Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, May 31, 2004

The Learner Of The Future Is A Critical Thinker

"" is possible to rely too heavily on experts and this approach to learning and knowledge tends to encourage passivity and receptiveness rather than inventiveness and imagination... [one objective of this essay is]... to impress on the reader what a long way one can get in understanding any subject by thinking it through for oneself... We shall do this by concentrating on the arguments experts have produced for believing a wide range of things and showing how it requires only a relatively slight knowledge of the subject to evaluate the arguments oneself." This is true whether we learn via the Web or from books. The Web, however, presents both challenges (e.g., the danger of information overload) and opportunities (e.g., the wealth of competing viewpoints). The Semantic Web (or Webs) will provide yet more opportunities for learning in the form of greater access to a multiplicity of diverse learning objects. It can also, as we have suggested, provide the means for learners to navigate through the plethora of sources, find help in their interpretation of material by contextualizing it to debates and narratives, and actively enter into these debates or construct these stories as members of living online communities of learners. Instead of the oracular pronouncements of Kaku's Magic Mirror, a means of traversing the various links possible from web document to web document by means of a meta-model or models-- a Knowledge Chart -- expressing the associated debate, narrative, analogy and so on will be most valuable to learners. By providing this in combination with a means of learner participation in these debates, using Knowledge Neighbourhoods, the learner becomes, not a passive recipient of knowledge, but the sort of critical thinker able to deal with the complexity of the material available in a knowledge based society."



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posted by Robin Good on Monday, May 31 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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