Quick review of the Larnaca Learning Design Declaration

Sheila MacNeill, Sheila’s work blog, Jan 09, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

OK, I have to admit, my first thought on encountering this was to wonder why there would need to be a declaration on learning design. But the Larnaca Declaration is just that (though you'll need to click on a link to an MS-Word document to read it (PDF here)). It suggests an analogy by which we should understand learning design: musical notation. "The purpose of creating musical notation was not simply the abstract concept of music representation; rather, it was a vehicle for conveying great musical ideas to others." Part 2 offers a good history of learning design (there's a 'clip-and-save' table on page 7) while part 3 looks at the problem "that the foundational ideas and definitions are not sufficiently clear" in the field, including the bugbear of "pedagogical neutrality". The Declaration then turns to the 'Learning Design Conceptual Map', which is an attempt to extablish a common framework for describing learning designs. I'm thinking maybe they should call it 'teaching design', since the focus is on the teacher as, if you will, maestro.

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