In the hands of the revolutionaries

After watching a video by Pierce Cook called This Will Revolutionize Education, it got me to thinking about our relationship to the different learning theories – connectivism, new Bloom’s Taxonomy, and constructivism – and my need to develop and sort where I fit in with all this.

My definition of knowledge or to know for years has been to know is to see. My mentor, with 40 years of teaching experience, repeats this often. In the back of my mind when reading Siemen’s, Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions, I try to make sense of what he means…

Essentially, I think, he means learning and knowledge can be found in a few clicks, and a willingness to communicate. Can it be that simple? Where are the questions and critical thinking skills?

As I see it, if diversity of opinions and networks (nodes) constitutes learning, then we, the teachers, must emphasize critical thinking skills, curiosity, and questioning skills. We can teach with Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy in mind or Siemen’s theory (or it just happens without us being aware maybe), but we can’t overlook that the onus for cultivating critical minds that ask questions is on me (us).

critical thinking

I don’t think Siemen’s make mention of it. He’s obviously a brighter guy than me, so it must be unaddressed for a reason. I just can’t figure out the reason. I suppose, perhaps, he knows that adolescent and teenage students are going to explore and learn what they will from whomever they want, regardless. This is evident and explained in the video Messing Around. Still, though, in explaining his learning theory, Connectivism, he makes no mention of critical thinking and questioning. I wonder why?

Perhaps, in utilizing any of these learning theories in our curricular areas to engage and motivate our increasingly digital students he leaves critical thinking and questioning skills out because this is where the revolutionary as suggested in Cook’s video above – the teacher – comes into play.

As a result, I’m left considering Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, a learning theory that does address more clearly the practice of higher level thinking (i.e. analyzing, evaluating, creating) – is that the same thing as critical thinking?  Also, Bloom’s is saying – I think – in whatever questions we’re asking, we’re always going to strive to inspire higher level thinking in our students.

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As I’m still left grappling with these theories and ideas, I’m left with the conclusion that both Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and Church’s New Taxonomy of Blooms, along with Connectivism are necessary in moving forward. Without doubt connectivism is here and now. Higher order thinking has always been here in the world of education, and let’s hope it doesn’t go anywhere. So, with that, from the perspective of a librarian, I see real world centered projects in the future, incorporating weChat, Instragram,FaceBook, and probably other social medias that students use, but in putting this into action I’ll still need to be considering critical thinking skills, digital literacy, and bloom’s taxonomy. Regardless, it’s on me to bring it to the students – the questions, higher level thinking, real world problem solving, critical thinking, etc.

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One Response to In the hands of the revolutionaries

  1. There is quite a bit to think about here. I am in agreement with you on the need to teach the skills. If we teach critical thinking and questioning skills then no matter what (hopefully?) students will be able to work out what is important on their own. Sylvia Johnston introduced me to the SOLO model in her blog which is more focused on what and how students understand than on the the process of understanding. The more I work with students the more I appreciate all of the models I encounter. Maybe that is like differentiation for educators. Thanks for your insights!

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