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Posts Tagged ‘Open Context Model of Learning’

Is Heutagogy the Future of Education?

In Wired for Culture Mark Pagel points out that

 “Modern humans seem, uniquely among animals, capable of something that psychologists and anthropologists call cultural or social learning”.

Homo Sapiens rise to civilisation was based on this capability for learning but, on the many occasions that we have tried to design an education system for our species, we have invariably failed to improve on our original ability to learn socially. In Plato’s Academy 2500 years ago Socrates was already warning that the new-fangled invention of writing with symbolic language would result in something poorer than existing oral culture. We were about to become mediated by tools less flexible than our face-to-face conversational framework.

Socrates was talking during the first axial age when the settlement-based civilisations of the northern hemisphere of planet Earth switched to an underpinning metaphor of life that was based on a materialist creator God, because we were building cultures out of the crude raw materials we extracted from nature.

Universities, whether Arabic or Western, were originally built around sharing the ideas captured in the books that Socrates had warned about writing in the first place. Universities were originally built on the principle of disseminating this new monotheism (the only basis on which a Royal Charter would be granted in the UK) and when Paris and Bologna spotted that self-organised “communities of scholars” were visiting their cities with money to spend they incorporated universities in order to benefit from the cash spend of scholars; nothing new there then. Universities were built in order to take money off scholars whilst drilling them to think in a singular fashion based on a “learning by rote” copying down of rare and selected texts.

Fortunately the medieval university evolved the Liberal Arts model of Education which, at Bachelors level, involved the development of multiple skills of expression (music, rhetoric, grammar, etc) and only at Masters level was subject mastery (hence the name) the basis of education. This was eventually replace by the integrated Prussian model of a “nation-building” education during the nineteenth-century when the nation-state became fashionable as did national languages, a national curriculum and standardisation of all things.

The 7 Liberal Arts; Grammar Rhetoric Logic (Dialectic) Music Geometry Mathematics Astronomy

When, in 1970 as a school leaver, I came to choose between going to an English University, where the purpose of studying was driven by the Oxbridge model of training colonial administrators who could run the British Empire, or going to a Polytechnic to gain the skills necessary to maintain the factories of the Industrial Revolution, I was completely bemused. The British Empire had effectively collapsed in 1956 (Suez crisis) whilst British industry had been in terminal decline after Bretton Woods (1946) which ensured the loss of the closed markets that the Empire had previously guaranteed. I chose instead to enter the cultural industries (popular music) that the creative working class had spontaneously created during the 1960s using the tools made available by the Analogue Revolution. With the exception of some Art Colleges, usually seen as places for school children who had failed in the examinations of the formal education system, as John Lennon, Keith Richard Pete Townsend had (and in differing ways Mary Quant and Pauline Boty), there was no education available for the fastest-growing sector of the British Economy. Why? (more…)

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Some Ideas about making Universities Open to communities

The University of the Highlands and Islands has organised a fascinating event this week; The Porous University. I had planned to go but now cannot, for health and financial reasons. Instead I will try to support the event (a discursive workshop) online through this blog post (please comment below) and through Twitter. I’ve also been distracted by the UK #GE2017 and our Learning in the Age of Anger project, where we are trying to find out what new educational policies might help address our current rage of populism.

Folksonomy not Taxonomy

Our key observation is that universities have to respond to the motto Folksonomy not Taxonomy, opening themselves out to how learners think, and Trust the Learner.

7 Questions from The Porous University

1. What does open mean beyond releasing content?

In the Learner Generated Contexts Research Group we developed the motto “From Access to Content to Context” and argued for an “Open Context Model of Learning“. So the short answer is, allow students to shape their learning contexts and purposes.

A way of achieving that is by becoming a Participative Institution – an institution that positively enables open learning, by which I mean self-directed learning, by its students… Stewart Hase would call this implementing Heutagogy

2 What is the role of open academics in dealing with problems ‘in the world’

Since 2008 I have tried to operate as an Open Sqolar. (more…)

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The Beatles Creativity

In 2007 I was part of the Learner-generated Contexts team that presented the Open Context Model of Learning at the launch of the OU’s Open Learn initiative. Our view was that if OER’s we being offered in a post-Web 2.0 world we also needed a new pedagogy. We believed that various approaches that existed to learning had developed with the limitations that came from the sector or institution in which they originated. However Open Learning means more than just “open access” which it seems to be limited to in the University sector, but means learning that is open to all and emergent. So we, the joint authors (from every sector of education) proposed a new “pedagogy” that was open to context. 

The Open Context Model of Learning was the result, fusing pedagogy, andragogy and heutagogy, and it is what this blog is about. The Learner-Generated Contexts presentation at OpenLearn was successful and loved by John Seely Brown. We were first asked to write that up for the Conference proceedings, which we did collaboratively as the Open Context Model of Learning  but that was rejected. We re-structured it as book chapter but I argued that we needed a more accessible form of publicising this work and wrote a novel 63/68 A Visceral History which I subsequently publicised by writing about The Beatles. At the request of Russell Francis I applied the Open Context Model of Learning to The Beatles recording career and found that they developed their recording craft in line with the PAH Continuum. All You Need is Heutagogy captures that and is, perhaps, an easy way into understanding Heutagogy;

I think the Beatles Career went through 6 phases;

1. Live 1957-1963 This was the period from the Woolton Fete in July 1957 when Paul McCartney was introduced to John Lennon after he played with The Quarrymen skiffle group, who played a Buddy Holly track that became their first recording –  That’ll Be The Day;

Until Love Me Do

During this time John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison they evolved into The Beatles who, with Pete Best on drums, became a great live rock n roll group. They were finding their identity together with help from their mates, hangers-on and admirers, and learning from the context they were in. Managed by Brian Epstein they got a recording contract and evolved, with the addition of Ringo Starr on drums, into a potential recording group.

2. Singles 1963-1964 Determined to make a hit record during their “pedagogic” phase they did as instructed by the music industry professionals they worked with, especially George Martin, in order to learn how to make hit records. They first achieved that with Please Please Me;  ;

They continued to develop as hit recording artists, the Pop Mop Tops, until Hard Days Night

Although by She Loves You they were stating what they, as a group, thought was a hit record as opposed to being directed towards a hit by George Martin, who was describing himself as their “school teacher” at this time. They disagreed on the ending & The Beatles prevailed over Martin; She loves You was the biggest selling single of the 60s.

(more…)

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Pedagogy, Andragogy & Heutagogy

Background; This was first a guest post on Stewart Hase’s Heutagogy Community of Practice blog; you can follow them on Twitter as @heutagogycop. I’ve reblogged it here because the PAH Continuum, as a reference point, is a key part of our work concerning heutagogy. I am currently spending most of my time working on WikiQuals which is a heutagogic answer to the accreditation of learning problem; more on the WikiQuals blog.

In my teaching practice, mostly with socially excluded kids attempting to get some qualifications in college, I developed a number of techniques for showing them how to be successful on their own terms. College is classically a context in which an andragogic approach works best, where you negotiate with your students to find an agreed learning path. In the Computer Studies department where I worked, at Lewisham College in London, we had developed our own universal entry test, followed by an interview, which everyone took. We had found this process to be a better predictor of success that their school results, which usually just measured their dissatisfaction with an education system which was designed to fail them. We then offered to the prospective student what seemed to be appropriate courses and subjects on which they might be successful.

However, over time, I developed a technique that I now call brokering that was much more about negotiating with the learner (more…)

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With Escola de Comunicações e Artes (ECA-USP) Sao Paulo Brasil

Co-creating Open Scholarship; was a paper Nigel Ecclesfield and I wrote a year ago for ALT-C. There was a lot of interest in reflecting on what we had learnt about learning technology since ALT was founded in 1993, and this was what we addressed. We were asked to expand our original submission into a journal article which is now freely available in ALT’s open repository. There was some debate about using Boyer’s model of scholarship as a baseline but, unlike Martin Weller in Digital Scholar, we felt that Boyer’s model itself needed updating. This was because what we had learnt most from using learning technology was about the pedagogy of learning itself. Inspired by Terry Anderson’s excellent keynote at ALT-C on Open Learning and his early scoping of Open Scholarship we felt that we should provide a synthesis and propose a new model, derived from Boyer, upon which we could debate the future of scholarship. What we are attempting to do in this post is provide some supporting arguments for such a debate with the Escola de Comunicações e Artes in Sao Paulo.

Framing the debate; In 2012 there has been a lot of discussion on what has been called open learning. However this is perhaps more about the massification of learning, or rethinking mass education, and seems to be focussed on scaling up traditional learning models, and addressing the opportunities and threats of globalisation using technology, whilst keeping the same institutional and policy frameworks. I’m thinking of Udacity, Coursera and MITx amongst others, as well as MOOCs. As I discussed on my blog on Open Academic Practice I had been a teacher for 15 years before I designed technology-enhanced (blended) learning for the first time in 1997, and I immediately designed for collaboration and discussion; which are core features of learning that do not scale and so don’t interest the biggest institutions. I have been working on pedagogically related issues concerning the use of technology ever since, mostly with an informal group of researchers known as the Learner-generated Contexts Research Group. This post outlines from where our ideas about co-creating open scholarship emerged.  (more…)

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Digital Inclusion; Concepts & Issues January 2012

Introduction; In January 2012 I am taking part in two events relating to Digital Inclusion. A TEL Conference at Sheffield Hallam University run by Professor Jane Seale, building on her recent research review, and a Curated Conversation where we try and tease out possible policy outcomes.  Consequently I am writing two blog posts on digital inclusion, firstly looking at concepts and ideas, secondly looking at practicalities and ways forward.

Background; Much of the writing on this blog, and the ideas that they try to express, derive from work concerning Digital Inclusion that I have carried out in various ways during the past ten years. As I mentioned in an earlier post I taught a Unit called Information, Technology & Society in the 80s/90s in which I developed an approach to technology and social change between 1770 & 2020 called NSU; networks, services and users. For the past twenty years I have been thinking about what the lineaments of a networked digital society might look like. In 1989 I recorded my thoughts on how 2021 might be outlined using NSU thinking, and I haven’t really changed my mind since. As a consequence (more…)

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From Open Scholar to Open Student

This is a blog post version of the paper “Towards a framework for co-creating Open Scholarship” by Fred Garnett, and Nigel Ecclesfield given as a paper at ALT-C 2011 published in the Proceedings and freely available in their open Access repository. The shorter slide presentation is on Slideshare. This post includes the arguments as to how we might develop Boyer’s Model of Scholarship in the digital age towards an open model of learning by developing his arguments about Discovery, Integration, Application and Teaching, to include Co-creation. It is a ‘modest proposal’ not the finished article. However it develops our long-term thinking that digital learning is not a subset of old models of learning but a superset of ideas that are capable of transforming our understanding about, and the practice of, learning. (more…)

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(1) From Education to Learning; A Brief History of Open

If we try to untangle the impact of the web on education we can describe it as enabling a shift from a focus on education as a system to learning as a process, particularly since the web itself has become more open, social and participatory, especially since Web 2.0.  So how did we get here?

Background; I myself (@fredgarnett) started looking at the impact of the Web, indirectly, in 1984 when I began teaching a Unit called Information, Technology and Society. Deciding that taking the tropes of the Industrial Revolution and applying them to the Information Revolution was way too limited I looked instead at how the social organisation of settlements emerged out of agriculture and that from hunter-gathering; maps, flints and fires. Inspired by Yoneji Masuda and Nikolai Kondratieff, and my own observations, by 1988 I had evolved the NSU model, so-called because I think social change comes from new Networks being built, new Services being provided and new User behaviours emerging, over 50-year long-wave Kondratieff economic cycles stimulated by new technologies; the micro-chip was invented in 1971. New economies emerge from new networks of distribution. In 1989 I wrote a story to capture the changes we might see by 2021 as a Masters paper called Homi & the NeXT One (the title a tribute to Steve Jobs). Consequently I have had some understanding of the process by which new technology changes society ever since. For me the key aspect discernible over the last 250 years (especially when preceded by a knowledge revolution like the scientific revolution) are the cumulative effects of unnoticed second-order, or unanticipated, effects; hence the poverty of most predictions about the future which focus on first-order (anticipated effects) based on the knowledge of experts whose expertise is historically based.

Watching the Web Flow 1990s; Being more Utopian than dystopian I looked forward to the, then, forthcoming information revolution democratising our representative democracy, with its UK roots in the 17th Century (1689), by enabling new participatory *constitutions* to be written, redefining the social relations by which we live. Whether they be communications, networked or mash-ups, technologies don’t change society, they create first-order effects, that is consequences of what the technologies were designed to do. Social change comes from users inventing new use-states in line with their beliefs and social behaviours. (more…)

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CAL11 Workshop 1pm  April 15th  #mosialong

This workshop was exploring how to design ambient learning environments using the Emergent Learning Model. Slides for this session were updated from the Ambient Learning City talk March 2011.

If this is too abstract then we can reference the works of Howard Rheingold, Dave Weinberger and Clay Shirkey and describe the Emergent Learning Model as; Smart Mobs + Everything is Miscellaneous means Here Comes Everybody

We are also thinking of how we might use Innovation as an ‘Open Platform’ (Steven Johnson) to allow ‘generative innovations‘ to further transform learning.  (more…)

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Heutagogy, Emergent, Ambient (2)

This is the second of three posts looking at developing the heutagogic qualities of the Open Context Model of Learning (OCM) into the Emergent Learning Model and from that examining the possibilities of building an Ambient Learning City in Manchester (with MOSI-ALONG). The OCM is an attempt to re-conceptualise learning post web 2.0, with a concern to rethink roles and responsibilities for learning as suggested by the LGC Manifesto. An earlier blog post, the first of a sequence of three of which this is number two, used the concept of the PAH Continuum to look at how teachers might develop a craft of teaching that would enable and support the self-organisation of learners. Sugata Mitra, who works on similar ideas, is now talking about Self-Organised Learning Environments (SOLE).  However what we are discussing here is perhaps the conceptual follow on, what I call an Emergent Learning Model (ELM), for reasons that I hope will become clear.  (more…)

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