This week’s topic is slow learning, where Clark Quinn will be the facilitator of the session. Relating to Slow Learning, here is one created by Nicola.
Though I quoted Yin Yang in my posts here and here, I am not delved into the religion of Tao. I am a Catholic, and my religious belief is different from Tao. I have no intention of promoting any religious beliefs here in this post.
This wikipedia post may be of interests to you.
Disclaimer: I didn’t study Taoism formally, and my interpretation is based solely on my understanding of some informal study and sharing with others. Those books on Taoism (refer to this Taoism and I Ching as reference) were written in Chinese (Ku Yu – meaning old colloquial writings, which were extremely difficult to understand, would need to be interpreted with caution), and are now obsolete.
I think these books were all subject to certain changes to their original meaning upon translation into other languages. There were also differences in interpretation even when translated into modern Chinese. I don’t quite understand most of them, especially on those metaphors, in Tao Te Ching.
I reckon there are many different interpretations of this Yin Yang. I think Yin Yang could be used to explain lots of concepts, especially in philosophy, social sciences and education – like Jon Dron’s framework on technology – hard is soft and soft is hard, important to have it just right. This is similar to the technology affordance concept, based on context and application of technology, and the agents involved. Our actions in life are all embedded in the evolving, and balancing act to achieve harmony through Yin Yang (interpreted as the female/male, dark/bright, mountain (with rocks – hard)/rivers (with water – soft), sun/moon, dynamic/static- that a balance in nature would create that harmony. One has to keep exercising to maintain a good health (Yang), but take a good rest to restore health when sick (Yin). We need male/female to give rise to new life – and to bring up the children with a balanced mindset – so they respect both males and females, with equal rights and responsibilities etc.
This also relates to the scarcity and abundance of information era. In the pre-internet and computer era, we still relied on experts and artifacts in form of books, and library (as storage of these artifacts). Here the Yang could be the teacher as expert (story teller, instructor etc.), and Yin could be the books and writings, artifacts (static sources of information), confined in classroom (with Yin – closed environment).
In the post internet era (now) we have abundance of information, where we could rely less on single source of experts but information stored in the clouds, media, or wikipedia and Google etc. Here the Yang could be the networks of experts and social media, and Yin could be the wikipedia, Google sources (the Cloud), though these are embedded Yang inside (with human input, and artificial intelligence). These are now openly shared with Yang – open environment. This relates to ANT (Actor Network Theory)
So on every side of the information and technology, we could sense the Yin and Yang evolving, and they are all embedded within each agent, node and network.
Would this Yin Yang be connected to Connectivism? I reckon it is.
Picture: From Nicola’s post
1. For each thesis of theory (Yang) – the bright side, and merits, there are antithesis of theory (Yin) – the dark side, and demerits. The theory is the Yin (Principles, Strategies), the application is the Yang (Action, Experience).
2. Within each network and community, there are always Yang (active agents, active nodes, proponents) and Yin (inactive agents, inactive nodes, lurkers, antagonist) etc.
3. Learning as network of connections, knowledge is distributed –
Yang is the learning in action, but Yin is also embedded in this active learning cycle (in quiet and deep reflection, meditation). Is this similar to Clark Quinn’s Slow Learning? Have to explore more.
Yin is the knowledge (as if it is treated as a thing, to be acquired), but Yang is also embedded in fluid knowledge if knowledge is treated as one to recognize the pattern (this is the exact translation of “knowing pattern” in Chinese), when it relates to pattern recognition (closest to what Stephen’s claim of what knowledge is).
Postscript: Learning can be seen as a process of discriminating patterns in the world, as opposed to one of supplementing sensory information with past experience.