Engagement Theory and Connectivism

Kearsley and Schneiderman suggest that learners need to be engaged in meaningful experiences that relate to ‘real-world’ contexts and provide opportunities for collaborative work (1999). This approach to learning aligns with many of my beliefs about teaching and learning. I believe that effective learning occurs when students are engaged in experiences which explicitly link to meaningful contexts. I also think that, when planned and implemented correctly, collaborative experiences can enhance learning outcomes. Brady (2006) suggests that students are involved in the transformation of ideas when “…learning is participative, proactive, collaborative and involves the construction of personal meanings rather than simply involving the teacher transmitting information” (p.14). The engagement framework acknowledges many fundamental components that facilitate effective learning.

I felt that Sieman’s article on ‘Connectivism’ made suggestions about learning which were relevant to contemporary society and the growing ‘knowledge economy’. Sieman’s suggests that “Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known” (2004). While connectivism presents many relevant ideas that may enable learners to stay current in a rapidly evolving world, I do not think that we should disregard all of the other theoretical perspectives on teaching and learning. Sieman’s seems to suggest that theories such as behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism are ‘out of date’ and no longer applicable in the modern world. However, I think that these theoretical perspectives still provide educators with valuable insights into teaching and learning and should underpin philosophy and practice.

While I appreciate the Sieman’s connectivist approach, I believe that educators can not simply disregard or ‘dump’ any theoretical perspectives as they provide a multi-faceted understanding of teaching and learning.


Kiara said...


I agree with your last comment chloe, because as teachers we will encounter a large range of learners and in such a complex world one theory is not going to relate to everyone.

In my personal opinion I beleive that we should be using all of the theorues combined to help influence our teaching styles.


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