rhizomatic learning

didn’t realize i didn’t have a rhizo learning page.. fitting.. also seemingly fitting to add it this day:

Dave Cormier fb share:

This is a preface i wrote to a book on rhizomatic learning earlier this year. Finally got around to posting it on my blog. It’s long, and wandering. It’s the story of why I care about RL and how I came to it. Approach with caution

Rhizomatic Learning – a somewhat curious introduction


I am not able to provide this certainty. But with this loss of certainty of meaning there is freedom..t

I was first introduced to the word ‘rhizome’ in 2004[note: by Bonnie Stewart]

I was clearly not doing what other people thought I was supposed to be doing..t

supposed to ness

Teaching in a graded environment is a true position of power. You get to decide, as a teacher, what someone needs to know and whether or not that person knows it. You get to set the measures of success. I had the same sense of imposter syndrome that many of us do in that situation. Who am I to be in a position to decide what someone else should know?

my students were doing suddenly became more diverse and more individualized, and, at the same time, I had lost some control over the teaching process.

usefully ignorant – Erica McWilliam 

usefully preoccupied

The research I was reading indicated that students were ‘most successful’ when they had a clear expectation of what success could look like.. Telling someone what success looks like seemed like a poor way of empowering students to take control of their learning.

langer outcome law

redefining success

My job seemed to be to hide the answers to questions from my students and then work with students until they could guess them. The Internet was starting to make that a difficult game to win.. How could I decide, ahead of time, what success was going to look like for a student?

How much had the technology of print (that is, the ability to use a press to rapidly add words to a page) impacted what we thought learning could be?

essentially basic

This leaves you with little choice other than to plan ahead of time. If I need a book to be in my classroom on day 1, someone needs to chop down a tree, mash it into paper, throw a pile of ink on it and send it to me in a truck. All these things take time. I need to be completely prepared with ‘content’ before the classroom starts. I have to create the uncertainty in the classroom. I, as a teacher, control the uncertainty.

embracing uncertainty .. no train.. no prep.. sans classroom.. rather whoever.. in a space

carhart-harris entropy law

And, furthermore, *if the information is available everywhere, what does that mean to the content I use in my class?

*that should be one of our goals.. because currently it is not.. ie: many w/o internet access; paywalls; et al.. not to mention.. most of us our not us.. so we don’t even know what info we’re interested in..

perhaps let’s just facil daily curiosity  ie: cure ios city..

2 convers as infra.. via tech as it could be.. (started with 7b voices everyday).. to make sure *the connections are available to everyone

the ai humanity needs..augmenting interconnectedness

This is when I came across the concept of the rhizome. It moved differently than the static models that I had been working with. It felt like a radical step away from the kinds of conversations I was having. It refused to be defined in any way that made sense to me. The thought suddenly occurred to me that the reason I’d been struggling to find a definition for learning was that it wasn’t the sort of thing that could be defined.. t..  I needed a story for what learning meant to me, and I had found it in a deeply troubling book. In the story of a plant that chooses its own paths, that is resilient and difficult to control.

let’s leap to that.. because for it/us to work.. it has to be everyone in sync law

I can’t help but see what i think of as ‘fake’ project based learning in this. We want you to collaboratively explore your way to the solution that we have already decided you will find

i’m thinking all our pbl is fake (coerced/manufactured) learning

The first glimpses that ‘knowing’ might be more than ‘knowing what came before’.

We’re trading freedom for scale..t

which we no longer have to do..now we can have both ie: 2 convers as infra

(100% freedom and 100% scale – everyone in sync)

The experience Cicero had on the island is important, yes, but not as important as the decision to go there in the first place. It is, in a sense, the decision to learn that we are trying to teach. We are trying to enforce independence.

starting everyday – (aka: equity – everyone getting a go everyday).. via daily curiosity

The goal was not for a learner to become something that they might want to become. The goal of learning in a textbook world was for the learner to become a follower of paths.

gershenfeld something else law

I am not interested in training a world of path followers. I know that anyone who is only going to learn when I’m watching them is not learning very often. They are limited by what I know, yes, but they are also limited by their translation of what they think I want them to know. This is a poor preparation for a life of learning. Or, to put it in more D&G friendly terms, I am looking to equip a nomad who can wander across a smooth uncertain space. I am looking to help support path makers.

It could, possibly, allow the student to allow the underground journey, that self-directed journey, to be reflected in the actual classroom.

but why contain it in a classroom.. and to ‘students’.. just as we have tech to allow for self directed ness in classroom.. we have tech to allow for us to get out of the classroom.. no?.. in the city.. as the day..

If learning is this personal map making journey, how can we use the technology we now have to support this in our classrooms?

rather.. let’s we use tech to support this in the city..

cure ios city.. tech as it could be

because what we need most is the energy of 7bn alive people.. to get back to the sync of an undisturbed ecosystem

meadows undisturbed law:

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’