Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ Introduction to Social Constructivism

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Introduction to Social Constructivism


 

Unedited transcript by Google Recorder

 

All right. Hello everyone. I'm Stephen Downes. And welcome. To the session, um, which is introduction to social construction constructivism. And, I'm hoping. All right, that's probably better for you, isn't it? Okay, um, i'll share my screen. Yeah. Or. Probably better. Um, if you click on my screen, In your zoom. You should see me and see my slides. So, We

Can see you but it's slides are not. Um, we can see your slides. Have you started sharing your slides?

Um, i did. Okay. I see what's happening. Okay, so i'm just yes,

Like a blurred. We can see you clearly, you know, right? Okay. The slide your slides.

All right, so let's share the slides then.

Yes, now we can see the slides and we can see We can see the slides and then you are on a different screen where we can see youtube. All

Right, good enough. Um, so Okay. So here we are and i'll just blow these up so that they're nice and big.

Recording in progress.

Okay, and now the recording has started and we're actually official now. Welcome to this presentation on social constructivism. This is an introductory session. So i'm not going to go deep into the issues. The idea here is to provide an overview and maybe a bit of experience. On what is meant when people talk about social constructivism? Way too many s's and v's in this in this title from, for my comfort. Um, Oh, Got it. The content is being from current slide. Now, crying it alone. It's sharing on the wrong screen. So you're probably okay, stop share. Okay. Share screen. There we go. Nice and big. That should be better for you.

Yes. Yes, it is.

Okay. So, the way i'm going to do this, i've got some videos to show you. I've got some examples to show you There's a place where we can have some conversation. I know there's not a lot of people here. So the conversation probably won't be wide ranging. Um, And i have some exposition or explanation for you. So let's begin with that. So, Uh, constructivism. Is responding to. What might be called a transmission theory of learning. And in the diagram here, we see an example of the transmission theory of learning. Um,

All right,

There we go. Okay. The. In the transmission theory of learning. The one person typically the teacher. Uh, has a concept that they're trying to transmit, they will encode. It usually into words, although sometimes pictures and other things and then the receiver The student typically, well, decode it and thus form the same concept that the teacher was trying to transmit And then your verify that through, perhaps interactions the Typical. Um, Michael g, more theory of transactional learning. Um, or you might verify that through testing of some sort. To make sure that the student has the same concept that the teacher was trying to transmit Constructivism criticizes, this perspective. It suggests. Uh, and convincingly in my mind. That students or people generally. Construct new understanding and new knowledge through experience. And social discourse, not experience, includes people talking to them, just like it includes me talking to you. But it also includes their other experiences of the world. For example, their own experiences of cats say, In constructivism. Um, New knowledge. New content, whatever you want to call it. Is integrated into what is already known. And it's thereby extended. So a person, you know, if The teachers talking about a cat, the person might already have A preconception of a cat perhaps that preconception includes mice. And so they will through these experiences. Construct or build, or create a model. In their own mind. Of whatever reality the instructor is trying to get across. So it's a process that happens in the student entirely. It's not a case where the instructor transmits the entire knowledge, but rather whatever is experienced is integrated into previous knowledge. We see a distinction already between this and the transactional theory because the transactional theory Doesn't really. Include a role for prior knowledge and integration of knowledge.

However, However,

How this new knowledge is integrated. Is very much a matter of interpretation. I've got two alternatives here but you can see it on the screen. On one hand, we have a cat and the mouse. In a model, being imagined by a student and the cat is chasing the most, which is what you might expect. But on the other hand, we could have that very same. Set of concepts cat mouse person talking. And the cat and the most are getting along. And, Both of these are if you will supported by the evidence. Or more accurately. Which interpretation we're going to choose. Or develop. Is very much, a matter of the students background, their previous knowledge, their cultural knowledge etc.

And that leads

Us to social constructivism. As you can see, i'm just zipping right through this. Um, And social constructivism. Argues. That human development is socially situated. And so, the Constructions or models? Of reality that we create. Our constructed through interaction with others. So we don't do it all by ourselves, right? And that kind of a chords with Common sense. You know, very often people say that learning is a social activity and this is how and why learning is a social activity. So, we have the process of interaction people bring in their different experiences of cats and mice, etc. We have a conversation or we go through an activity together. And as a result of that, We create a common social construction. Which will be our shared model of the world. Now. Typically typically practically, we can't just go straight from interaction to model. Because we are out there working in the real world. So what actually happens is We have our interactions with each other. And we create artifacts. One. Such artifact is language. We create language through a process of interaction. And we use a shared vocabulary cat, for example, or most And together we we all collectively. Create these artifacts. And then these artifacts. Stand as a representation. For the model of reality that we're working with. No. There's very often. A distinction drawn between social constructivism. And social constructionism and i'll just draw that here. We're focused on social constructivism. And that focus is. On the artifact or the construct that are created through social interactions. But very closely related to Social constructivism is social constructionism. Which is focused most of all. On the activities and the interactions that take place. So it's not so worried about what the artifacts are except for the fact that there need to be artifacts that are constructed. It's more about. How we interact together, how we build together, how we construct together. My personally think of these is two sides of the same coin. And you can treat constructionism and constructivism as two separate theories. But really they kind of go together and it's really hard to have one without the other. So, how do how does this happen? Well here, here's an example. It's an example of Come on. Here we go. Building an ontology. And so, People would get together. And build. Relations and structures between things in the world here. For example is An ontology of pizzas. Has spiciness has topping. Etc. Here's another ontology. And this one is an ontology of membership. And reporting to can you figure out what that is? Probably think about it. Changed by sub-organization something to do with business. I guess. Eh, here's another one. Topic of Home page. Interest theme. This looks like it might be the ontology of an online account. Etc. So, and that's, that's how this works, right? We get together and together, we might use an application like this, or we might just work with paper. And will construct our model or our representation of the world.

Oops.

Okay, that's my version. And now i'll give you somebody else's version.

So,

What is constructivism? Well, let's look for clues. Constructivism. Constructor construct construction. Constructivism is about construction. The construction of reality and knowledge. It stands in contrast to positivisms assumption that there is one reality out there to be discovered, just as it is and objective knowledge out there to be gained. Constructivism looks at the interplay of forces that bring reality and knowledge into being. Constructivism is a term applied in different ways at different times in philosophy, sociology and research. It is also sometimes used interchangeably with constructionism and social constructionism. So nailing down. What it is. Exactly, can be difficult, but we'll try to get a general idea. Constructivisms ontology or understanding of being is generally classified as relativist. There is not one reality rather. There are many relative realities specific to and co-created in the context they are part of I constructivist would likely say that my reality will not be the same as your reality, because we have each constructed, our realities together with our communities, our societies, and other forces, It is not just people and our cultures conventions and institutions that constructive as C is forming reality. Rather the interaction between people as individuals or groups with the physical world around them, construct reality, Constructivists generally therefore do not deny the existence of a world outside of human perception. Rather that external world has a place as one of the forces that bring reality into existence through interaction. Constructivists believe that objects have existence but not meaning outside of human perception. The epistemology your understanding of knowledge and constructivism is often classified as a relativist one. Though not as fully relativistic as some perspectives. This relativism is not to be bemoaned, though, as positivists may be tempted to do. Rather a constructive is sees the varied nuanced understandings that different people bring into being as enriching our knowledge of the world. And within these varied perspectives, there are still criteria for getting to truth. For constructivists meanings are not all equally valid. There is not one right or objective, meaning the meanings vary on how relevant or fulfilling they are. Their value can be informed by how attentive they are to the object, they reflect Or how well, they balance the dialectical process of mediating, the interaction between subject and object. As researchers constructivists may take many paths. However, they all acknowledge the role that subjective experience and values play on knowledge in the research process. Many will attempt to harness these opportunities that arise from subjectivity.

So, That

Sounds like pretty skeptical. But there's no real contradiction. Between constructivism and realism and this is a an image that illustrates this really nicely. Uh, think of the object in the middle. As representing reality. Well, reality is looked at from different points of view or different perspectives. And these perspectives here are represented by the shadows that the object projects onto the walls around it or the floor. Viewed from one perspective. The object, looks like a square. Viewed from another perspective, the object looks like a circle. Viewed from yet, a third perspective, the object. Looks like a triangle. So we can see right off hand that Even if there is one reality, we can still have different perspectives. Now, what's interesting here is that Our perspectives of this object, can go above and beyond the object itself. And that's what this video was trying to hint at a bit. For example, we look at this, we look at these these objects and we ask well what could this object be used for? Uh, the technical term for that is affordances, what are the affordances of this object? And, you know, if we see the circle we might think, well, we could use it as a, as a stopper for a drain. If we see a triangle, we think, oh, we could use that to wedge under a door to hold it open. So, Based on our perspective.

Are

Understanding of this object goes beyond. What is simply there? Out there in the world and so the there is a sense that You can have realism with constructivism, and there is also a sense in which The constructive approach or the constructive model. Takes us beyond what is simply out there. And and that's because We're not simply mirroring reality. In our mind, we're not simply getting knowledge at his transmitted, to us, we're working with it and integrating it into models. In these models are what define things like affordances Well, how do we ground? These models in reality. And there are different perspectives on this. One perspective is what might be called the logicist perspective. And the logicist perspective will say that. You know, our Perceptions or interpretations of reality may vary. Because we each have a different point of view, but there are some objective truths. Or principles of facts and reason for example mathematics or logic one plus one is always 2. Uh, deductive argument has always deductive. And so sure we can have different perspectives on the world. But these perspectives, These models have to align with the principles of mathematics and logic. And indeed can't go beyond them. We can't go in a non-logical way from our experiences to as some people say, castles in the air. There are different ways to approach this. Um, emanuel Kant, for example, talks about the necessary, a priori Or another way of putting it, the conditions for the possibility of perception. How was it possible for us to have experiences at all? And he says, well, We have to have space. We have to have time. If we don't have these, we can't have experiences. Kind of makes sense. So that is where you begin to ground. Your constructions and your models based on your experiences. Chomsky by contrast. Says that. Syntactic structures or the nature of language and grammar is built in. Has a necessary structure. And so, our language itself. Is a guarantee. Of reflecting. The fact of the matter, the truth about the world. Or we can look at human development and how we experience the world through our own individual development, the transformations that we go through in different stages of development as described by piage. Another type of approach is the scientific perspective. And, Again, we could talk for days about this, but the idea here is that science. Is a social process. Not simply not just an empirical process. It's not just about observing the world, but it's a social process. That takes the models that we come up with a weather prediction say. Which are composed of a theory of the world or a model of the world and our actual observations. And we subject this to testing and confirmation In a public forum. And this is the whole concept of peer review in science, right? You can't just come up with a scientific theory and say hi. I've done it. Your scientific is theory is reviewed and tested by other scientists out there in the world. There are different approaches to this coral. Popper for example, proposed the logic of falsification, right? So the idea of science is people, some people come up with theories and then the rest of science tries to falsify that theory. And frassen talked about constructive empiricism, where we do. Collectively construct models of the world but these models are still grounded on our experience and our our, you know, the the physical phenomena that we see in the world. Radical constructivism. By contrast. Does away with the object of reality. And, That i'll admit i'm more partial to this than the others. Um, It says that even if the risk an objective reality, Might be might not be. That objective reality is beyond our reach. All we have. Are the different perspectives. And we can work together and construct an objective reality but there's no reason to believe that what we've constructed is arise not actually Representative of the world that's out there. So, let's think about that.

Because he's social constructivism. Because his theory of social cultural learning highlights, the role of social, and cultural interactions play in the learning process. This theory does not have stages, like Jean Piajay's theory. We got skis theory states, that knowledge is co-constructed and that individuals learn from one another. It is called a social constructivist theory, because in regaske's opinion, the learner must be engaged in the learning process. That's for vegansky learning happens with the assistance of other people. A fundamental aspect of regardsky's theory is the zone of proximal development. This is a range of tasks that are too difficult for an individual semester alone, but can be mastered with the assistance or guidance of adults or more skilled peers. Another part of this theory is scaffolding which is giving the learner the right amount of assistance at the right time. This implies that if the learner can perform a task with some assistance, then he or she is closer to mastering it. This theory is relevant to healthy adolescent development because if students work in pairs, they are interacting with people and therefore can learn different academic ideas from one another, This theory shows that students learn from each other. They can assist one, another and co-construct knowledge. Because he's social constructivism can be applied in the classroom in several ways. For example. The students can be grouped such that the students who understand the content work with the students who do not For instance, if a student, did not understand factoring a method, define, the zero or zero of an equation, the teacher could have another student explain the concept to them. Here, the more knowledgeable pier might use different language than one did as a teacher. In this way, the students phrasing might make more sense to the other student. The more knowledgeable student would also learn something, perhaps a deeper understanding of the content or a way to explain the concept that they had not thought of before. Students of different readiness levels will work together in groups when they do discovery activities, such as problem-based learning activities. In regardski's social constructivist approach to learning the groups would consist of at least three students and they would be given a problem that would challenge them all. And as a group, they would have to solve the problem. The teacher then would set up the activity such that it allows for everyone to contribute some ideas as to how to solve the problem before any method is attempted. We got his theory differs from that of pj in a number of important ways. First, we gotskip places more emphasis and culture affecting cognitive development. This contradicts piaj's view of universal stages and content development. Because he does not refer to stages in the way that PHA does. Hence, because he assumes cognitive development varies across cultures. Whereas, pj states cognitive development is mostly universal across cultures. Second, we got to keep places considerably, more emphasis and social factors contributing to cognitive development. We got ski stays the importance of cultural and social contexts for learning. Cognitive development stems from social interactions from guided learning within the zone of proximal development as children, and their partners co-construct knowledge. In contrast Piaget maintains that cognitive developments terms, largely from independent explorations in which children construct knowledge of their own, For vegansky the environment in which children grow up, will influence how they think and what they think about. Third. We gotsky places more and different emphasis on the role of language in cognitive development. According to pHA, language depends on thought for its development. That is thought comes before language. For every godski thought and language are initially separate systems from the beginning of life, merging at around three years of age producing verbal thought, or inner speech. For we godsuke cognitive development results from an internalization of language. And lastly, according to the godsky adults are an important source of cognitive development. Adults transmit their cultures tools of intellectual adaptation. That children internalize In contrast pj emphasizes the importance of peers as peer interaction, promotes social perspective, taking

Oops. Hello, that's right. So,

The. Recognition.

That social and cultural factors including The development of language in a society are in a culture. Impacts our review of theory. Where by theory what i mean is? The way we develop. The models or the constructions of reality in our own learning, There's a traditional theory is. Based on an imperative model. And is grounded, in fact, in observation. It is what the logical positiveists. Argued in favor of, and they would say, That a theory begins with observations our experiences of the world. That are encoded into an observation language. And then using only the principles of mathematics and logic which we know are correct, right? You construct your model or representation of reality from that. And that model or representation is used. To make predictions. And then you test your model or representation by testing those predictions, whether they come true or whether they don't And the reason why you have to do this is because For a given set of observations. There are multiple different representations, you could have. Limos might chase or the cat. Might chase the mouse or the cat might get along together with the mouse. So, you construct the different versions of reality. The different models. And then you test, And it's all very objective. The the the language that we use is as they say, theory neutral, it's specifically and only based in observation terms. Well. And that's so. That's where the criticism comes in. Because, This traditional approach fails to analyze the broader social context. Language to take an example. Is not just based in observations and deductions from observations. Language is a complex social phenomenon. The terms that we use, might refer to things that we've seen exist in the world. Like Mice and cats. But it might also, they might also refer to things that we've never seen in the world like genies. Or i don't know if you've seen ghosts or not, but Or mass. Um, And so, When we use language to create these theories, or when we use any sort of Social artifact. To create theories or ideas or models of the world. The traditional approach fails to analyze and look at that broader social context. So we have an alternative approach. Called critical theory. And critical theory. Actually reflects on the origin of the theory. And by that, what we mean is the origin, for example, of the language that we use to express the theory. The way we measure. Objects or events in the world, what counts as evidence, what doesn't count as evidence, what counts as a problem, what doesn't count as a problem? And then beyond that. Uh, Critical theory aims to be. A transformative force within that context is trying to shape theory, Into. Something that responds to What might be called, deforming social effects of On theory, that was a bad way of phrasing it, but Uh, for example. Critical theory will try to find insights in the forms of power and domination not exist. In a society, colonialism is a classic example of that. Or race is another example of that, that can Identifying the way these inform our theory. If we identify how these inform our theory, then we can act to correct theory. To resist those forms of domination. And and and and and power. Uh, And and do so, in a way that can, as it says here, informed practical action and stimulate change. You know. What counts as an observation. Isn't very neutral. It isn't power. Neutral, it isn't culturally neutral. Um, It's based very much on who has the power in a society to say this is an observation. This is not an observation. And so part of Social constructivism in education is giving people or helping people develop the tools in order to be able to develop A critical understanding and critical appraisal of theory. So that takes us to the practical application of constructivism. And, It's a change, not only in the way we look at what knowledge is. But it's also a change at how we look at. What are the structures of power control and agency in the classroom? And so the role of the teacher changes from being an instructor to more of a facilitator helping people construct their own knowledge. The teachers are instructors or facilitators. Need to learn. About the students to understand to their own contacts. There's a shared authority and responsibility for learning. And, Because it's social constructivism, there's a focus on interaction, especially in small groups, to allow people to create their own knowledge.

Constructivism in education. It is important to understand how teachers can apply constructivism inside their classroom to create a unique learning environment for students. In constructivist classrooms, the teacher has a role to create a collaborative environment, where students are actively involved in their own learning. Teachers are more viewed as facilitators of learning than actual instructors. That is why teachers must work to understand the pre-existing conceptions and understanding of students, and then work to incorporate knowledge within these areas. In constructivist, classrooms teachers will also need to adjust their teaching to match the learners level of understanding. The constructive is classroom, relies mainly on four key areas for it to be successful. First shared knowledge between teachers and students. Second shared authority between teachers and students. Third, teachers act as a guide or facilitator. And fourth learning groups consist of small number of students. Constructivist classrooms are often very different from normal classrooms in many ways. This is because constructive is classrooms. Focus more on student questions and interests. Here a constructivism classroom builds on what students already know and focuses on interactive learning. A constructivist classroom is also student centered where teachers have a dialogue with students to help them construct their own knowledge. Constructivist classrooms. Therefore often have teachers who do small group, work collaborative and interactive activities and open dialogues about what students need in order to find success. As we can see in a constructivist classroom, teachers create situations in which the students will question their own and each other's assumptions. In a similar way, a constructivist teacher creates situations in which he or she is able to challenge the assumptions upon which traditional teaching and learning are based. Educational theorists believe that at a constructivist level of knowing and thinking students continually re-evaluate their assumptions about knowledge. They're added towards the expert is transformed. Students are not troubled by ambiguity, but our enticed by complexity. And students take on a never-ending quest for truth and learning where truth is seen as a process of construction in which the knower participates For this reason, a constructivist teacher's perception of expertise in the classroom is based on the experience of his or her students in interaction with each other and with their teacher. Some education scholars believe that holding a constructivist view of knowledge, enables the teacher to explore and form new ideas about teaching and learning. This explains why in a constructivist classroom, teachers are viewed as individuals who are often drawn into teaching by a love of kids.

So,

There are Criticisms of constructivism. And we'll look at these briefly before we finish the the session. Uh, i'm not going to play this video. I'll leave this video as an exercise for you. These slides are available online. And you can watch this video. But i want, You know, if we were doing this and it's hard to do it with You know, when online presentation format like this, but if we were doing this session in a constructive list mode, What we should be doing now. Is. Engaging in a discussion. Uh, about some of the questions that might come up in. Uh, constructivism and especially social constructivism. Um, so i'll leave that as an exercise for you, but Uh whoops that's not what i wanted to do. There we go. All right, i want to. I must think about these questions. The, the first criticism that we see in that video. Asks us. Whether our experiences really tell us how or why something works. For example, we may have the experience of putting gasoline into a car and then getting in our car and driving away. But the argument is, there's nothing in our experience. That explains why this works, why we would do this? What it is about gasoline, that makes the cargo. And, That's a, you know. What do you think about that? Ask yourself. Is there a way? In. The mat, the methods and processes that we've talked about so far, To actually achieve understandings about how something works or why something works. Um, Another issue is. The proposition. In constructivism that knowledge can't be transmitted through language. On the face of that, that seems false, doesn't it? I mean, look what i'm doing now. I'm using language. And i seem to be sharing information with you. So, how is? That working. If i can't happen in constructivism. You know, when Children or people generally engage in constructivist pedagogy, there's a potential for novices to uncritically digest false knowledge. And even if they're working together, the assumption that truth will prevail. Seams, especially dubious in a constructivist classroom according to this criticism. So what do you think? You know, this is a point for you to have a discussion. Is there a way in a classroom? For people to actually, Come up with something that. Is true.

Another

Question that comes up. Is. If all know, it's just subjective. Then arguably we can't differentiate between science and pseudoscience. If every model, Is equal. One model is science, and other model is astrology. Um, They're equal, there's no way to distinguish between them. Or is there in a constructivist model? Another response. To constructivism is the problem of peer pressure. Get people into a group. And, Tell them that two plus two equals five. And if you have enough people saying two plus two equals five around you, That's a lot of pressure on you to just simply agree that two plus two equals 5. Even though you may know that it's not true, So the question is, is constructivism something that allows that You know, i mean, Are our analyzes of power. Simply obscuring, the fact that we're setting up a new kind of power relation. And then, finally, And we're experiencing that right here in this classroom, the phenomenon of cognitive load. So people. The various people john sweller, most notably Uh, have the idea that When we're absorbing information. Digesting information, we can only digest that a certain rate. And, If we're Doing too much extra stuff. Like having conversations, for example, and talking about whatever and considering all kinds of alternative theories, That's too much work. For us. In order to get to having the knowledge in any reasonable sort of time, And the example would be imagine if in this session, We had had a discussion of what is constructivism to start with. We would have had that discussion for a little bit. We might have gotten to slide one. On our own. But we probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere beyond that. And at the end of the class, We really wouldn't know very much more about constructivism and social constructivism. And then we did, when we started, It's not very efficient. But if we tried to speed up the process, that'd be too much for people to do. You can only do so much. So the recommendation is you use a transmission mechanism much like i'm doing here, And just give people the information and then they remember it and they know it. Now. I personally think. That there are responses in social constructivism and indeed the responses to all of these. Have been contained in the presentation that i gave. I, i think that we look at these two slides, Of criticisms, we can actually go back to the previous slides and find the response. But i'm going to leave that as an exercise for you. I think there are answers to all of these criticisms. I think you can probably find them if you work together. And look at, And consider what, you know about constructivism especially from your different perspectives and your different experiences. You can probably find the answers. To these questions. How do you learn for example? About how gasoline powers cars. How do you as an individual? Resist. Peer pressure. How are you able to learn things? When you talk to other people, even though that's inefficient I think the answers are there. But i'll leave it to you to find these. In a properly. Constructivist way. I think. I've tried to set the stage. But now i turn it over to you. And we've got about five minutes. Are there any comments questions? Anything like that.

Recording

Stopped. Nothing.

How do we use social constructors and online environments? Online learning? Yeah, a small group of mentioned.

So, in online learning, From social constructivist perspective. What we're most interested in is supporting the mechanisms that allow us to have these interactions. So that we can get together. And and create models are representations of the world. So, We use tools that allow us to have these conversations, For example, zoom like this except We wouldn't just use zoom to present sessions like this one. We would use zoom. To have a conversation where You just set up a topic ahead of time. And have people come to. The zoom conversation with their own ideas, their own perspectives, and then half. A facilitated discussion about that and by facilitated, what i mean is that there's a person In the room who is able to lead people to have that conversation? They might ask questions. They might encourage responses, etc. Similarly, for people who don't like or can't use. A video conferencing system. Online. It's very common to use discussion boards. And discussion board or even a social network will serve the same sort of function. Where people have? Their own perspectives and ad their own perspectives into a common environment. Where people are able to interact? But again. As as we know, just throwing a whole bunch of people out of social network, Doesn't really produce any sort of order. And more often, it produces chaos or, you know, the the as they say, the dumpster fire that is twitter. You need people. In that environment and in that conversation who are able to guide it, And they guide it first through moderation. Because some people just try to wreck the conversation. They don't want this kind of knowledge to be happening and these people need to be moderated out. But also, A good facilitator, will lead people to find conclusions, they'll do things for example, like identify where one person and another person said, Basically the same thing, the highlight this agreement between them Or they'll, Help people draw conclusions. You know, much much in the way that i try to do at the end of my session right now. The pose questions and help people try to draw conclusions from what they've seen. So those are the sort of techniques that you would use in an online environment. To, to try to promote a constructivist approach to learning.

Uh,

Sarah. Yeah. Go go ahead. Tom. Go ahead.

I just want to say thank you stephen and meditation for this session. I'm sorry, i came at half an hour late. Uh, i got, i don't know whether i flubbed the initial, uh, information about what it was to occur, but i i'm i missed the first half but i do appreciate what you are saying, stephen. I find the constructivist approach persuasive. Then i i do think too that there are questions about it. That, that would even come out of A self-criticism, which is what you were raising at the at the end. And i think those questions can be an answer to as well. I tried to teach from this point of view. I find it particularly helpful in my area like retired now but i still do a bit of teaching. Um, I'm in the world of archival studies. I was an archivist, taught. Um, in the master's program, in our cup of studies, at the University of Manitoba educating students. To be professional, archivists the constructivist approach to understanding. The world is very very helpful to archivist, seems to be because the implicit as you were saying and not implicit explicit is, um, the idea that means of communication Shape what we can know and that transforms, you know, picking up another term you were using Or the videos using a transforms, our understanding of those means of communication and

Thus of archives recording in progress and

You know, i don't know how much you may know, but the brother archives, i don't want to go on. I just want to sort of reinforce what you're saying and that is that um Archivistic and archives have been misunderstood undervalued visible and marginalized in a lot of things in the footnotes in the credits, at the end, which screen controlled fast fast at the end of the film, or whatever, the whole film is depended upon archives. Um, and yet if we focus on the means of communication, on the way things are constructed, then you do have to step back and think about our eyes library, scallaries museums. Education and so on. It is a way of Really rethinking things and it's not easy. It's complex and i'm not suggesting. I have all the answers to it either but Um, i think i've helped Introduce students to the way to thinking about this so that they can continue this process. But as you were saying, i think in one of your critiques or you can't just, you know, Have everybody start out with a group discussion based upon what you may know as if that's going to head educate them. In any way to continue the social constructivism approach or two function. Well, you know, i find because archives are so unusual of the students when they start out, many of them have never been in ours, you got a certain, give them stuff to think with, and then you can start seeing how it's constructed and how they can continue to construct. I've gone on at length, but simply because i want to emphasize some of which i appreciate what you're saying.

Yeah i think you're absolutely right. First of all there will be a recording of this so you can go back and get the first half if you need it and don't miss the first half. I did some nice stuff.

If they face on myself,

Um, Secondly. Not only do i agree with you, i would add that. To understanding learning this way. Gives you new methods of learning because you're no longer just dependent on somebody transmitting information to you. You are able to. Actually work in the environment, including the environment of archives. And use that in order to construct or create new knowledge. And i think that's really important. One of my favorite activities is going to a city And trying to learn about the people of the city by touring around the city. And, When you put it that way, how else would you learn about the people of a city except by touring around the city? And that's the takes us to the third point. Where you don't just throw people into a conversation. I really think that the experiential part is important. Um, you know, in the classic constructivist approach is to give people an experience and then how them talk about it. I like to express it as you know, learning is practice and reflections. Yeah, have them try to do something and then talk about why they weren't able to do it as it's usually the case. And so, yeah, you don't just give people a blank piece of page and say produce knowledge that would be crazyness.

Yeah.

I think to just to fall off and that when i say that in many cases in in the world of education, whatever the subject, the instructor just need to give something to get things going. But as long as the instructor says, you know, Be critical of me too. Don't i'm trying to give you something to get you thinking, but don't take it as gospel, you know, employer critical um thinking of palm what i'm saying and hopefully, you can instructors open to that. That's really important as well. And i think a better upcoming will come. This result

Here is emphasize that And that's, you know, that's the Understanding knowledge from the perspective, not just of the contents, but of the power and the social structures that produce it and You know, agency, i think is as important as anything in, in learning and development.

Yeah. Thanks very much again,

Thank you for joining us.

There are Sarah island. Is using chat because i might is not working

And

She posted two comments. Um, Thank you for sharing them about the rather complex model. I'm not a teacher, i make exhibitions But it makes me think about how people learn. I have social experiences come to conclusions. An exhibition spaces. So instead of thinking of an exhibition, as a means of transmitting knowledge, How can we think of it as a space of coke producing knowledge? Guiding learning. Facilitating conversations in social space.

Yeah, great question. Great question. And i, i would tie that in with where we finished off with the previous question about having experiences. Um, Putting people into a common environment. And having them share an experience. Uh, first of all, give some something in common to talk about But it also preserves each of their individual perspectives because everybody comes into it with a different background, And everybody. That's a different experience of whatever that common experience was. So, maybe running them through a game. Maybe running them through a simulation. Uh, maybe showing them a presentation. Um, short presentation. Um, You know, maybe having them try to build something. You seem a lot of these seminars, where, you know, you try to build stuff out of straws, or spaghetti or whatever. And, and then, That's the first part. And then the second part is, Uh, being able to facilitate that just that discussion. To help you know, is the term was used to scaffold it a bit. Um, so for example, if you take constructing a with spaghetti, Uh, the questions that you could ask them, could ask Could lead them to reflect on. You know, what are the strengths? What are the engineering strengths of spaghetti and how is it weak? Or the questions you ask them. Could lead them to think about how did you work together as a team? Um, you know, ask yourselves, you know, was there one person who took control? Did you listen to everybody, you know, those sort of things So, the experience and then the reflection on the experience. Uh, having these in a group. And then, Scaffolding or supporting this experience on the discussion that follows helps the group arrive at their own conclusions. So you're not forcing the conclusions on them and they may reach conclusions, you didn't intend, but that's fine. But it helps them co-create knowledge in that way. And, and my experience is Once you've done that a few times. Then they don't need you anymore. Um, because they'll have these experiences and have these reflections on their own and that's that's characteristic of professional teams. You see that all the time with a professional team? A bunch of, you know, a bunch of strangers who who have this background in educational come in. They'll try to do something. Uh, you know, run a project, build a product, whatever. And they'll communicate back and forth and be reflective on their own process as well as reflective about whatever it is that you're doing and they'll just know how to do that as a completely different experience than just having one person come in and tell everybody what to do completely different. And recommended, by the way.

Recording

Stopped. Uh, excellent. I personally love, you know, when you mentioned

Constructs or learning artifacts, And go production.

Um,

Because, When it comes to indigenous content

In

Education, authentic indigenous contents, we don't have So, to have students as In a student authors and promote. Um, you know, learning where they become contributors. It'll creators.

Yeah, is

How we will bring. Authentic. Indigenous content for everyone because of indigenous and non-images people. The economy indigenous people, i find there were so many researchers. Um, people who want to do projects? I have 13 coming with me yesterday. You know, these They look different, you cannot come in a community and just do a project. Um and you need to have thousand cups of tea with multiple stakeholders,

You

Know anywhere. Um It takes time to build that relationship. You have a project but who they'll give that am about you and your project. We don't know you. Um, find that this constructive approach will help us produce. Content knowledge. You know you like and scaffolding and more knowledgeable other, which you mentioned it's like what street social cultural, you know, culture is part of it. Um, satellites mentioning more. I like the model Stephen practice experience. Are plus reflect. We try to do that in exhibitions through interactives but they're often treated as special features

Which

Would be interesting to have that as the main company. So, so what do you You know, your framework model can be applied. Archives. Exhibitions, i think I love going to exhibitions. I went to Fort Edmonton Park and Uh, they had about first nations people here in Alberta. Um, And it was so good to have the names of elders. And the quotations because i know some of those elders. So

It's

Good to have familiar but that the words are teaching Um that it's not just the residential schools, you know, where people were fighting with each other anywhere, where there is poverty, you have limited resources people with fight with each other, just to survive to put food on the table, you know, So it's it's really but these are my thoughts that it's fantastic, but where am i giving that? Um, that Where am i sharing my feelings with the exhibitors, you know. Um, just putting them. Um, feedback boxes is not how people will get a get input.

I

Just find this with open education, like with online learning. But we have to. Um, use tools with Small. Um, Educational tools. Um, as part of learning we have to maybe first year students, we may have to teach them how to create a google alert alert. You know, how do you use a citation generator site fast using? We may have to educate people about simple tools, like five minutes, two minutes, you know, not because they don't need more time, you know, like just in common them but not that cognitive load is so challenging, you know, prayer knowledge. I think that's fantastic. You present it that committed load. I don't know how much is too much. You know, how much is two left? So, thank you so much, and I want to request you to do another presentation, and you can do it. January of February about connectivism because then it leads to You know, if they constructivism the ever connected person and i know that's your topic of expertise also. Yeah.

Think about it. You know. Yeah. February. Whenever you have some time. Yeah. Maybe end of january. I think might be good. Yeah. Okay.

Okay, then i think your time for being with us and thank you, sarah. I think it's really good. Um, you know, i think it's really good. You bring in the exhibition, like, exhibits. I've taken my children wherever we go. When they were small, like, to all these museums and i think it's, it's fantastic knowledge and i really value it. And also thank you so much for bringing the Not just the education or philosophy or sociology but also, you know, your practice. Public museums. Yeah. Exhibitions i think that's sort of thank you. I do, i chosen play college. It's also end of the area. I'm very grateful, you know? I'm very grateful that you share knowledge with us. And all of us contributed. And we proved special constructivism by having questions and the discussion and a very active discussion. So it's a 130 second pair, and when we pray, we remove our glasses here in muscatine. Run away. Neon get the vast system. I hi. Hi exit. Um, anyway, when we come through the conversation, we say x-ray moistas, which means that's it for now until we meet again later. Oh wait, never say bye. I'm playing scream. And also, one of the topics, you know. I'm always interested as language revitalization. Like three years ago, you had someone from your department speak about machine learning, and if you can coordinate another session, Um, about language. You know what work is being done and update? I think it was three years ago they presented. So i'm sure they have been updates in language revitalization. Uh, two because next year is our 50th anniversary for our college and and you know what, it's really nice to learn about nutrients. In line and indigenous language, revitalization. Thank you. Moistas. Thank you very much.

 

Videos used for the Slides and as Sources

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbaOR8ahoSM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3lv-DBh4w8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4BWpJ85jys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDxr8lNB330

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcznYMK6r_8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39ZynAt6c9Q&t=155s


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

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 4:35 p.m.

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