#Rhizo14 Community not curriculum and the end is near

Before I begin (and I am going to miss the hangout again as it will be at 3 AM India time), I think Dave rocked again in #rhizo14. Way to go Dave!

Dave is our Elvis
Dave is our Elvis

I am conflicted when I think about curriculum. I have experienced it prescriptively in the formal education system and I realize that it is bounded by its philosophical basis as well as the competence of stakeholders to transact it (the two sometimes straining in opposite directions).

In the rhizomatic sense, I am guessing curriculum is evidenced by the community members through their open reflection and practice.There is no core.

In the Community of Practice sense, the community itself evolves through various stages –  Potential, Coalescing, Active, Dispersed and Memorable as in the chart below.

In another take on this, George Siemens in Connectives and Collectives: Learning Alone, together suggests that as ties become stronger and individuals aggregate into groups and collectives, the discourse becomes normed (in fact there is a veritable coercion to the norm) that leads to a drying up of new ideas that are novel and diverse.

In the diagram above, he also ties it up with autonomy to the learner, which he believes to decrease as these ties increase in strength and degree.

I think the strength of Rhizomatic and Connective Learning is the “personal formation” of curriculum and the heutagogical “capability” to contextually adapt the curriculum evidenced by the community to transcend personal learning plateaus.

In that sense learning becomes a process of, among other things, shared discovery of curriculum itself, a way-finding and sense-making exercise.

It also makes sense to think of curricula instead of curriculum – different ways to transcend the same plateau. The community then evidences things such as values, beliefs, patterns of use and engagement that equally constitute any curriculum (one must consider failure in a Rhizomatic community as well. What mechanisms exist when a curriculum itself fails to empower.)

Like a Rhizome, Rhizo14 is an event in my meanderings. The event may end, but the rhizome continues to flourish and grow.

4 thoughts on “#Rhizo14 Community not curriculum and the end is near

Add yours

  1. Love the diagrams and Dave is Elvis, right? That push from individual to group, and the resulting tensions there, are fascinating, I think. The continuum suggests that creativity stems first from the individual, and I wonder if the collective can also nurture the same, or does it need to evolve first from a single space and expand out?


    1. Not sure as we do see collectives evidence creativity (film-making for example) in expression and output and that does inspire (spread) individuals. However I think the point is more to say that as compared to collectives where opinions and learning become more aligned to what the community is or wants, connectives still act as communities that allow novel ideas to emerge. This is perhaps true in contrasts between communism and democracy for example, if you think political systems. Perhaps it is also true of an educational context – but I think scale plays a role as well in thinking about these two (e.g. do mini-collectives also behave the same way as large connectives?). So do other factors such as information abundance, weak ties etc.


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