#rhizo14 has a narrow view on learning: Learning by students in school.
Learning is a human quality, and school is by far not the only place where humans do learn. In one of the first weeks the incident in Facebook about academics was prophetic as in many blogs and facebook messages now the subject is academic.
To describe learning we do not need the Rhizome-word. Humans do learn, humans are always learning. Learning may occur consciously or without conscious awareness. One learns all kinds of things, easy, spontaneous. Where to find the coffee in the supermarket. How to find your way in your neighborhood. Humming that song. The name of your favorite people. Humans learn, without end. This natural free style learning is connected, effortless, not determined, not voluntary, endless.
Does the R-word add something to our understanding of learning? Or is the R-word an obstacle? Maybe the R-word was a pedagogical affordance to make teachers think about learning?
Learning is difficult, a tough job, when one wants to learn a subject or a skill , purposeful, goal-oriented. To learn at will, we need discipline and care. We need a curriculum for this learning, a plan and a teacher could help. Because you could learn the wrong basic skills or knowledge and never succeed. A liminal space – an in-between-space – between mastery and troublesome knowledge. This is a space of potential risk. Jenny Mackness writes in length about this risk. This risk of learning wrong is not the risk to fail. Maybe, risk is what living is about?
Is it possible to learn to be an academic without this school-learning? We banter about the term “lifelong learners” in education quite a bit. It’s a hopeful sentiment — that the learning opportunities in our space will not just spill over in the lives of our students (I teach 11 year olds) but will provide the structure for self-centered learning in unknown situations at any given time in the future (Dogtrax on P2P)
Could R-learning make a student an academic? No, because an academic is a person who learns goal directed. That is what an academic is. Is wandering around and free-learning needed for an academic? The academic does work in an academic discipline as it is sometimes called. If we do not work to form connection we may follow the wrong god home. (Danielle Paradis) Free wandering learning could be useful even for an academic.
I do enjoy #rhizo14 because of the conversation and to meet you online.