If we want to know more about Connectivism as a theory of learning or knowledge or teaching, we could look at the “view of man” (mensbeeld) that is implied or expressed in connectivist texts.
A mensbeeld we call a set of assumptions and stories that relates to how people view human beings. Mensbeeld is Dutch for View of Man, Imaginem Humana (Latin), image humane (Fr).
Three bits of connectivist text to start with:
“Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized. The field of education has been slow to recognize both the impact of new learning tools and the environmental changes in what it means to learn. Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.” [Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, 2004, George Siemens]
Do people change when their culture changes? (are people autonomous and independent or are they victim of external forces?)
Do humans change their culture?
Is it human destination to flourish?
Has learning ever been an internal individualistic activity?
“This implies a pedagogy that (a) seeks to describe ‘successful’ networks (as identified by their properties, which I have characterized as diversity, autonomy, openness, and connectivity) and (b) seeks to describe the practices that lead to such networks, both in the individual and in society (which I have characterized as modeling and demonstration (on the part of a teacher) and practice and reflection (on the part of a learner)).” [What Connectivism Is, Stephen Downes, 2007]
Is success an important goal of humans in a connectivist mensbeeld?
Are autonomy, openness and connectivity and diversity also part of the connectivist mensbeeld?
“Active MOOC participants are individuals high in the psychological trait of conscientiousness, geared toward duty and achievement” Individual experiences in MOOCs, part 3 diversity openness, Heli Nurmi
How does connectivism deal with uncertainty and questions with no known answer?
“Where structures of connections (ie., networks) differ from sets of observations or measurements is that there is in principle no external entity to which we can appeal in order to check our understanding. In a networked society, every person is a member of the network, and all things being equal, there is not some other networked society against which we can test our conclusions (prior to the days of global communications, societies did test themselves one against the other, but unfortunately though war and other conflict, a solution that was worse than the problem and which clouded their ability to interpret connections in a rational and dispassionate way).” An Introduction to Connective Knowledge, Stephen Downes, 2005
Is being a member of a network a major property of the mensbeeld?
Will humans improve and forget war?
Will there be a future of peace and justice for all mankind?
Is the mensbeeld rational and dispassionate?
” …Creatagogy? This would be based on a pedagogy for human being where learning is viewed as a growth of creativity and capability for people, with technology as affordance, together with digital pedagogy and netagogy. ” Sui Fai John Mak
Is creativity an important trait for the mensbeeld in Connectivism?
(to be continued)