About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Situated and organizational learning

I currently am reading an article by Contu and Wilmont which points out the short comings of current organizational learning researchers' use of power and the understanding of power structures on learning in the context of situated learning.

I have been able to just pop in and out of the
connectivism course (and the amount of information is overwhelming). However, I am hoping that there is going to be more discussion about the power structures and use of power within and between networks; sort of a critical pedagogy of connectivism.

My feeling is that too many times the power structure is the elephant in the room, the major force and barrier to learning and evaluation that we refuse to recognize. Which brings me back to situated learning. If we do begin to recognize and understand the influence of power as a part of situated learning, as Contu and Willmont suggest, situated learning theory will be much more relevant as a tool for analysis and a basis for research.


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Virginia!

Hmmm. CoP and the constraints of 'power'. heavy stuff! I wrote a brief post on complexity science that I'd picked up at a seminar. I also did a fair bit of reading around this topic. There's a lot, if you look.

Etienne Wenger, who is mentioned in the article your reading, also works with Nancy White. I met her last month at DEANZ Conference - a vibrant personality with a broad view and experience in studying CoPs. Check out her blog, if you haven't come across it before.

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

Sarah Stewart said...

Good comment about power, and like you, I have wondered how that can be a factor in connected learning. There is always a potential for power relations to interact in any course, so does connectivism reduce that?

V Yonkers said...

@Ken: I checked out her site and she does have some similar threads. I especially like the role of "groups" within an organization. However, I think there are formal and informal power structures that are not really addressed in her three postings.

@Sarah: one thing I try to do is to show students how networks, in and of themselves, are examples of different types of power. Last year, when teaching a group communication course, our text listed the different types of power used within groups (coercion, reward/punishment, legitimate-respect and acceptance by the group, expertise, and referent or based on groups you belong to--Galanes and Adams, 2007). I think that each of these types of power exist in different networks and that connectivism should be recognizing how each type of power will influence learning and how connections are made.

So to answer your question, no, I don't think connectivism reduces power but rather makes it more transparent.