Learning Passionately

John Connell, Weblog, Aug 10, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

John Connell summarizes a talk by John Seely Brown regarding 'passion-based learning, "a highly collaborative and social mode of learning that he feels we should be moving towards in schools and beyond,... 'situations where students who are passionate about specific topics study in groups and participate in online communities.'" In a follow-up Connell wonders about the relation between knowledge and social construction. Knowledge, of course, is something that is personal. But it depends for both its creation and representation (in many cases) on social interaction, and so it is tempting to say that knowledge is essentially social, not personal. This would be a mistake - there is some knowledge that indeed is social - things it takes an entire society to know, like how to fly to the moon - but this is not the same as the knowledge you and I have, which exists entirely (and only) in our own heads. Also of interest: Connel links to this mind map of Seely Brown's talk, leading to a
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