Connectivism: Theory, Hypothesis, or Description?

You can imagine my surprise that when I started to read around this notion of connectivism, I started off thinking that it was indeed “a learning theory for the digital age” (Siemens, 2005) to conclude that  in its current form, the ‘theory’needed to be relegated to that of a “phenomenon” (Bell, 2011), or a ‘hypothesis‘ at best. I had a lot of trouble with Siemens’ complex and messy theory. I thought Downe’s (2005) work on Connective Knowledge, which provides connectivism with the “epistemological framework“, was much more grounded.

When you start reading around connectivism, you soon come across a lot of other competing “networked theories of learning” seeking legitimacy like: heutagogy (Hase & Kenyon, 2000, 2001, 2007; Blaschke, 2012); communal constructivism (Holmes et al., 2001; Leask & Younie, 2001); navigationism (Brown, 2006, 2006); wildfire learning (Engeström, 2007, 2009); rhizomatic learning (Cormier, 2008); c3-learning (Sims, 2008); affinity spaces (Gee & Hayes, 2009); and quantum perspective of learning (QL) (Janzen, Perry & Edwards, 2012) to name but a few. But it is Siemens (2005) who makes the bold claim that behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism are unable to address how learning can be externalised; that learning can take place in “non-human appliances“ (i.e. databases, devices, and tools); and the meta-skills that are necessary to cope with the burgeoning “knowledge-rich environments”.

via the accidental technologist » Blog Archive » Connectivism: Theory or Phenomenon?.

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