[P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement

Dante-Gabryell Monson dante.monson at gmail.com
Mon Oct 21 16:36:35 CEST 2013

Hi June,

Thanks for putting these points forward.

I realize this is a very broad topic.
I am giving some more elements, which extend beyond
curriculum , institutionalized education and accreditation.


did you by any chance hear of a *field of study called "Digital
Anthropology" ?*

I like some of Michael Mesch and his students videos

one of the more popular / viral ones they produced, and which some of us
may have seen ?

also see : *http://p2pfoundation.net/Tower_and_The_Cloud*<http://p2pfoundation.net/Tower_and_The_Cloud>

one of my first finding, 10 or more years ago, on such topics being


In the initial example given in the wired article (
http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/) ,
I remember mention of the students asking questions to the teacher, and the
teacher returning with information it can find online, while also opening
up *potential for self organization in their learning approach*.

I seem to interpret in your message a *concern in relation to reliance on
digital mediums ?*

What comes to my mind is that some studies indicate *effects on attention

although personally, I sense such attention span may also be *contextual*.

imho , It is possible to have longer attention spans , *combining various
mediums of information, *
*for example when one has a question one wants to answer, or a field of
interest we explore ? *

I know from my own experience that I *can spend many hours researching a
specific topic, including online.*   I can also have a long attention span
in watching documentaries, or online presentations, *when they are of
interest to me. If not, I can skip through.*   Perhaps more of us have such
approach ?

Having *questions*, and researching online does , for me, speed up access
to certain *references*, which in turn *can lead to further questions*, ...
 progressively building *a puzzle of inter related fields of knowledge* ,
enabling me to understand and *develop new questions and ideas*, possibly
also in support of enabling a *holistic understanding of interconnected
realities ?*

You mention books :

When I find interesting references to books, I may end up reading the books.
In some cases, I can find a library locally that has them available.
In other cases, I can find references to people who discuss the books, and
eventually, if they live locally, meet them, and borrow it from them, while
eventually discussing the ideas together, and further open up new
questions, or new ideas.     I also like to share references, for example
via *social bookmarks* https://www.diigo.com/user/dante-gabryell

I know Michel and others on this list also use social bookmarks :

for example

Personally *I do not buy books as it costs resources to store them,
resources to buy them, resources to transport them.*   There are also
options such as book crossing ( I did not use it much )

I do miss *an environment for interaction*. I left school ( at age 15,
officially 16 ), and spent years traveling.
Makerspaces and other informal spaces may open up potentials for certain
forms of interaction.   I sense there are ( more and more ) movements in
the process of supporting the development of such spaces.

*Situated cognition, action research learning, communities of practice*,
etc are many approaches that can be put into practice, and are put into
practice even without being called such.

Beyond maker spaces, its a whole new ( some may say, very old )
approach to learning, that can involve the creation of new lifestyles.
I also appreciate : *http://p2pfoundation.net/Festivalism*

I sense we are developing tools for "real social" networks, that enable an
interface between online and face to face, or that have as focus to
facilitate face to face meetings.    Hospitalitywebsites ( such as
bewelcome.org or couchsurfing ) are one of such examples, and a very rich
source of learning through encounters and travels.

*My own position on learning is that we can use diversity,*
*and that such diversity can be introduced yet need not be imposed.*

Moocs <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_open_online_course>, since you
mention it, is in my view but only one approach - offering a online
environment which seems to have more in connection with an academic
approach ?

I am also aware that there are discussions being held about cursive hand
writing - will it still be taught ?


It seems to me that the ( more ) restricted resources put in a linear
system of public institutional learning , may lead to leave potentials for
a greater diversity of learning out - *p2p, mutual learning may open up
potentials of learners beyond any limited curriculum* and more centralized
teacher approaches.


There may be *transitions, including in terms of value systems.*
Personally I see potential in *modularity and self organization.*

It seems of interest to me to make parallels between elements you describe
in your article

and elements from the hypothesis of *spiral dynamics*

another ( rather simple ) graph in relation to spiral dynamics


to get more into depth into such forms of hypothesis
I find this pdf of interest

and also


I also just found this link, which seems to make an interesting compilation
regarding spiral dynamics


Offcourse,* its just a theory*. There can also be different approaches to
such theory.

There are various approaches to integral theory,
and here is an interesting 2005 text by Michel Bauwens as critique to one
of the approaches


I also want to cc Parker
who quite some time ago initiated the following compilation

Before finding out about http://p2pfoundation.net , the compilation Parker
initiated has been very useful to me.

On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 2:59 AM, June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>wrote:

> Dante --
> Thank you for those links -- a lot of good stuff there.  I like what
> Sebastian Thrun says, I happen to like Sebastian Thrun and his ideas in
> general, but I believe that this is a limited understanding of human
> learning and the field of what truly defines the most important human
> learning when it is literally reduced to the limits of this medium alone.
>  I wrote an entire paper in the UN Chronicle about this concern, linked
> here:  "Bringing Human Passion into Sustainability Education and Bridging
> Cultures"<http://wwwupdate.un.org/wcm/content/site/chronicle/home/archive/issues2012/dialogueamongcivilizations/bringinghumanpassionintosustainabilityeducation>
>   and that concern is literally in over-emphasizing education that is
> cognitively freeing but because of the reduction of the
> interpersonal-necessary learning, emotionally even more narrowing than our
> current over-regimentalized schools.
> One can learn so much from books, texts, words and even the greater
> communication that enhances all those other forms and more that can happen
> on the computer.  But I haven't seen much emotional intelligence developed
> that way, and by that I mean not only empathy, and compassion but far more
> importantly emotional energy immediate and forceful enough to actually move
> people to action on account of all this word "learning".  I've only ever
> seen other people do that with people, or occasionally the immediacy of art
> and human pain relayed together to evoke a responding emotional connection
> and passion.
> I just deeply believe that true human problem-solving on complex human
> issues, demands a much deeper understanding of this than I have seen come
> out of the most "wired" places or from the most "wired" people, having
> lived in and near Silicon Valley a good portion of my adult life.
> It's not an either/or for me, but there is something definitely to be
> concerned about in thinking the computers can do the most critical again,
> emotional/social/cultural intelligence learning/teaching that it is clear
> in many cases it hampers and often harms.  Unfortunately, I find those most
> trained in the expertise of machine language and learning, often the ones
> least able to see much less compensate for this lack.
> But love the information you have sent about this here -- still great
> resources as a part of a larger construct.
> Best,
> June
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Dante-Gabryell Monson <dante.monson at gmail.com>
> *To:* June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>
> *Cc:* P2P Foundation mailing list <p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org>;
> Myra Jackson <mljack19 at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Sunday, October 20, 2013 3:22 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement
> http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Education
> On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 5:54 AM, Dante-Gabryell Monson <
> dante.monson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you June for correcting my apparent mis-interpretation of your reply.
> I believe it can be part of an equipotential approach , defined in this way
> http://p2pfoundation.net/Equipotentiality
> a non-credentialist approach :
> http://p2pfoundation.net/Anti-Credentialism
> I remember the story of medieval universities emerging around libraries,
> as a convergence amongst peers ?
> Furthermore, I personally have the tendency to discourage the usage of the
> word "education", preferring the concept of "learning".
> A further potential I hope we can explore further is one of nomadic
> learning.
> Learning via contexts and situations, in interaction with a diverse set of
> realities , encounters, influences.
> Cordially,
> Dante
> On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 7:14 PM, June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>wrote:
> Hi Dante,
> I was in no way suggesting that you saw this as replacing humans with
> machines.  My caution is that there are several very powerful forces in the
> current models of education being promoted, many under the rubric of
> "education for sustainable development", that very much do have that exact
> long-term goal.  This in the US, is part of the issue on both sides of the
> eventual benefit/destruction controversy of public university models
> promoting the MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) by some of the top private
> universities in the US.  Currently offered many times for
> free.....but......in the future?  And at what loss to the basic premise of
> universities -- that people from different worlds, views and backgrounds
> come together in a "combustion" of these different ideas?  That often
> necessitates interpersonal listening and dynamics I haven't seen often well
> exemplified in truly difficult conversations, on the computers alone.
> In the individual case, like yours, many valid points do exist such as you
> say,
> "Such approaches have been central in my own learning - up to a point
> where I felt I could learn faster / feel less alienated in my learning by
> leaving school."
> Multiple modalities and ways of learning need to be open wide to all to
> access their preferred way of doing so, and the computer is among these.
>  Even Marco mentions an important one of these with the Boy Scout more
> Dewyan -- "learn by doing" -- model.  But all of these systematic models
> embody the mostly un-excavated and un-examined prejudices of their dominant
> instigators and thus in the clear case of the Boy Scouts -- discrimination
> against girls (handled by funding a separate sex organization in the Girl
> Guides) and the latest, against homosexuals.
> There are also some dominant Western "Enlightenment" and entitlement-based
> ideologies that systemized certainly sexist models of defining ways of most
> productive thinking and evening feminine/humanities/irrational/nature vs.
> masculine/science/rational/technology dichotomies with Father-Force and
> technology having the thus naturally accepted right to dominate and
> subjugate "Mother-nature".
> This is one reason many females under that system found it very difficult
> to proceed in their most productive-to-learn ways and style of learning,
> and one reason many "others" of different groups also find the computer
> less judgmental of what "intelligence" most mattered in these limited ways
> found in our standard educational "systems" and thus found it easier to
> learn on their own.  But my concern is that these still underlying
> judgments of the technological-dominant view of the world prevail and often
> remain, now with no dissenting "teachers" at all, and will thus be the only
> view children are "exposed to" at all, to what is most important to learn.
> That computers can add to this connecting and learning from others at all
> ages -- that I think is where your argument is very much more powerful.  I
> completely agree on that point, but it is still necessary to learn the most
> critical emotional/social/cultural intelligences for a sustainable
> (healthy, peaceful, caring and more equitable) world only interpersonally
> with others and critically when children are mostly "emotional" learners
> and thinkers -- when they are young and until the age of 10 -- before just
> letting the machines take over.
> Which again, is where some "educational policy leaders" are definitely
> headed, so much more "cost-effective" for getting "test-takers" taught on
> easily measurable quantitative and thus inherently reductive tests of what
> that "education" should encompass.  I was only arguing that despite its
> advantages, technology as systematic education can have some very negative
> outcomes and certainly cautions to consider as well.
> Warmly,
> June
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Dante-Gabryell Monson <dante.monson at gmail.com>
> *To:* June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>; P2P Foundation mailing
> list <p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org>
> *Cc:* Myra Jackson <mljack19 at gmail.com>
> *Sent:* Friday, October 18, 2013 9:20 AM
> *Subject:* Re: [P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement
> Hi June,
> Thanks for your reply,
> I personally do not see this as a replacement of humans by the machines.
> I rather see the internet as a powerful tool for access to information,
> both supporting and facilitated by dynamics between learners.
> I believe that the pedagogies it can be inspired of are that of Piaget,
> Montessori, ...
> And as Marco underlined, hardly any new self learning ( or mutual learning
> ) approaches.
> What is new, is possibly broader mainstream recognition, possibly
> supported by the more widespread usage and interconnection of information
> technologies globally, and in peoples lifestyles, facilitating a shift away
> of "the expert", or "the teacher" as monopoly in terms of knowledge.
> Such approaches have been central in my own learning - up to a point where
> I felt I could learn faster / feel less alienated in my learning by leaving
> school.
> The challenge, then, for me at least, is to build up recognition through
> networked approaches, with peers, rather then through top down ,
> centralized certification programs and education environments.
> Although one may argue that the tests could at some point confirm the
> acquired ( self ) learning, the self learner ( or rather, the mutual
> learners in self organizing approaches ) does not, contrary to official
> enrolled students, benefit from such "student" status, and at least in my
> experience, faces pressures from society, even if only in terms of lack of
> support.
> Cordially,
> Dante
> On Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 1:37 PM, June Gorman <june_gorman at sbcglobal.net>wrote:
>  Dante-Gabryell --
> This is wonderful stuff.  I know of Mitra's work and find it exciting.
>  Some of us in the UN Commons Cluster are working on these ideas as well
> and how they fit into education of and about all the Commons.
> But as a 30+ year (Western-US) teacher and the founder of the *<>MailScanner
> has detected a possible fraud attempt from "" claiming to be Transformative
> Education Forum *, I would caution at the over-enthusiasm of the
> computer-focused translation of this idea of "learner-centered".  It is
> clearly an amazing and freeing tool in countless ways besides providing the
> "Library of the World" to any child, nearly anywhere with access to one.
>  But it reduces dangerously the historical, pedagogical and epistemological
> theories of learning and the human child themselves, down to dangerously
> reductive concepts of what in fact is most important "to learn".  Whose
> "information" gets processed and with what underlying results?
> It is one of my deepest concerns with the over-promotion of STEM (Science,
> Technology, Engineering and Math) in the Western world, dramatically by
> "education promoting companies" who want to sell this model to everyone
> else as the US is currently doing promoting "No Child Left Behind"
> worldwide through the World Bank and Brookings Institute.  But for those of
> us in the education field all our life, there is definite need to examine
> these issues, like certain brain theory results accompanying early child
> exposure to computers as their dominant learner - interaction.  The TEF
> tries to address this issue of needed complete intelligence development
> with arts, humanities and especially the social/cultural/emotional learning
> not developed with this priority or technological "default".
> Anyway, more is available on this on the TEF website, but particularly the
> *MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from ""
> claiming to be* TEF Principles<>.
>  There is a serious caution here about just how much and what exactly, the
> "machines" can and do teach when used primarily? So much cheaper though,
> for those trying to go into the field of education for their own profit and
> on top of it, leaves out those more philosophical, even human justice and
> equity arguments that actually really matter for children around the world
> to ultimately make sense of their lives and societies.
> Best,
> June
> *June Gorman, Educator and Educational Theorist*
> Co-founder*, ** <>MailScanner has detected a
> possible fraud attempt from "" claiming to be Transformative
> Education Forum (note website re-work, so ignore "non-standard"
> notification :-)*
> Education Advisor,  <http://www.safepla.net/>
> *UN SafePlanet Campaign *
> *Board Project Director for Outreach, I**nternational Model United
> Nations Association* <http://imuna.org/>* *
> *Steering Committee, (UNESCO/Global Compact) **K-12 Sector for
> Sustainability Education *<http://www.uspartnership.org/main/view_archive/1>
> Member, UN Education Caucus for Sustainable Development
> Member, UN Commons Cluster
>   ------------------------------
>  *From:* Michel Bauwens <michel at p2pfoundation.net>
> *To:* p2p-foundation <p2p-foundation at lists.ourproject.org>
> *Sent:* Friday, October 18, 2013 4:03 AM
> *Subject:* [P2P-F] Fwd: Wired : learner centered movement
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *Dante-Gabryell Monson* <dante.monson at gmail.com>
> Date: Fri, Oct 18, 2013 at 2:16 AM
> Subject: Wired : learner centered movement
> To: "econowmix at googlegroups.com" <econowmix at googlegroups.com>, "
> netention-dev at googlegroups.com" <netention-dev at googlegroups.com>, "
> global-survival at googlegroups.com" <global-survival at googlegroups.com>
> http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/*
> *
> *a new breed of educators, inspired by everything from the Internet to
> evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and AI, are inventing radical new
> ways for children to learn, grow, and thrive. To them, knowledge isn’t a
> commodity that’s delivered from teacher to student but something that
> emerges from the students’ own curiosity-fueled exploration.*
> entire article : http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinkers/all/
> *student centered movement :
> http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/student-centered-movement/*
> " TED has created a toolkit full of ideas for jumpstarting
> student-centered learning in your home, local community, or school. It’s
> called SOLE: How to Bring Self-Organized Learning Environments to Your
> Community. Download it here <http://www.ted.com/pages/sole_toolkit> and
> share your story afterward on the SOLE Tumblr <http://tedsole.tumblr.com/>
> ."
> further large excerpts :
> Teachers provide prompts, not answers, and then they step aside so
> students can teach themselves and one another. They are creating ways for
> children to discover their passion—and uncovering a generation of geniuses
> in the process.
> ...
> “If you put a computer in front of children and remove all other adult
> restrictions, they will self-organize around it,” Mitra says, “like bees
> around a flower.”
> A charismatic and convincing proselytizer, Mitra has become a darling in
> the tech world. In early 2013 he won a $1 million grant from TED, the
> global ideas conference, to pursue his work.
> He’s now in the process of establishing seven “schools in the cloud,” five
> in India and two in the UK. In India, most of his schools are single-room
> buildings. There will be no teachers, curriculum, or separation into age
> groups—just six or so computers and a woman to look after the kids’ safety.
> His defining principle: “The children are completely in charge.”
> Mitra argues that the information revolution has enabled a style of
> learning that wasn’t possible before.
> ...
> Mitra’s work has roots in educational practices dating back to Socrates.
> Theorists from Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi to Jean Piaget and Maria
> Montessori have argued that students should learn by playing and following
> their curiosity.
> ...
> In recent years, researchers have begun backing up those theories with
> evidence. In a 2011 study, scientists at the University of Illinois at
> Urbana-Champaign and the University of Iowa scanned the brain activity of
> 16 people sitting in front of a computer screen.
> ...
> The study found that when the subjects controlled their own observations,
> they exhibited more coordination between the hippocampus and other parts of
> the brain involved in learning and posted a 23 percent improvement in their
> ability to remember objects. “The bottom line is, if you’re not the one
> who’s controlling your learning, you’re not going to learn as well,” says
> lead researcher Joel Voss, now a neuroscientist at Northwestern University.
> ...
> A similar study at UC Berkeley demonstrated that kids given no instruction
> were much more likely to come up with novel solutions to a problem. “The
> science is brand-new, but it’s not as if people didn’t have this intuition
> before,” says coauthor Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology at UC
> Berkeley.
> Gopnik’s research is informed in part by advances in artificial
> intelligence. If you program a robot’s every movement, she says, it can’t
> adapt to anything unexpected. But when scientists build machines that are
> programmed to try a variety of motions and learn from mistakes, the robots
> become far more adaptable and skilled. The same principle applies to
> children, she says.
> ...
> Evolutionary psychologists have also begun exploring this way of thinking.
> Peter Gray, a research professor at Boston College who studies children’s
> natural ways of learning, argues that human cognitive machinery is
> fundamentally incompatible with conventional schooling. Gray points out
> that young children, motivated by curiosity and playfulness, teach
> themselves a tremendous amount about the world. And yet when they reach
> school age, we supplant that innate drive to learn with an imposed
> curriculum. “We’re teaching the child that his questions don’t matter, that
> what matters are the questions of the curriculum. That’s just not the way
> natural selection designed us to learn. It designed us to solve problems
> and figure things out that are part of our real lives.”
> Some school systems have begun to adapt to this new philosophy—with
> outsize results. In the 1990s, Finland pared the country’s elementary math
> curriculum from about 25 pages to four, reduced the school day by an hour,
> and focused on independence and active learning. By 2003, Finnish students
> had climbed from the lower rungs of international performance rankings to
> first place among developed nations.
> ...
> Juárez Correa had mixed feelings about the test. His students had
> succeeded because he had employed a new teaching method, one better suited
> to the way children learn. It was a model that emphasized group work,
> competition, creativity, and a student-led environment. So it was ironic
> that the kids had distinguished themselves because of a conventional
> multiple-choice test. “These exams are like limits for the teachers,” he
> says. “They test what you know, not what you can do, and I am more
> interested in what my students can do.”
> ...
> But these examples—involving only thousands of students—are the exceptions
> to the rule. The system as a whole educates millions and is slow to
> recognize or adopt successful innovation. It’s a system that was
> constructed almost two centuries ago to meet the needs of the industrial
> age. Now that our society and economy have evolved beyond that era, our
> schools must also be reinvented.
> ...
> *Want to help teachers like Sergio Juárez Correa make a difference?
> Here’s how you can get involved in the student-centered movement<http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/student-centered-movement/>
> .*
> --
> P2P Foundation: http://p2pfoundation.net  - http://blog.p2pfoundation.net
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