#Change11 What is Alternative Education like in the Community?

This week we have Authentic Learning by Jan Herrington.

Here is Authentic Learning – Assessment

I quite enjoyed Jan’s postings and readings, and am still reflecting on the significance of authentic learning, in an institution, and that outside the institutions, in the community.  I am not sure if people (including Jan) would agree that authentic learning could be pretty valuable when one is immersed in the community and the community of practice  I understand that this is different from what Jan has defined in her research.

My notion of ideal authentic education and learning would be based on Authentic Learning (within institutional framework) and problem-posing education, within and outside the institutions – education and learning in the community.

I have written here about education in the community.

When I was in my early twenties, I participated as a volunteer in the Community and Youth Office, part of the social welfare department in the government.  I was elected as the Vice Chair of a Volunteering Association called Dawn’s Association after a series of events were organised and run for the poor families in a community (with a few thousand people).  Our Association was made up of youth volunteers between the age of 17 to mid 20′s. We organised game stalls, cartoon shows, visit to soft drink company, picnic during a summer vacation for the young kids of poor families.  On one occasion, whilst I was leading the kids to a picnic, I witnessed one of the most memorable incident on our way in a coach.  I noticed a small kid (may be 7-8 years old) was really enjoying his ice-cream cone.  After a while, I was surprised to find that he has finished eating it without any wrapper left behind.  Oh dear!  The kid has eaten the ice-cream cone with the paper wrapper. On the same occasion,  I noted another kid dropped his red-bean popsicle on the deck of the coach, but he immediately picked it up and continued eating it without any hesitation.

What was the lesson I had learnt? Kids of a poor background need education, or at least they need to learn about what is edible, and the health, hygiene and safety aspects!  Besides, they need strong support and care of peers and adults  throughout their early stages of development in the community.

Everyone needs such support through social networking, and learning could be greatly enhanced through those valuable connections.  And that’s education!  And we could then be able to better understand each others’ needs through the networking processes at this digital age.

In our community, we need to support the poor and disadvantaged too, just like the kid’s example, so they could live with pride, confidence, and decency.

Are we all born with compassion towards our fellow citizens?  How could we show such compassion towards our community?  Is it through our continuous involvement in our community?

So, I  echo with Keith on the needs of building our community, to make it  a better place for everyone to live in.  Social networking and education are just like the two sides of the coin.  They work side-by-side.

Are these also the result of valuable connections – to the community?  Does what you give and contribute to the community make a difference?  Is it the learning we share through Connectivism?

We are already witnessing all these community building through our blogs, networks – and the New ConnectivismEducationLearning network as well!

Hoping that we will continue our contribution to the community through our wonderful acts of love, care and support.

Katharine in this TED Youth talk summary highlights:

Education can no longer be confined to the class room, students need to venture out into the world and learn from their environment. First hand experiences is what shapes us and students can not get that from a book or a test. They can on the other hand gain skills, knowledge, and experience through hands on learning in the “real world”. How can we apply this to school and the class room? Eliminate the class room, take the student out in to the world and let them grow through experience and their community.

I am all in support of this alternative education, in the authentic learning within the community.  This is an excellent alternative way of education and learning as I have also shared my view here in Changing Classroom to a Community or Community of Practice and Community of Practice.

How about the risks involved in education and learning in Community, especially if people are not aware of the agenda behind such community or networks?  What have we learnt from cases such as:

This is part 1 of the entire PBS Documentary of Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple. Featuring never-before-seen footage, this documentary delivers a startling new look at the Peoples Temple, headed by preacher Jim Jones who, in 1978, led more than 900 members to Guyana, where he orchestrated a mass suicide via tainted punch. For more information about Peoples Temple and Jamestown, visit these links:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples_Temple and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown (from Youtube)

Would we need Teaching and Learning in a Community of Thinking?


10 thoughts on “#Change11 What is Alternative Education like in the Community?

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