Just a small post today.
My question is a question about this question: What Makes Connectivism Unique?, Why this question? Why should a — ism be Unique? Or is it important to be unique? Of course differences are visible between different theories, that is why they are different.
I wonder why this question did connect itself to me? I will leave the questions to the friendly care of the networks. Maybe somewhere an answer will connect to us?
The picture is very old, about 20 centuries, and it is about inspiration.
On 2nd thoughts, after a night sleeping on it. My expectations of a learning theory are:
Does it help in better learning and teaching? Is the theory compatible with existing knowledge (of learning)? Does it add some new and better ideas? These are important questions to me.
Maybe this question “What Makes Connectivism Unique?” can be changed a little in a better question: “What are the contributions of connectivism to the body of learning theories?”
The short version of the answer is “… that connective knowledge is grown, not built, it is natural, not intentional, and it is inherent, not representative.” Well, I am not convinced these points are the main contribution of connectivism to the body of learning theories.
One point for connectivism, its epistemology is not a (for me) weird form of anti-realism as in social-constructivism. Connectivism is in some way about reality and not about constructed images of a reality that may not even exist. (very short description of a very long discussion on philosophy).
Second point: In teaching immigrant workers some Dutch ( six day course) I am very aware now of connections. Learning new language is making connections to existing knowledge and new knowledge. I often ask the students to make connections with new words and information they already have. This of course is not a new mnemo (learning) technic but connectivism did make me use it more often.
Third point: the learning of the learner has the focus. It is not centered around the intentions and goals of the teacher or the school.
Other differences on Suifaijohnmak’s Weblog.
http://connecting2theworld.blogspot.com/search/label/connectivism: While constructivism and cognitive learning theories address the individual’s learning, they do not address the group level learning and transfer/negotiation of understanding. As a result, connectivism seems to give a better explanation of the “group level” or organizational learning that goes on. It addresses the individual, group, and individual/group dynamic.