Monday, October 02, 2006

Participation + Contribution = Learning
Leigh Blackall: FLNW tag cloud
link to the tag cloud

I have been inspired by the recent tour of the openspace conference Future of Learning in a Networked World (FLNW). Leigh Blackall's message Teaching is dead has been heralded through a number of locations in New Zealand in the second half of September. I feel like I was there, without having to get so tired. You can feel like you were there too by going to the wiki and following the links to participants blogs, flickr photos (971 at last count!), podcasts and videos!

We all know about behaviourism, constructivism, and some of us are out there (un?)evangelising connectivism. Educational theories aside I think the new paradigm emerging in all sorts of learning contexts today requires a personal adjustment in our approach to learning.

The FLNW pioneered Leighs vision of the "unconference" of learning as a conversation. The personal adjustment that I think needs to take place is about adapting to a new scenario of professional development(PD) that is self organised and self directed. Letting go of the idea that PD means sitting in a room with 20 others at a session you have no stake in. It is about seeing ourselves, and the people who are usually at the front of the room equally as "unexperts".

I am always offended by the term "expert". People develop expertise when they spend a long time doing something,focusing, reflecting, developing, sharing, networking and growing knowledge. We don't need to bow to expertise, we each have our own personal expertise that is just as important in a professional development setting. It really comes down to valuing our own
experiences and the experiences of others and using that fertile bed to grow new knowledge. There are subtleties of each of our experiences that the experts don't have, and we do not have theirs. So lets look at all of us as "unexperts" and equal. Teaching is dead. Thank you Leigh.

Participation + Contribution = Learning

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