Ulop has got it spot on here.
Connectivism = (Network + Stimuli + Interaction) = Trained Reaction
Is this a form of behaviourism (operant conditioning)?
I think I have to leave Stephen to respond to this.
I have to re-think the approach taken by Stephen in his having reasons – by looking at the network, its association with the environment and actors, and the associated changes in response to stimuli, the original patterns (knowledge as recognition of pattern) and the emergent patterns, whereas George has been focusing learning as connection of nodes in the network, and the primacy is on the connection, not on the networks. This sounds interesting.
In Stephen’s post of having reasons, I found it amazing to apply the Semantics Theory in various areas – concepts of truth, epistemology, and science. What I could conclude is: there are “truths” under each lens of theory, and claims and evidence that would be proven to be true under certain context and time. However, what we could observe and true to our senses may sometimes be based on intuition rather than reasons, despite our claim of reasons in arriving to certain conclusions. Take for example, the reasons for: the sky is blue.
Photos: From Flickr
Here is the explanation of us seeing a blue sky based on wikipedia:
The sunlit sky appears blue because air scatters short-wavelength light more than longer wavelengths. Since blue light is at the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum, it is more strongly scattered in the atmosphere than long wavelength red light. The result is that the human eye perceives blue when looking toward parts of the sky other than the sun.
Can the sky look red? Why on some days when we see a red sky, especially at sunrise and sunset?
Near sunrise and sunset, most of the light we see comes in nearly tangent to the Earth’s surface, so that the light’s path through the atmosphere is so long that much of the blue and even green light is scattered out, leaving the sun rays and the clouds it illuminates red. Therefore, when looking at the sunset and sunrise, you will see the color red more than any of the other colors.
If I were to base my reasoning on the above explanation, would I be convinced? Would I think this is the truth? Or would this be my perception of the truth, as explained in wikipedia? What is my “trust” level on wikipedia? What is my trust on the fact that “blue light is at the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum, it is more strongly scattered in the atmosphere than long wavelength red light”.
If 100% of the people see the sky as blue, does it mean that the sky is blue? How about those who are “color blinded”? Do they see the same “blue” color as those who are not? Do we all see the same color spectrum? Are we born with vision seeing the light in “same” or “similar” ways?
So, how would I interpret these in Connectivism. Would we be looking at connections as learning or at patterns similar to looking at the way we interpret why the sky is blue?
First, our conclusion that the sky is blue is based on our daily observation that the sky has ALWAYS been blue, and we are trying to explain such phenomenon using a scientific approach – that is based on “blue light is at the short wavelength end of the visible spectrum, it is more strongly scattered in the atmosphere than long wavelength red light” and that we have seen this nearly 100% of the time by majority of people (this needs qualification). We have been taught by the “books” that sky is blue is a fact and cannot be disputed. This is the theory part.
Second, our reasoning of the sky is blue could be validated if we are to construct an artificial sky within a laboratory, where we could simulate the light condition and see if we could see the light within such an artificial condition. So, our conclusions are arrived based on actual data and evidence. This is the experiment, and the experimental data. Or the empirical results coming out of the experiment.
Third, we would need to replicate the observation and see if this is always true under all CIRCUMSTANCES in different parts of the world, and at different times. This refers to further validation with more evidences. This also requires us to predict what will happen in future. Does this sky always blue hold true in all parts of the world, for the future, despite that it was observed in the past and present to be true? Would most of us be saying an astounding yes? May be this is the question. How do we know that light is always having such properties (or spectrum)? Have we checked whether the light properties have changed over time? Think about relativity and you might like to ask whether we are so certain in answering that the spectrum of light hasn’t changed for the whole of human history.
I don’t know the answer, but I would like to know the answer.
So, what I would like to reflect is: If we were to use this the Sky is blue as a metaphor in looking into a learning theory or learning itself, are we looking at learning in a similar way to looking into the sky is blue in some respects?
I will pause at this stage to reflect on what it means when it is applied to Connectivism.
Are we looking at the connections (as learning), and the patterns (the knowledge as pattern recognition) in an ongoing basis? Can we “prove” our notions of knowledge using our senses, our scientific judgment or our intuition? Are we looking and perceiving the theory using different senses (may be sensemaking, if we can claim), and way finding (based on scientists pointing out the way, other people telling us that it is true, or for us actually experimenting, reasoning and sharing and conversing with others before we make our conclusion, though we may need to follow the ways using different approaches)
This is an exciting journey for me, and I would like to continue with this.
Thanks to Stephen and George, and everyone in CritLit2010…
Postscript: Here in this lecture, there is an explanation of why the sky is blue.
Photo: From Flickr