First week of CCK09 is over – and I cannot say that things are not that clearer with my thoughts about connectivism 😉 I do not mean, that the subject has not been interesting. Also, participating first time this kind of course has been really inspiring. Despite the fuzzy thoughts – and maybe it is supposed to be little like this: at least I’m satisfied that I’ve been challenged (or challenged myself) to think things really different way.
First week was supposed to provide “an overview of Connectivism as a theory of learning“. And that it did. It might sound a little bit silly, but in a way, “some parts” of connectivism seems quite “easy” or intuitive to understand – but on the other hand, it is really challenging to make a clear and profound picture what its all about. Maybe for the easy part I think is the “need” for network and connection oriented, “un-propositional” description of learning. More complicated were the “fundamental” (physiological) basics, and discourse of the “core” of connectivism. Especially interesting were the discussions about connectivism and its’ relation to previous learning theories (behaviorism, cognitivism, and especially constructivism). I found quite challenging – despite the vast introductions – to draw strict lines where we can talk about connectivism and where “connectivism” we talk about is “connected” constructivism. If the traditional education, closed classrooms, “connectionless” single actor learning, etc. come into discussion, I see them not as a objective or result of constructivism. But it was nice to see, that George (Siemens) replied me and asked to clarify me about the constructivistic views I used in these discussions (yet I don’t know if he’s actually interested or was I just unclear as usual 😉 ).
The main questions introductions and discussions arouse – and some of them still exist unanswered are e.g. Does widening perspective create a new theory (connectivism being theory or not)? Does constructivism deny autonomy (connectivism allows autonomy)? Is constructivism only aggregation of perspetives? Does constructivism, especially socially cognitive view, understate social “entering”, being heard or interacted?
There were also discourse about meaning of knowledge in connectivism (in this case the meaning of knowledge in constructivism seemed to occur every now and then). Knowledge in connectivism: not knowlede in the traditional sense? Not one “solid” thing? Not only my “property” (property of an individual)? Breed in networks, but not a property of networks? More a “system” (dynamic) instead of “maybe complex but still a static pile of information”? But I still ponder: is consctrutivistic knowledge always propositional? Can it be seen, that if constructivism is more working with building blocks (you can build what ever you want and paint them as you like), knowledge in connectivism is more like “epidemic” -> it grows and breeds undeterministic (like bacteria), and the results can be something, that was not meant to, unpredicted and unexpected. But again, is this is only when we think constructivism being always propositional?
During these reflections, I notice two big views arising: the principles of connectivism vs. “connection-extended” constructivism.
“Connectivism does – more than brings something new – emphasize other things than constructivism”? (19/9/2009)
More questions than I had a week ago? I agree and wasn’t that one of the principles that Socrate presented? (Well he talked about asking the right questions.. maybe there’s something to do with this).
Post scriptum: after writing and especially reading this particular post, it really addresses that the reflection should be done in smaller pieces.