Learning theories: recent discussions

It seems I’ll have to take a long journey – this time I am going to refer to some discussions in the blogosphere I remember, probably meaning they have made an influence on me.

First I take Teemu Leinonen, who has lived globally much longer than me and knows about wikipedia and -media and many international projects. His blog is named Flosse Posse and he wrote about the learning theories recently. He needed  behaviorism, constructivism and social constructivism. (edited 11.10, read Teemu’s comment) I like the way he tells about these theories, he convinces me about his expertise. Then he tells about Sugata Mitra’s experiments Hole in the Wall, which we have been discussing about in PLENK2010: Learning by doing, socially, in small groups. To give affordances for poor children is the way forward.

Another source was in Pontydysqu web pages and it took a time to find. They have much knowledge there and I was not familiar with those pages, but I succeeded and here it is: Connectivism vs. constructivism by Jenny Hughes. She tells about some projects (Mitra + ..) and lists the learning theories needed for interpretation. I feel empathy when she becomes confused with theories. One new concept can be found: social connectivism (it was lacking, really 🙂 ). We have to know the theories of Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget, Papert, Bruner, Engeström – perhaps it is best to speak about their work and their development instead of putting them to one category of learning theories. I liked the style in comments to Jenny Hughes’ blog post, but I feel I am tired of listing theories. It does not help.

My last link goes to Jenny Mackness, her blog post after our Elluminate session yesterday. Jenny writes about the relevance of learning theories to teaching practice and reflects her own experiences as an educator. Theories matter, but not directly, they are tools which must be assessed and developed to different purposes. Jenny proceeds to George’s presentation about connectivism as networked learning.

What have I learned while summarizing my personal history, my work in the teacher education and these three discussions? Actually, I am not any more interested in this level of listing and shortly referring to main sources. What does it help? My question is: where is thinking, pondering and real discussion. I see Jenny M. gives an example of combining theories to one’s practice and professional development. But we don’t have time and interest to do it throughout in PLENK, I suppose.  I cannot grasp this theme even I know everything. How can I find my way forward? What is the level of our working, discussion, collaboration? How should I participate in order to make sense in this chaos in my mind? 🙁  🙂

Critical thinking

Our theme in this week is pragmatics which is a part of linguistics. I have no intent to study it seriously in a week , I am not motivated to follow linguistics – but I am interested in critical thinking. I suppose it is near pragmatics: how to use language etc. My main interest just now is to put this video about Critical Thinking here so that you can open it inside my blog. Never succeeded earlier, now I am hopeful. Thanks to Maria, found this in her blog (tag: store)

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CritLit2010 reflections – first week

It’s saturday after one week studies in Critical Literacies. I am reflecting about happenings in my mind. I have to find some way to assess my habits or I feel drowned, lost in materials and other people’s thoughts. Jenny Mackness offers readings about reflection, Sui Fai John Mak offers videos and conceptions of his own, Mike Bogle Warcraft Cuild. The last one is too difficult, but Jenny and John were possible 😉 .

Of course there are “official” materials, for instance that Community of critical thinking I already linked to some post. I rejected others, about persuasion and freakonomics, don’t care about that kind of stuff.

There is Moodle and discussions I could participate. Open Meetings are twice a week (synchronous). What do I do?

I am worried about the place technology seems to take during our studies. If I forget all problems with voice and slides yesterday and look at Grainne Conole’s slides which are surely updated: what is the content? If I compare it with two my blogposts, Koole 2010  and Mezirov 1981, are there any new concepts concerning learning? There are many new devices, tools, widgets and so on. I am retired of slides telling these all, there are millions of slides in slideshare – and now in cloudworks. I am drowned already, I don’t want more that stuff. Am I wrong, am I defensive? I should be open-minded. No, I don’t want to (I say and I began to study Diigo on hour ago 🙂 )

I find very many concepts is Grainne’s slides that I’ve used last ten years: daring to think differently, user generated content, collective intelligence, distributed cognitions, and pedagogy: personalized learning, participation, networks, inquiry, reflective, dialogical. Visualisation and metaphors – I really love and want to develop more. – I found one slide that I don’t understand, design-based approach why that? I agree with its content: encourages reflective practices, promotes sharing and discussion. I have to ask that in Moodle forums!

Reflections always have an object, it is useful to follow experiences of my own and reflect them. Jenny asked about differences between reflection and critical thinking, it is a good question to me. Reflections are broader in their contexts, thinking is only thinking. Reflection can be emotion or action or .. if I am interested in identity, thinking is not enough, consciousness is better.

Next week has the theme CHANGE –  it sounds excellent in my ears! I am looking forward to ..