A colleague of mine today blogged about learning theories and context. He believes that the purist approach that says, “learning theory ‘x’ is right and learning theory ‘y’ is wrong” is misguided as it disregards context. I thoroughly agree with him. I also believe that this observation is not just limited to learning theories but could also apply to learning styles. To ‘pigeon hole’ someone as possessing a particular learning style irrespective of the context of the learning situation seems a bit silly to me. Or am I just showing my ignorance?
In the same blog post Damien talks about Connectivism and he describes a context where there is limited access to the technologies that may be utilized to develop a learning network. My over simplistic view is that Connectivism can still apply to learning situations prior to the information age. Take a master-apprentice situation for example. The apprentice does form a network albeit with far fewer nodes than the Internet affords, but it is still a network. In this case they have formed a link with external knowledge (the Master), as we might have a link to a particular website. With a memory like mine I believe that know-where trumps know-how. Of course I have been reading a book on Actor-Network theory and it is leaving me a little confused 🙂