Where does education learn?

In the FOC08 course our week 6 task is to examine some forums and look for evidence of community and consider options to further develop community in the groups formed around these forums. OK – so lots of community activity might be happening but not evident in a group’s online forum but the idea of the task is to surface important issues of community. The comparative process used in this week will be reused with different modes of communication over the next 4 weeks (blogs, virtual worlds etc).

So many of us in education are used to closed forums, where members participate because it is part of an assessment process. In the online Elluminate meeting we discussed where we should find these online forums. And this point worries me. We do not have a monopoly on online learning and certainly not community development just because we work in the educational domain. As an educator I have found that we have to tear off the blinkers we wear and look beyond educational contexts to see some of the exemplary knowledge sharing practices visible and published in not-for-profit, corporate, civic, support group and fan communities.

OK so I am going to put my money where my mouth is and focus the week 6 task (now in week 7 – a week behind) in those other domains. What about others – can you look beyond our own domain to consider how community might be lived elsewhere?

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7 Comments

  1. September 11, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Good luck, Bron.
    I’m in much the same situation, so I’ll be interested in what you find.

  2. September 12, 2008 at 9:23 am

    “As an educator I have found that we have to tear off the blinkers we wear and look beyond educational contexts to see some of the exemplary knowledge sharing practices visible and published in not-for-profit, corporate, civic, support group and fan communities. Great to see Bron!! I find I have to constantly remind “educators” to do this. We tend to fall back into our little behaviorist addicted worlds all too easily

  3. September 12, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Bron,
    I am passionate about learning and sharing my reflections with others. I would love to “tear the blinkers I wear”. However, I see learning wherever I turn. I can’t get away from it. I have always considered my path as a learner. I only went into teaching so that I can learn about myself. I learn about myself so I can help others, or at least cause them no harm, and perhaps bring joy to their lives. I can’t see beyond learning and sharing.

    Do you or others have any suggestions?

    Thank you.
    Nellie

  4. Russell Thorp said,

    September 14, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Bron,
    Learning takes place in all sorts of contexts… I like to get a little primal in my thinking on this. In the pacific Islands a son would learn to build a canoe by observing and then by practising by building one and trying it out.. and modifying it if need be. I am sure there was some communication from the father to the son and from the son’s friends. Some of this would have been formative and some summative (eductional terms we might want to avoid- yet describe what might be happening). What does it mean to take the blinkers off when what we might be expressing is the desire to be truly human?

  5. Bron Stuckey said,

    September 14, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Russell and Nellie,

    I am not suggesting that educators do not know about learning but they do not hold a monopoly on it, and educational contexts are not the only places that we see effective facilitation (and learning). The blinkers we wear keep us reading education/ teaching only literature, exploring only what other educators/teachers say and only looking into other educational sites. What we need to do is look outside our domain and see the gems that abound. Facilitation is not just a synonym for teaching.

  6. Vida Thompson said,

    September 16, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Bron,
    I agree we need to tear the blinkers off but that is not easy to do. I am going to interview a Community Facilitator next week to get a different perspective of being a Facilitator. Will record the interview. I know I am a bit behind but I think this is an important issue.
    Cheers,
    Vida

  7. Kay Lewis said,

    September 19, 2008 at 8:43 am

    I can relate to your posting where yous tate that so many of us in education are used to closed forums and the responses generated about “tearing off the blinkers” though not always from an educator view, but also the restraints put on us by our IT Department.


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