The article I chose to read and respond to was one of Dave Cormier’s. The title is “Rhizomatic Education: Community as Curriculum”. The link can be found here.
In this article the traditional concept of education is challenged. What we think education should look like. How curriculum outcomes must be met and measured by an expert at the front of the room who’ll assign your work a number grade. Is that really the best way? Or just the way it’s always been done?
Also Dave explains further the concept of rhizomatic learning. I touched on that term briefly in a previous blog post and was interested to read up further on the topic.
“The rhizomatic model of learning, curriculum is not driven by predefined inputs from experts; it is constructed and negotiated in real time by the contributions of those engaged in the learning process. This community acts as the curriculum, spontaneously shaping, constructing, and reconstructing itself and the subject of its learning in the same way that the rhizome responds to changing environmental conditions.” (Cormier)
The challenge herein is that one must be mentally prepared to stretch and think more globally. I personally love the idea of community knowledge sharing. I think some of my best coursework has been completed in that way. However, I recognize not everyone will embrace a change in that direction. It means accepting fluidity, and fluid can mean messy. It can mean giving up control and shifting toward negotiation.
Whether we were aware of it or not, we were in the midst of rhizomatic and community learning throughout our Ed366 course. The first email outlining our choice of optional assignments, was laying the groundwork for the negotiations that were to follow. Recall our discussion on changing point values for different assignments. Not too often to students have a voice in the grading rubric. Then some assignments were nixed all together for one reason or another. But the plan was flexible and able to be modified as our circumstance as a group changed.
I’m sure for many of us, things seemed overwhelming at first. It was new. It wasn’t clear cut. But it gave us the flexibility to choose an entryway and exit strategy that was right for each of us.
Some questions came to mind as I was reading and I’ll pose them to you all now. If communal learning is key and of benefit, then why is Wikipedia not recognized as a valuable or credible resource? I have my own opinion but I’d like to hear yours.
Secondly, will anyone implement a negotiated rubric/learning contract into their own classes? Why or why not?