I am interested in reading both Tony’s and Stephen’s views on knowledge.
The primacy of learning is connections (adapted from George)
Learning is about creation of knowledge via those network connections, where
EVERYONE BECOMES A CREATOR OF KNOWLEDGE,
AND LEARNING CREATES A SYMPHONY OF KNOWLEDGE
That’s what I have found from the application of connectivism and networked learning.
My concept of learning is this: if we are supporting the notion that learning allows for mistakes – even in our interpretation of each others views, then we could be innovative and creative in exploring about learning and learning theories, without worrying about criticisms, comments, control and judgment, which often leads to arguments and unnecessary ill-feelings between academics and non-academics.
The concept of academic knowledge versus practical knowledge lies also with the value one attached to his/her life experience. So, for an educator with a theorist’s perspective, academic knowledge is highly important. For an educator who has to facilitate a course with a group of learners, with the learners’ first in mind, a pedagogy that works with that group of learners is more important to the theory itself. In other words, a theory that doesn’t apply to that context will not be proved useful or successful. Another example is the use of andragogy versus heutagogy. It seems that heutagogy would offer a more practical solution when applied in informal social learning – especially with Web 2.0.
When everyone becomes a creator (such as a blogger, a writer, a poet, even an actor (in the early ages)), then learning is fun, and learner-centred, and that explains how learning occurs individually and socially (especially when people are given a free choice in how, when, what, where and who to learn with under our current ecology).
There are implications with such mode of learning – security issues, confusing knowledge sources and misinterpretation of knowledge, the injustice, the prejudice, loss of identity associated with such “applied knowledge creation process towards learning”, loss of control from the instructor’s perspective, loss of “students” by the institution, loss of a common education foundation (especially if people are educated at home or unregistered virtual school etc). So, the implications could be huge – on the individuals, the community and the whole education system. What will be the role of higher institutions? What will be the role of educators – professors, and administrators?
I resonate with Tony’s views that:
Most importantly, they widen the participation in the creation of academic knowledge, and help to speed up its dissemination, but this still depends on those participating following the values and principles of academic knowledge.
I think the knowledge creation process could define the learning process to some extent, whether we value the knowledge created could also be scrutinised under the lenses of the people, of the community and the academic circles. But would that be part of education in the 21st century for everyone? This would allow for people to learn through mistakes, and not blindly believe in the presence of pure academic knowledge or “in search of excellence” in knowledge, which is having a short life span, and would result in ephemeral academic knowledge. Rather, we could be educating ourselves through an emergence process, with the creation of emergence knowledge which keep us creative and innovative, so we could prepare ourselves and next generation in tackling the challenges and complex problems – like the financial crisis that we are facing.
I have discussed these further in my blog and http://connectivismeducationlearning.ning.com
With renewed thanks.