I have been reflecting on Amy Ludlow and Ruth Armstrong’s Learning Together presentation at the University of Canberra.
Their co-production of their presentation struck me forcefully. I related very strongly to their epistemological and ontological approach. Much of my reflection since the presentation has been about how different, edgeless pedagogical contexts might nourish socially emergent personhood (with lashings of presupposing potential).
Whereas Amy and Ruth talked about ineractive edges in their presentation, I am keen to pursue the edgeless possibilities of open sharing … and the advocacy and practice these might take.
As I was luxuriating in these reflections, I came across Chris Arnade’s discussion of two isolated Americas. His depiction of the old man tables that gather each morning in McDonald’s stopped me in my tracks. He points out the physical an ideological segregation of these groups (“Most are segregated because the neighborhoods they are in are already segregated. Because we live largely segregated lives”).
I wondered if this might be the case with pedagogy conversations too, Chris concludes his post with this observation:
Countries fail when citizens stop believing they have a shared responsibility to each other. When they forget we are in it together.
How do we forge a shared responsibility when in education we do have different epistemological and ontological commitments?
After leaving McDonald’s tables, I found myself contemplating Michael Feldstein’s discussion of PEARSONalized Learning. Michael compares Pearson’s approach to learning with a personalized approach to the students in the back row. Teachers and learners at the centre of Michael’s conversation are an antithesis to a Netflix for education approach (“delivered through this single, quality user experience, but available to all ages and stages of learners”).
News of Ignatia de Waard’s PhD thesis completion took me further in the consideration of personal and personalised learning explored in Michael’s post. Ignatia’s work with 56 experienced adult online learners engaged in Future Learn course raises some fascinating issues about informal learning, learning experience design and the contextualisation (personalisation) of course content to encourage learner engagement.
In their presentation, Amy and Ruth discussed the physical and metaphorical walls that surround universities and prisons. Their work has taken me further in my thinking about what Beyond Walls teaching and learning might look and feel like. Audrey Watters has added to my thinking too in her two recent discussions of undisciplining educational technology.
I am not sure what radical blasphemy might do at the McDonald’s tables but after this week I am emboldened to think that these are conversations we can have about education.
Pole Vaulter (Keith Lyons, CC BY 4.0)