An Introduction to Activity Theory by Ian Robertson
Activity Theory is a powerful tool through which various stakeholders can engage in description and analysis using a common language that moves beyond individual or group preferences. Where members of the relevant activity systems engage in discussion, debate and reflection expansionist learning is possible.
Engestrom Yrjo explains:
– Brings in culture, to see human beings as culturally mediated, always embedded in some activities which has in its own tools, language, and community
– An approach that is trying to radically expand our notion of what is the process of proper analysis or learning.
Situated Learning Theory and COP
In this situated learning, relationship, negotiation of meaning amongst community practitioners is important
The premise is that conversation and content is open. George also mentions that to learn effectively at this digital age, you must network.
Here are the further resources on Connectivism (from course CCK11)
- George Siemens, Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age
- Stephen Downes, What connectivism is, and What Connectivism Is Not
- George Siemens, What is the Unique Idea in Connectivism?
- George Siemens, video recap of Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2008
- Rick Schwier interview of George Siemens on connectivism.
- George Siemens presentation on Defining Connectivism and Comparing connectivism with other learning theories
- Stephen Downes presentation: A quick introduction to connectivism (ustream) (Spanish, German)
My reflection on the three learning theories:
Our attempt to changes within institutional systems might be better understood through Activity Theory. I think the Theory as a tool might be more useful for various stakeholders to engage and analyse at the system and network level.
Situated learning and COP
The negotiation of meaning in the learning process amongst practitioners is the basis for collaboration and cooperation in communities. Relationships could also be fostered amongst members of the communities. So, if we want to support and grow learners within communities, COP could be ideal for learning.
I have been focusing on Connectivism and Connective Knowledge in the CCK courses. There are merits in networked learning, especially in a complex learning environment. Learning could be self-organising, and emergent under such networked learning ecology.
Power relations, accountability, openness, learner autonomy are the main challenges that educators and learners have to face and overcome in current educational and learning ecology. Tools and technology would continue to play a significant “role” in the enhancement of learning experiences of educators and learners.
Conversation as learning is the common thread amongst all three theories.
Openness is essential for such conversation
All three theories mentioned would have an impact on the current institutional education system.
How would each of the theories tackle the challenges as mentioned? Which theory adds the best value to personal learning, education system, networks and ecology?
Your call and verdict…. And why?