Learning Theories

As posted in more detail on my main site I tend to see what educators call “theories” of learning more as ideologies rather than theories in the scientific sense. This is especially true of Connectivism, but if anyone can point me to an instance of its use as a theory in the scientific sense of providing a method for making experimentally testable predictions, then I would certainly welcome that.

While I share Ken Anderson’s skepticism about Connectivism as a *theory* (and feel the same way about other “Learning Theories” as well), I do find it attractive as an ideology and as a practice. One aspect of that ideology, as I see it, is to value and support learning through a process of mutual interaction between independent agents. This does imply expecting those who want support for a different kind of process to find it elsewhere and I don’t see how failure to “support” all learning styles can be held against the proponents of this one.

I interpret the abandonment of Moodle in the CCK11 course as one step in the process of experimenting with more distributed control and organization. It is incomplete of course since replacing Moodle with gRSShopper, while forcing discussion threads out onto individual blogs, still does not eliminate the focus of control. Presumably the next step is to give us all implementations of gRSShopper (or equivalently to add more features to our current RSS aggregators) so that any one of our blog sites can be used in place of this one and so that statements like “I will kick you off this site” will become essentially empty threats.(Not quite though since in a scale-free network the controllers of some nodes will always have more power than others)

Leave a Reply