PLN vs Traditional Education

This is a reply on Jaap’s post about PLN’s in Dutch education.

First let me talk about my own Personal Learning Network, just like you did! I too use my blog, the Facebook group CCK11, Twitter #cck11, Diigo and a large number of RSS-feeds in my Reader to keep track of everything and off course stay in touch with new thoughts on education. As you, I also follow the Elluminate sessions and read the CCK11 Daily Newsletter.

The “traditional” way of teaching with “Learning Lines” (read: teaching by means of control) is known in Belgium too. I hear a lot about those rules that teachers must follow. It’s like a predestined path towards graduation. As a teacher you instruct the things you decided upon in advance and guide the students safely across “the barren wastelands of life”… As you say, this is not quite the connectivist way of teaching. It’s not about (quote) becoming better, but just following the path (end quote).

The student should be able to interact more, to choose his or her own path. The teacher should also be permitted to walk “sideways” if he chooses! It’s all to strict, to much set on one way of reaching the end. My biggest complaint is the curriculum. I would love to get rid of the whole thing! Just imagine what you could do when there are no formal guidelines to follow! The freedom to search for meaningful subjects, to engage with current news items or important facts that need time to talk about. Ahh, the possibilities…

How do we find this freedom in traditional education? How can I as a teacher, who teaches the same group of students only 50′ a week (yes, that is minutes!), make a difference? What can I do to engage connectively and still meet the standards set by the Ministry of Education? Though question, but we’ll get there…


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