Friday, January 19, 2007

the skin is not all that important as a boundary

- connectivism conference presentation
(this replaces an earlier summary)
schedule and all abstracts

Abstract: Connectivism attempts to redefine learning. Existing theories are superficially critiqued. An artificial radical discontinuity is manufactured. A new learning theory is invented without adequate grounding. The critique is situated by positive reference to existing learning theories.

"the skin is not all that important as a boundary" BF Skinner

The notorious Skinner got that one right. The boundary issue is crucial. In considering the learning process we need to ask: What happens inside our body / brain, what happens outside, in the external environment, and how are the inside and the outside connected? What is the mind, where is it and how does it work? These are core theoretical questions about learning with immense practical significance. The necessary process of formulating a new learning theory ought to incorporate and struggle with a modern synthesis of philosophy, cognitive science (including artifical intelligence research) and the history of learning theory. My critique of George Siemen's Connectivism suggests that a better job could have been done.

I'm keeping the full draft here and currently updating daily. Please leave your critical comments either as a comment on this blog or join the wiki and leave it there.

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