Community as Curriculum – a research project

I’ve been trying to figure out what I would do for the third of the rhizomatic education papers, I had hoped to pull together some of the things i’d learned since the original paper and pull it together with the second piece of writing around guilds and networks. This has lead me to thoughts about how some of the work was being interpreted and what there was to learn from looking out to the idea as it is connected to the network – the idea in its own own environment as it were.

The research project
I want to survey the way in which people have taken up the idea and how it has affected their practice. I want to interview them, and get a sense of why they tried it in the first place, what there expectations were, how well trying it reflected those expectations and what they ended up with in the real world. I have some expectation that the actual in class reality of turning the idea of curriculum into something else probably has a number of practical challenges in different fields, and I’m very interested in how people confronted those, how the learners confronted them, what their opinions were… I’m curious.

If the start align, i will be teaching ED366 again this year. Educational Technology and the Adult learner. I’d like to take the results from the first part of the research and apply it to the course as it stood 2 summers ago and see how it could be improved from the new interpretations.

Not too complicated really

Examples of uses
I’ve found a few very interesting examples of students either studying the rhizomatic education paper or running projects or courses using adapted versions of the content.

English 505 University of East Michigan
The paper appeared to be one of the challenges presented to the learners in the course. As you can see by the wiki, they made some very detailed analysis.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign- Dance Program
The dance program at Illinois appears to be arguing that the idea of ‘community as curriculum’ can allow them to consider their students as experts and allows them to guide what the word ‘curriculum’ means.

We are Media Project
By no means a ‘central’ idea to the great work done in the we are media project, but certainly an idea that was explored as a philosophical shift in thinking in terms of creating a curriculum.

What I’m hoping for
Well… I’m hoping for examples of people using the idea (and hopefully re/better-interpreting it) and having those people make contact with me so i can find out what they did.

I’m also hoping for advice on how to make the research project better. This is the first time I’ve set out on doing a research project without funding or formal structure… so ideas are most welcome.

I’m hoping, overall, to move the idea forward. It was, originally, the story that I put on the things that I have learned while working with all of you. It seems to have been a useful story for others as well, and now i’m kind of attached to it, so I’d like to see it grow.

Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

3 thoughts on “Community as Curriculum – a research project”

  1. Hey Dave

    While this was a one-off project I’ve tried a few similar things on the ground last year with encouraging results (would be happy to share if you like).

    This year, I started working at Moodle HQ as Education Researcher as “an interface between educators and developers” as my boss (Martin Dougiamas) puts it. You may be aware of the long promised release of Moodle 2.0 (very close now), which contains, at least to me, the best feature of all called Community Hubs. In a nutshell, these will allow for moodlers around the world to share courses, enrol in, even download entire courses (if allowed) and create something we ultimately hope for – organically grown, guild-like learning communities/communities of practice. It is actually something I plan to do my PhD in since it is an area I have been deeply interested for some time now. In fact, it is something Martin longed for since he started Moodle many years ago!

    At the moment, I am working to create a ‘hub’ of a kind for educators to share, view, contribute, comment on their ‘recipes’ of using Moodle in a range of educational settings. I expect this to be a highly collaborative and collegial, cross-cultural project (Moodle is used in 206 countries with 32+ mill. registered users…), hoping it will blossom into something rhizomatic you (& me & many others) have been banging on about for some time now. Will keep you posted…

    And if I head your way one day (or you come Down Under on the Western side) we must go for a beer!

    Cheers Dave, good luck with the project.

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