Skip to content

Time to end “courseocentricism”

Aside from winning the most awkward new term – courseocentricism (why not just course-centricism?) – this article makes a compelling case for the limitations of current views of courses. The author appeals for ending course silos as a way to improve consistency across curriculum and thereby produce a more integrated or connected body of knowledge. From the article:

At a time when amazing new forms of connectivity are made possible by new digital technologies and when much of the best recent work in the humanities has made us more aware of the social and collective nature of intellectual work, we still think of teaching in ways that are narrowly private and individualistic, as something we do in isolated classrooms with little or no knowledge of what our colleagues are doing in the next classroom or the next building and little chance for each other’s courses to become reference points in our own.

I like the idea of thinning our classroom walls and allowing connections to be formed between concepts from other subject areas. But that responsibility shouldn’t rest on the educator. “Getting on the same page” (author’s words) seems a bit at odds with opening up class rooms. We need to all get on our own page, form our own connections, our own understanding of different fields. It seems that the desire still runs high for educators to apply increased organization when problems become intractable. What is really needed is a complete letting go of our organization schemes and open concepts up to the self/participatory/chaotic sensemaking processes that flourish in online environments.

One Comment

  1. Breanna Hite wrote:

    How would you do that in a physical environment? It’s so easy online, but what would have to change in the physical world to allow this?

    Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] He suggests that these struggling students would profit from coordinated teaching. I doubt that harmonized content would help much, instead of growing the connections on their own (and therefore I agree with Siemens’ connectivist reply). [...]

  2. Connectivist Ecologies « CCK08 - Viplav Baxi on Friday, January 23, 2009 at 5:37 am

    [...] writes: I like the idea of thinning our classroom walls and allowing connections to be formed between [...]