily in informal education.
7. Pedagogy of invention
This is where creativity and creative learning is based upon – with creatagogy.
8. Emergentist conception of meaning making.
9. Grammatological pedagogy
10. The principles of a pedagogy – a pedagogy of invention is intended not only to show the principles of creativity and how to put them into practice but also… to stimulate the desire to create.
11. Traditional theories of education are theories about how to teach students (as objects) and theories about how students (as objects) can learn (which of course affects how they should be taught).
12. A theory of education – about the interaction between the teacher and student
13. Education – space of emergence
14. As educators, we are responsible, instead, for enabling people to become more unique, more irreplaceable as singular human beings.
15. From an emergentist perspective, it is only through the frustration of one’s intention that one can come into presence as a singular being.
16. Apply the notion of emergence not only to knowledge and meaning but also to human subjectivity.
17. Educational responsibility – For those being educated, to continue to emerge as singular beings.
Gert Biesta in this Theorizing Learning through Complexity: An Educational Critique highlights that education is about purpose, process and content.