OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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by Stephen Downes
Aug 14, 2014

Content and continuous learning: The cornerstones of a learning architecture
Melanie Moffett, Dawn of Learning Blog, 2014/08/14


I sort of wonder about this observation: "What separates powerful learning and development organizations from the middling crowd? A May 2014 report... identifies what high-impact learning organizations (HILO's) are. In short, they actively make use of their technology, modalities and learning architecture in support of L&D objectives." I doubt that this is what distinguishes them. Perhaps what distinguishes them is that they do it successfully. But from my observation, they're all using the technology, and all pursuing L&D objectives.  The superficiality of analysis is choking the discipline!

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The nurturing and social reform models of teaching and their relevance to connectivist online learning
Tony Bates, online learning and distance edcuation resources, 2014/08/14

More from Tony Bates, who is having a productive 'retirement'. This post focuses on 'the nurturing approach', "a strong emphasis on the teacher focusing on the interests of the learner, on empathizing with how the learner approaches learning, of listening carefully to what the learner is saying and thinking when learning, and providing appropriate, supportive responses in the form of 'consensual validation of experience.'"

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Let’s stop trying to teach students critical thinking
Dennis Hayes, The Conversation, 2014/08/14

This idea surfaces from time to time and is commonly found with the same central tenets as are found here:

  • critical thinking is not a skill - thinking of it as a skill reduces it to second-rate applications of tricks of logic
  • critical thinking means some form of indoctrination, typically feminist or Marxist
  • critical thinking is itself uncritical and typically involves adopting some perspective

As a long-time teacher of critical thinking as well as a student of the ideas behind it, I think I can unequivocally say that these three points are nonsense. Critical thinking is a set of tools that help you correct errors in your own reasoning and resist being persuaded by errors in others. It has the same status as mathematics, and failing to teach it has similarly devastating consequences.


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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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