This video on Theory of Learning sounds interesting.
I then watched this:
I was however, rather surprised by the missing out of Connectivism in both vidoes as a Learning Theory, as I would have expected the creator of the video might have known about it. Or would it be that it was left out due to certain reasons?
I am also amazed by how constructivism is described here: Mind as a Rhizome. Learning is building knowledge by doing. If that is the case, I am wondering if the Rhizomatic Learning that Dave Cormier highlighted falls under Constructivism, or Social Constructivism. I just don’t think that is exactly what Dave was referring to, though I hope Dave could point it out. Here George also commented on Rhizomatic Learning.
Based on my understanding, I don’t see learning is as simple as learning in building knowledge by doing only. There’s more to it, as it relates not only to the minds of the learner, but to the three levels as described by George and Stephen on Connectivism. George explains here:
“My network view of knowledge is simple: entities (broadly defined as well, anything: people, a chemical substance, information, etc) have attributes. When entities are connected to other entities, different attributes will be activated based on the structure of those connections and the nature of other entities that are being connected. This fluidity of attribute activation appears to be subjective, but in reality, is the contextual activation of the attributes of entities based on how they are related to other entities. Knowledge then is literally the connections that occur between entities.”
Stephen defines it slightly differently here:
“At its heart, connectivism is the thesis that knowledge is distributed across a network of connections, and therefore that learning consists of the ability to construct and traverse those networks.
It shares with some other theories a core proposition, that knowledge is not acquired, as though it were a thing. Hence people see a relation between connectivism and constructivism or active learning (to name a couple).
In connectivism, a phrase like ‘constructing meaning’ makes no sense. Connections form naturally, through a process of association, and are not ‘constructed’ through some sort of intentional action. And ‘meaning’ is a property of language and logic, connoting referential and representational properties of physical symbol systems. Such systems are epiphenomena of (some) networks, and not descriptive of or essential to these networks.
Hence, in connectivism, there is no real concept of transferring knowledge, making knowledge, or building knowledge. Rather, the activities we undertake when we conduct practices in order to learn are more like growing or developing ourselves and our society in certain (connected) ways.
This implies a pedagogy that (a) seeks to describe ‘successful’ networks (as identified by their properties, which I have characterized as diversity, autonomy, openness, and connectivity) and (b) seeks to describe the practices that lead to such networks, both in the individual and in society (which I have characterized as modeling and demonstration (on the part of a teacher) and practice and reflection (on the part of a learner)).”
I am however, still not satisfied with the definition of Connectivism here on wikipedia, as it seems to lack the flavor that George and Stephen have included in their perspective.
Challenge 1. Not everyone is perceiving learning in the same way, and so it is quite challenging to realize and appreciate the principles and application of the various Learning Theories at this digital age. This post on Connectivism surely tells another story by Claude where she concludes:
“Connective learning is the main way humans have always been learning so it cannot be challenged. However, connective learning in a digital world that hugely increases the number of possible connections does pose several challenges to learners, teachers, and educational institutions. These challenges must be met because learners are availing themselves of this digital connectivity anyway (and at times any way). Ignoring this fact won’t make it disappear.”
Challenge 2. What are the similarities and differences between Connectivism and Constructivism?
How would a connectivist approach work? Yes, you still require the deconstruction of the student’s existing thinking, but not just based on the teacher’s input. Rather, you would suggest the students to be immersed in networks, based on navigating activities and the using of appropriate tools or media (i.e. media and technology affordance), in exploring about the “right” and “wrong” concepts, and discerning those right from wrong through navigation tools and reflective thinking. This is similar to what I have suggested here:
The concepts that are crystallised through such networked learning may be based on the ability of the learner to recognise and interpret the pattern (i.e. principally on the navigation and exploration, with or without the teachers), rather than the demonstration of the teacher and explanation of the concepts via “Constructivism or Social Constructivism”. This means that the concept development under Connectivism is far more reaching than the typical “classroom” or social networks environment, but would also include technological and media enhancement for its nourishment.
See this video here on other interpretation of Constructivism and Connectivism.