Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rethinking Epistemology

I started this week’s CCK08 course work thinking – ‘what the heck is ‘epistemology’ and discovered that it is ‘the study of knowledge

So …

What new knowledge have I formed since learning about the study of knowledge?

How did I form this knowledge?

How does this new knowledge formation link to learning theory of Connectivism?

What knowledge have I formed since learning about the study of knowledge?

I’ve learnt a new word – ‘epistemology’ – and I can even spell it too.

I’ve learnt that just like carbon can ‘morph’ into coal, diamonds or graphite, dependent on how the environment has caused the carbon atoms to connect, knowledge is formed dependent on the way we connect with our environment and our networks.

Traditionally, information has been ‘controlled’ by those who had the power to present, print, or publicise it – forming a ‘gate-keeper’ approach to knowledge – whereby information was released into the environment by a selective and controlled means. However, the onslaught of information via the internet has allowed individuals to connect, create and collaborate in the development of knowledge in a completely different way. People are no longer restricted to the propaganda of their restrictive information sources. The internet has allowed the democrasisation of knowledge, widening our environments through online social networks, to an avalanche of information and new knowledge formation

How did I form this knowledge?

My new knowledge has been formed through ‘networks’ – neurological networks in my brain, and through environmental networks in the ecology of my surroundings.

New neurological networks have been formed, connected to previous understandings of ‘knowledge’ and ‘networks’ to form a new understanding of ‘knowledge’.

The exposure to information through George, Stephen and Dave’s resources – as well as my online learning network, like Twitter, when Mike Bogle - #CCK08 Fantastic post by Sinikka on nodes and connections -” last Friday – has also contributed to this new understanding.

How does this knowledge formation link to learning theory of Connectivism?

What I’ve realised by raising this question is that I don’t really yet understand the learning theory of Connectivism, as I’m finding it hard to find the connection between my new knowledge and the theory of Connectivism. Except to say that learning or knowledge is like the weather – it’s always changing and a little unpredictable due to its interconnection with its environment – and by understanding how the connections and networks of my environment allows me to formulate new knowledge by being exposed to a diverse range of networks – my learning/knowledge development this week has occurred because of the way I have ‘connected’ with my Connectivism learning environment, and if I had chosen a different way to interact with my learning networks, by reading different resources, entering into the online discussions, or reading the blogs written by other CCK08 participants about ‘Rethinking Epistemology’ then I would have changed the final output of my new knowledge.


Sarah Stewart said...

This is hard work isn't. The hardest thing I am finding is putting things into my own words, or putting them into a context that I understand.

theother66 (formally MadMiller) said...

Thanks again for commenting on my blog Sarah - I'm very much struggling to stay on track - it's week 5 and I'm just starting week 4 - hope to have it all finished by Christmas :) Allison