Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Some excellent expertise and guidance from Heli on Connectivism on the eve of out PLENK 2010 course. She summarizes and draws some conclusions from a dissertation by Minna Lakkala (also recommended, especially the first 40 pages). It's a bit much to summarize in a paragraph, but one of the conclusions, "educational settings should include elements that explicitly advance students' metalevel awareness and understanding of inquiry strategies," is relevant.

"In particular," Heli summarizes, "those elements in students' activities should be structured and directed, which are central to the aim of Progressive Inquiry, but which the students do not recognize or demonstrate spontaneously without explicit modelling or promotion, and which are usually not taken into account in existing pedagogical methods or educational conventions. Such elements are, among others:
- productive co-construction activities;
- sustained engagement in improving produced ideas and explanations;
- critical reflection of the adopted inquiry practices, and
- sophisticated use of modern technology for knowledge work."

I have my criticisms, but these should not detract from the excellent reading to be found in both the dissertation and the blog post describing it. In particular, I find the notion of enquiry pictured above (as much as I like Hintikka) to be too narrow. This results in questions that (in my view) presuppose their own conclusions. For example, when Lakkala poses the question (p. 69) "what kind of on-line intervention from tutors would be functional to elicit more in-depth inquiry than students are able to reach without procedural guidance" we already know she believes what she will conclude, that "on-line intervention from tutors would be functional to elicit more in-depth inquiry."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jun 16, 2021 10:01 a.m.