While reading Connectivism: a learning Theory for the Digital Age by George Siemens, it very much reminded me of a famous French philosopher , Paul Ricoeur. This latter argued that knowledge can be build on 'collective memories' that can then shape our understanding of life. Siemens and Downer talk about the same concept which they…
Albert Shanker (1928-1997), the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, was born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Sept. 14, 1928. His father delivered newspapers from a pushcart. His mother, who worked in a sweatshop as a sewing machine operator, taught Al a deep appreciation of trade unionism and a love of spirited debate. Although he didn’t speak a word of English when he entered first grade, Al flourished in New York City’s public school system.
Tim Hopper's insight:
I like this leader. We need visionaries like this.
Vygotsky’s earlier concept of mediation, which encompassed learning alongside others (Zone of Proximal Development) and through interaction with artifacts, was the basis for Engeström’s version of Activity Theory (known as Scandinavian Activity Theory). Engeström’s approach was to explain human thought processes not simply on the basis of the individual, but in the wider context of the individual’s interactions within the social world through artifacts, and specifically in situations where activities were being produced.
In Activity Theory people (actors) use external tools (e.g. hammer, computer, car) and internal tools (e.g. plans, cognitive maps) to achieve their goals. In the social world there are many artifacts, which are seen not only as objects, but also as things that are embedded within culture, with the result that every object has cultural and/or social significance.
Tools (which can limit or enable) can also be brought to bear on the mediation of social interaction, and they influence both the behavior of the actors (those who use the tools) and also the social structure within which the actors exist (the environment, tools, artifacts). For further reading, here is Engeström’s own overview of 3 Generations of Activity Theory development. The first figure shows Second Generation AT as it is usually presented in the literature.
MindMup is a web-based mind mapper that you can use free, with no limit on the number of maps. It supports multi-user, simultaneous access and, if you’re using MindMup’s free storage or storing maps locally on you computer, it requires no log in. This makes it an attractive tool for school use. That’s not to say that it’s a toy as it can be used for serious mapping.
Autopoiesis idea is key to understanding that humans are not linear system but exist in a dynamic relations with the environment and their own capacity to self-organize. As such we are structure-determined systems that change over time as we adapt to our environment.
Manuel Lima maps the "Power of Networks" in another beautiful RSA visualization.
Our brain is like a symphony played by hundreds of thousands of instruments.
Lima suggests, "Is there a universal structure?" I love that he talks about the importance of polymaths, "It's not enough to be a specialist in one area. At least create outbound ties, so that you are able to learn from other disparate areas."
This is the most beautiful aspect of knowledge--by looking at this 'network thinking.'
It's more important that we actually make that mental shift. There are immense benefits that can come from that network outlook of the world itself.
Wilber was born in 1949 in Oklahoma City. In 1967 he enrolled as a pre-med student at Duke University. He became inspired, like many of his generation, by Eastern literature, particularly the Tao Te Ching. He left Duke and enrolled in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, completing a bachelor's degree in chemistry and biology and a master's degree in biochemistry.
In 1973 Wilber completed his first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, in which he sought to integrate knowledge from disparate fields. After rejections by more than twenty publishers it was finally accepted in 1977 by Quest Books, and he spent a year giving lectures and workshops before going back to writing. He also helped to launch the journal ReVision in 1978.
This Concept Map, created with IHMC CmapTools, has information related to: Learning Theory, zone of proximal development The area of capabilities that learners can exhibit with support from a teacher., Montessori constructivism, Lave & Wenger...
Tim Hopper's insight:
I wonder where complexity theory and learning is in this model?
Like this quote. "Learning theory is an attempt to describe how people learn." It is complex because it is emergent and defies being reduced to simple components, but we must keep trying to understand it. "The journey is the destinaton" as an Eastern philospher once said.
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