Saturday, July 2

The 'What is Learning? Merry Go Round

Was directed by a Tweet from Dave Cormier to David Wiley's Yes Virginia, there is knowledge transfer post and it affirmed my recent decision to jump off the merry go round.

David's post made profound sense to me, and good on him for being the dissenter. It's all too easy to join the clan of 'yes' men.  Many academics seems to be endowed with the ability to confuse rather than clarify any given issue and the semantic realm seems to be their favourite. It would be far more productive to move on from debating what is knowledge/what is learning and get on and do some of it. Has there been no common ground established after all these years and years and years....... I'm weary of it, and I'll continue learning while the debate still continues about how I'm doing it !  It's all a matter of perspective.


  1. Yes I liked David Wiley's several posts on this and found Stephen Downes lengthy response unconvincing and rather defensive. Of course 'facts' are open to interpretation but few people now see education in strict 'mind dump' terms so there seems little point in denying common sense notions of knowledge transfer - at least for life's trivia!

    Re confusing academics - yes there are a few! Partly I think because many researchers don't necessarily make good teachers and partly because some stuff really is confusing and difficult to formulate clearly - at least before the dust has settled on a topic. (Personally, I think much of what is labelled 'philosophy' is like this - more important for raising awareness of things that may be important rather than solving much!)

    I couldn't agree more about moving away from the 'what is' debate as opposed to 'doing'. During CCK11 I was surprised and a bit puzzled at an apparent lack of places where teachers could properly pool /consolidate their experiences of methods and approaches in the field. Well I'm moving away myself (I confess I'm commenting on stuff above I haven't really studied properly!) but have registered for "The Mother of all MOOCs" - so maybe see you in September if only as a Serious Lurker!

  2. I've not really studied it much either Gordon - I ususally know what the 'yes men' will be saying but David was accused of not answering questions etc.etc. and I believe he did. The disadvantage of publicly commenting is that the pedants jump on every word and challenge the meaning of every term and there is no progression. We all need to move forward and good grief if the meaning of knowledge is still up for grabs we haven't learnt much have we.

    I've registered for the MOOC too but anticipate a very low key attention span because frustration is beginning to replace novelty