Definitive Educational Styles of the 21st Century

Constructionist Learning: An educational style based primarily around the concept that people learn best through the application of knowledge towards constructing things in the real world, i.e. through constructing real-world projects the knowledge required as part of the creation process becomes better cemented in the mind than through rote memorization.

Connectivist Learning: An educational style based on the manner in which knowledge exists as a network beyond the scope of the individual–that knowledge is a collective, and that learning is facilitated through communal participation.

Constructivism: An epistemological  theory which concludes that humans generate meaning and knowledge as the result of the interaction between their experiences and ideas.

Instructionism: The classic pedagogical approach of learning through rote memorization of principles, and their usage in a controlled and sterile environment without connection to real-world applications.

Out of these various educational philosophies it could be difficult to pin down exactly which is most appropriate for the 21st Century, but it is simple enough to say that Instructionism has outlived is usefulness as a primary method for the dissemination of knowledge. While well-suited to explaining concepts in an isolated manner for maximum clarity of principle, it is arguably the most difficult method for the human brain to absorb into its knowledge bank. I would argue a case for an equal mix of Constructionist and Connectivist approaches, as the digital age makes for a facile application of both methods. In fact, one could say that “Connectivist Constructionism” could be an excellent approach to take, where groups of people would interact collectively towards the construction of a project using skills and methods gleaned from curriculum. Constructivism comes into play with regards to the motivating factor for taking this approach–if human knowledge is the interaction between experience and ideas, then whatever we can do to simultaneously craft rich experiences and spark ideas provides the greatest net benefit for those involved.

Advertisements
Published in: Uncategorized on December 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Response to David Warlick’s “Educator’s Guide to Blogging”

Recently as part of my college course on the role and usage of technology in an education setting I was assigned some reading material on educational blogging by one David Warlick–reportedly something of an expert on the subject. I found Warlick’s article on the modern role of blogging (Warlick [9/17/2010] EducatorsGuideToBlogging retrieved from http://davidwarlick.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.EducatorsGuideToBlogging) to be fascinating, if a little brief in its overview. While it provided many examples of educational blogs, I feel that an explanation of the benefits of blogging in education would be…educational! There are many means of communication in the world we live in today–what are the advantages of blogging for educational purposes? The disadvantages? I feel as though some historical perspective with regards to blogging has been tackled, but I can’t help but feel as these questions remain unanswered.

I can see the appeal of blogging from a directed sharing experience that mimics that of a classroom (in fact, I’m somewhat giving in to the appeal myself) but what of other more communal modes like forum usage? An active meeting place of field professionals provides an environment of fluid discussion and transfer of ideas. By contrast, a blog DOES provide an excellent filter, showing the thoughts of one highlighted individual. If focusing on the work/research/thoughts of one such individual it will be easier to keep track of them via the blogging method. However, this comes at the expense of a realm of individual autonomy where information functions like a two-way highway. With blogging it is instead a singular river off of which divergent tributaries and rills may run, but all the same taking their source from the river at large.

Which is the greater resource? It is difficult to say, if it can be fairly said at all–quality of information is, after all, what matters most and can be found in any form. All I can say for now is that my preferred means of informational sharing run more towards the communal end of the spectrum.

Published in: on September 18, 2010 at 4:13 am  Leave a Comment  

And So the Blogging Begins

Looks like I’m starting this sucker up. We’ll see what sort of insights I’m able to provide on life, the universe, and everything (to use a hackneyed phrase). In the meantime, check out my Etsy page at: www.wildedenworkshop.etsy.com

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment