A shift in learning and teaching paradigm

Hi Jenny, http://jennymackness.wordpress.com/
Thanks for your insights.  I agree with you that trainee teachers would find this very hard, since they might be pressured by their master teacher trainer to demonstrate competency in teaching rather than learning (i.e. just helping the learner to learn).  I had been in that situation on a few occasions, when I took the teacher training programs.  It was really stressful on those occasions, and could even be confusing if one is exposed to different learning theories and practices.  But once a teacher has gained some confidence and practice in the basic teaching techniques, there is no reason why one could not proceed to  the next stage, and develop more advanced skills in inspiring the learners in acquiring the metacognition skills.  Besides, this would assist the learners to choose their learning options, and thus improve their learning progressively.  This could be achieved if learners are proactive in the formal and informal learning through blogs, wikis, forum discussion etc.  These could also augment the formal lesson (if the teaching is still institutionally based), whereas assessment could be done more effectively.  I could see such changes happening in a number of institutions, when I browsed through the blogs and wikis.  See http://construction10.wikispaces.com/Assignments 

Such an approach is also suggested by Tom Whyte http://whereoldmeetsnow.edublogs.org/2008/10/16/groups-into-networks-new-curriculum-needed-cck08/

The process of moving the students forward from a group setting to a network will be required, so will an educator familiar with both.  For this process to properly occur, curriculum will need to be specifically designed and implemented, taking into account, emerging technologies and student safety within an online environment. 

Terry Anderson’s further emphasises the needs of exposing students to groups, networks and collectives in learning. http://terrya.edublogs.org/2008/10/20/more-on-groups-versus-networks-and-collectives/

Being able to differentiate amongst the three and insuring that learners have experience of learning in all three contexts is an important function of the teachers’ role in formal education.

So, an exposure of students to a networking environment is preparing them for a life based and life long education.

I have also found a trend in moving into online and distance education when learners are no longer satisfied with the traditional classroom delivery.  See

Online and Distance Education, Serious Games, Simulations, Mobile Learning

Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.  http://mlearners.com/

Do you see this as a trend for adult education?

So I think this is not only a shift in learning paradigm, it could even be a shift in teaching paradigm, in that both teachers and learners have their voices, in the teaching and learning process, especially in networking.   This is already happening in this CCK08 course, and also in a number of University courses.  See Michael Wesch’s class. http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/10/a-vision-of-students-today-what-teachers-must-do/

Time and cases will tell whether this is the case.   More researches would be necessary to validate these “hypothesis” and claims.
Do you think there is a shift in teaching paradigm?  Do you think there is a need of Connectivism as a “new” “teaching theory”?   See Downes’ Educational Theory http://lnx.funteaching.it/moodle/file.php/1/Learning%20Networks%20and%20Connective%20Knowledge%20Stephen%20Downes/ANetworkPedagogy.html

What are your observations so far?


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