Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rethinking knowledge (epistemology); continuing a dialogue between connectivism and a proponent of ANT; CCK08

ruth has a small 't'.
Soren Kierkegaard
(letter T courtesy of Grewlike @ Flikr; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License)

Connectivism holds knowledge to be transient and a 'connected' act. Rather than treating knowledge as a given, it is produced and held in connection.
Knowledge isnt made, its not like a pot to look at, or to have a shared understanding or appreciation of its value or worth or possible uses. Its not that stable.
Knowledge, as object of fact or process, I suspect is therefore multiple; where this knowledge, transient though it is, is held to be understood as of that time, in a partial way. But more than being perspectives held, this is actually ontological politics at play, reality is held together in different ways and acted on in different ways by those involved. A very ANTy perspecive on learning is made possible with a connectivism approach.
And any so called knowledge only holds together in this way until the connections are changed...so knowledge grows, shifts, gets more or less, dependent on those involved in its shaping.
And to take this further, especially with regard to an ANT informed analysis, is also dependent on the glue holding it. Whether said glue is the degree of trust or faith ... between the peoples involved or the power wielded or not... or the non human actors such as the form of technologies binding the connections. Whether this were to involve slate or paper and pen, books, through to the internet. There are non human actors who help shape said connections and which may store artefacts of the connected knowledge or which help create said knowledge by making the movement of ideas more and less possible. The emphasis on shaping allows the impact of those involved (human and otherwise) to be considered and allows for greater conscious awareness of the transience of what has historically been referred to as knowledge (as object). This theory, connectivism, shifts the emphasis of knowledge as process.


  1. Where did you find the "T" in truth that starts this post? It is very beautiful. One of the members in my calligraphy group is in her 80s and pretty much housebound. If the Alphabet is availabe online, I would print out a copy for her. She has the talent and the time to learn how to create these letters.

  2. my apologies but this image has been removed. On a google image search for calligraphu t I discovered its original which is subject to copyright.

  3. Anonymous6:22 PM

    I may be sorry not to see the T in truth but want to congratulate you on the small wire span between the two rocks. Fantastic image for connectivism and set my mind up for your writing.

    As the Irish say, "Well done."