Week 2 Challenge from Dave Cormier‘s course, “Rhizomatic Learning — The community is the curriculum.”
Explore a model of enforced independence. How do we create a learning environment where people must be responsible? How do we assure ourselves that learners will self-assess and self-remediate?
I’ve had a smiley smirk on my face since reading week 2’s challenge and listening to Dave’s intro for week 2. I wish I had thought of the idea of enforced independence when writing my thesis about my experiences and my students’ experiences with independent learning within the confines of required credits for high school. I live the week 2 challenge questions pretty much every day.
Currently in year four of an evolving (rhizoming?) learning environment, I ask students to pursue a learning interest for which I will find an appropriate credit. I discovered and embraced the idea of the rhizome in year one, and continue to live it. Student curiousity and interest rather than a course or a set curriculum, lead the learning. For example, one student began pursuing an interest in veterinary medicine and ended up transposing music to create a four-part a capella arrangement.
I have students studying Norwegian, Python programming, C++programming, criminal psychology, “beats,” 3D modelling, Android apps and more. All of which I have little or no knowledge. The students must be independent (and interdependent–thanks to ???’s rhizo blog response). The situation itself enforces that the students take responsibility for their learning. If they are really interested, they will pursue their interests. They learn without being “taught.” I enforce independence, because I cannot directly “teach” them. I can direct them to resources and help them to question and plan and organize and assess, but they must gain the knowledge and understanding through their own efforts.
Ensuring that the learners self-assess and self-remediate is weaker than I’d like. Students share their weekly learning achievements on Fridays with the larger group. This doesn’t have the depth that I’d like, so I’m thankful for the example Dave Cormier’s course outline, which provides some structure for responsibility while maintaining the independence for learners.
Next week, I’m mapping out a new plan for second semester. This course is very timely in helping me to imagine other possibilities. Many thanks to participants for sharing for their ideas.