Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
So anyhow, Jay Cross wrote this article a few days ago, offering a mixer analogy to highlight some of the ways informal learning differs from traditional learning. That prompted me to comment and, well, once I got going I didn't stop until I laid out a fairly comprehensive objection to the metaphor - and to the characterization of informal learning in general. Some people - like Mark Berthelemy - think that instead of the clarity and accuracy I am looking for, "Most managers, executives, whatever you want to call them, don't read academic arguments - they respond to marketing messages: simple, clear pictures that they can understand and relate to." If that's true then they deserve to have their business fail; I have no sympathy for someone who cannot be bothered to learn about the business they are supposedly managing. But in a post titled Politcally radical - perfectly natural Tom Haskins gets to the source of the disagreement. "The premise of formal learning is not learning, but control. Informal learning is not different enough to change the underlying premise of control."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Mar 30, 2021 02:14 a.m.