One remarkable feature of most learning theories is the lack of a philosophy of learning in which goals and directions of the learning is discussed. Most school systems (read: “Educational and other despair“) and educational systems just go on teaching the old and trusted courses and subjects. And mistrust students and their new tools: “…One consistent response to this fear is to ban, filter or limit the use in school of the very tools that students are drawn to outside of school….” . (some exceptions).
The Most Important Question for teachers, parents and schools is: What must we teach and what must our children learn? In the Netherlands we see ‘canons’ of all kind. A ‘canon’ is a list of subjects and facts, the ‘canon’ must be learned by every child. (and tested, of course )
One example is the history ‘canon’ with 50 important subjects. But a canon of the future does not exist, what do we have to teach our children to learn them live in their future? It is very difficult to make predictions, and to predict the future is almost impossible. So we cannot know what a person in 2025 has to know. Probably language will be important and technology (?)
In Connectionism “…I am looking for the pragmatic ability to peer into the future…” . Connectionism lays emphasis is on process of learning, on connections. In teaching ‘how to connect to networks of information and people’ connectionism has an answer on the Most Important Question. Because in learning how to connect to information our children receive means to cope with an unpredictable future. Connectionist teaching has to learn to connect, and to foster and maintain good connections with care.
Learning for the future is what connectivism can do. Learning to be a human, and to connect to humans and human knowledge is the core of all education.