Saturday, February 03, 2007

OLCC2007 - Knowledge and Learning

knowledge is justified true belief Plato

"And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all". Socrates.

Thanks George for the opportunity to contribute from the floor, to “move the conference from the podium to the audience”. My chosen context is “engagement in relevant and authentic tasks” but for the moment I want to discuss how the audience grappled with two questions about Connectivism:

  • Is Connectivism really new or part of continuum of change?
  • Does Connectivism confuse Knowledge, Learning and Education ?

I have edited from the chat discussion the following.

Is Connectivism really new or part of continuum of change?

Are the changes caused by the internet that new that we need a new learning theory? If the changes differ only in degree but not their fundamental nature, do we need a new theory?

“Surely the key step change in the rate of speed of transfer of information came with the invention of the telegraph, not the internet?

Sure, but the data able to be transferred is different with internet, telegraph relied on an operator and radio does too. But the internet gives the power to the masses. That was when the step change happened.

Step changes have been occurring always, it is a chain of step changes, not just one Telegraph was beginning, but the access was limited and net has wider adoption at the individual level. Telegraph to the internet is like fixed print to Gutenberg’s movable type, internet is the "killer app".”

Does Connectivism confuse Knowledge, Learning and Education ?

Is Connectivism a theory of knowledge rather than a theory of learning, does it fail to address the full range of education, does it apply equally to problem solving? Difficult questions when we don’t know what information, knowledge or education are.

Knowledge is not the same as education, not without the ability to apply that knowledge. It's the idea of "actionable knowledge" perhaps--different to just knowledge. Knowledge is not education, education is the ability to handle information. Information to solve new problems.

Knowledge is justified true belief (see Plato). Education is a path to knowledge.

There is a difference is between information and knowledge, information in a database is not knowledge. Knowledge is information with meaning. I don't think it's just information. It is information linked to meaning, it is purposeful meaning and the ability to generalize to similar situations. Learning is the path to knowledge. Education is a structure applied to (hopefully) support learning

If I am a good problem solver is that knowledge? Education might be knowing how to use the information in a knowing manner. If you know techniques to solve problems, that is knowledge. A good problem solver is one that knows how to know knowledge.

Think information literacy: able to recognize you have a problem to solve, know where to find resources, can evaluate the resources & apply what you've learned.

Education: from the latin educere means to lead forth.. That suggests that there is someone with the knowledge leading the cattle. But this is changing, we can skip the intermediaries.

But what of engagement?

Games, Myspace, Flickr, Blogs provide great opportunities for engagement.

The connection is a great motivator! We grew up reading manuals to learn to do something. Today students find "mentors" for becoming quickly knowledgeable about say ... computer games and internet gaming.



Blogger Bill Kerr said...

"Difficult questions when we don’t know what information, knowledge or education are"

I think it would be worthwhile spending some time getting a clearer picture about "what is knowledge?"

Knowing how is part of knowledge, eg. we know how to walk and talk but have forgotten how we learnt these things so they have become invisible to us, taken for granted

The Plato definition ("justified true belief") seems to be more about knowing that. We privilege a brainy, abstract concept of knowledge and mind over embodied knowledge, knowing how. Before we can understand higher order human thinking we need to understand the behaviour of simple animals.

Does a cockroach have knowledge?

"Matter / mind division persists in the way we study brain and mind, excluding as 'peripheral' the roles of the rest of the body and the local environment. It persists in the choice of problem domains we model, eg. chess by Deep Thought, when we still can't get a real robot to successfully navigate a crowded room and we still can't fully model the adaptive success of a cockroach"
- enactivism

I think the 16 Habits of Mind approach arises from the idea that we need to exercise and train our minds in similar ways to which we exercise and train our bodies, which is an extension of knowing how.

Saturday, February 10, 2007 6:58:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home