To respond to some questions on this topic posed for Activity 20 (Week 5) of the course Open Education (H817Open, #h817open):
1. Were you convinced by rhizomatic learning as an approach?
Yes, I think it's an important concept to have been recognized and an important learning approach to be conscious of. But it seems to me that r-learning is the appropriate approach only in very special situations. Because the learning outcomes are not known beforehand, and are in fact created by the group during the process, the majority of prospective learners will not be able to handle it. Like some aspects of theoretical physics, r-learning is just way too far outside our normal intuitive experience of the world to have any universal appeal.
2. Could you imagine implementing rhizomatic learning?
Yes, but not in any conventional educational system. It would work best with a group of people that share a common understanding of the process and a common objective in solving a complex problem.
3. How might rhizomatic learning differ from current approaches?
R-learning can give rise to radically new concepts, insights and intellectual break-throughs, all things that are rare in current approaches. It will have no syllabus and can not produce measurable results (apart from simply monitoring the activities of participants). In the absence of traditional learning, implementing r-learning might lead to creating a lot of largely ignorant geniuses - students with brilliant insights that are new and innovative for them, but of little use because they are not grounded in any depth of understanding of real-world issues and circumstances.
4. What issues would arise in implementing rhizomatic learning?
- dealing with participants' fear of uncertainty
- adequate background in traditional education of participants
- competition and refusing to share by lurkers, along for the ride
- knee-jerk right or wrong expectations
- still must establish what this 'has to do with'
[This posting is for Activity 20 (Week 5) of the OpenU course on Open Education H817open. The text and illustration (but not the video) are released under a Creative Commons Attribution license.]