Supporting self-directed learning with cultures of participation in collaborative learning environments

Different kinds of problems require different kinds of learning approaches and different sociotechnical  environments to support them. Outside the classroom, much learning and problem solving takes place as individuals explore personally meaningful problems and engage with each other in collaborative activities while making  extensive use of media and technologies. Many past educational systems have been built on the assumption that teaching is necessary for learning to occur; that teaching and learning are inherently linked;  and that a curriculum can and should be developed to create a cultural literacy. In such a culture, teachers taught learners about the world and learning were conceptualized as an isolated process of information transmission and absorption. It ignored the fact that in today’s world, more and more knowledge, especially advanced knowledge, is acquired well past the age of formal schooling, and in many situations through educational processes that do not center on the traditional school. This paper focuses on different perspectives about learning. Rich landscapes of learning are needed to cope with complex, systemic problems. They provide a theoretical framework to argue for the importance of self-directed learning and cultures of participation in which all learners can not only obtain information but can also actively contribute information. To support these approaches, collaborative learning environments are needed because outside the classroom, much learning and problem framing and solving takes places as individuals engage with each other and use resources and tools that are available in the surrounding environment.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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