Thought experiment on social networked learning (Connectivism)

George Siemens, Connetivism, Dec 14, 2010
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I guess the main problem for me with respect to constructivism is that when adherents say that students "make meaning" or "construct knowledge" and I ask "how?" I don't find a coherent answer. Because, if it's simply drawing (deductive or inductive) inferences from statements and/or previously acquired knowledge, then constructivism isn't different in kind from transmission theories. If they say it's developed or grown or in some way embodied, it's not clear how this becomes meaning. Mostly, it seems to me (and I am, of course, open to correction on this) constructivist theories are either silent with respect to the nature of (internalized) knowledge, or incoherent. This to me is a significant contrast with connectivism, which is explicit about knowledge creation (through associations mechanisms), storage (as a distributed set of connections), and meaning (as a set of interactions within a knowing community). Or, you could read George Siemens's take on this here.
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