Rhizomatic Learning – An open course #rhizo14

Three weeks from now we’re kicking off an open course over at P2PU on rhizomatic learning. As some of you might be aware, I’ve been working on rhizomatic learning since about 2007 through the Rhizomatic Education article published in the now defunct Innovate Online and now focused on the collection of reading that is slowly working its way into a guidebook for learners in my ED366 course.

Broadly speaking rhizomatic learning is the way i think about learning in an age of abundance. It is based on the work of many folks, but primarily in my somewhat idiosyncratic reading of Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the rhizome from their very idiosyncratic work ‘A Thousand Plateaus’. The core concept opposes the hierachichal, linear image of the tree against the decentralized, unpredictable rhizome. The difference between a learner following a set, organized path and creating their own map of their own learning. I tried, last year, to write an intro in 300 words… that might help give you a ballpark sense of whether it’s of interest.

The course will be a six week journey through some broad concept that I (and many others) have touched on over the years. I’ve sketched them out on the p2pu page, but they are, like much of this work, subject to change. I’m starting the think of ‘abundance’ as the core concept of rhizomatic learning, hidden in my earlier work, maybe, because it was so obvious. This concept with be a theme I myself will be pushing through the course, but I’m very much hoping that others will emerge.

The commitment of a participant is very much up to you as a participant. I’d love to see blog posts and tweets and videos and other things I’m not imagining critiquing the concept and pushing it further than it has been pushed to this point. I’d like to see ways in which it does and doesn’t map up against the people’s practice. I’d love to see people creating new maps for themselves and learning things they did not expect.

For myself I’m looking forward to running an open course for the pure interest in the subject. To make new connections between my work and the work of others… to make new connections between my own thinking and the thinking of others. I’d like my map to extend further than it does.

No pre-reading required. Join us for part or all of the journey as you like.

Feel free to run on over to P2PU to register for the course.


Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

13 thoughts on “Rhizomatic Learning – An open course #rhizo14”

  1. The timing of this course is perfect for our session (not even a course 😉 on MultiMOOC for EVO Jan 13 to Feb 16, 2014. We like to find actual MOOCs we can participate in while we discuss what MOOCs are and where this phenomenon is headed. MultiMOOC (used to be called Multiliteracies) is here http://goodbyegutenberg.pbworks.com/. I’ll enroll in #rhizo14 and encourage our participants to do so as we explore what’s happening (lately) with MOOCs as we do annually at this time. Happy New Year from Al Ain

    1. YOu folks are more than welcome of course Vance. You’ll be starting the day before me so we should be able to pass info back and forth 🙂 Feel free to send me anything you’d like passed on to my group and I’ll send stuff back to you. Yay Teamwork!

  2. Cool, the first test was obviously a scavenger hunt. Dave tosses out that there is this MOOC somewhere about rhizomes or something like that and it took me a couple of days to find it. Some delay encountered when password recovery email from P2PU ended up in spam folder. But that issue resolved, I started poking around. Fortunately it was a community pick so it came up fairly quickly: http://screencast.com/t/SATFZeaNyI

    So my first contribution to this MOOC is this direct URL

    Should be smooth sailing from here on out 🙂

  3. Here he says that definitions make him ‘cookie’ (not sure about the spelling here as I haven’t come across this expression before :-)). He says that for rhizomatic learning definition is a killer because defining means locking meaning up into a little box, which doesn’t recognize the complexity of cheating as rhizomatic learning. Cheating is a complex concept embedded in our culture. It means different things in different contexts, cultures and locations and doesn’t easily translate from one culture to another. There is no common definition. Dave believes that making cheating an effective weapon to do the things we want to do doesn’t mean being dishonest. He says ‘I’m not actually talking about cheating in the dishonest sense as a way of learning. What I’m suggesting is that if we think about what cheating means we may find out that it is not in fact cheating – you may say that it all comes back to intent’.

  4. I suggest we compare the controversy of MOOCs that swirls about today with the Mock Turtle from Alice and Wonderland.
    The sad plight of the Mock Turtle is that he thought he was a substitute for real (education) but it turns out he is not a “Mock” (education).

    The Mock Turtle describe his education in the “sea” and tries to compare it to Alice’s “gentrified” education.

    He tries to understand the poems she recites, as proof of the superiority of her education, ironically she cannot understand the poetry she recites either. (She can only repeat what she has been spoon-fed, but does not understand it}

    The Mock Turtle’s school is a school of “fish”, and Alice’s school is an institute of learning (University).

    For MOOCs to be compared with traditional University education is equally a misunderstanding. What one learns in the sea, in a “school of fish”, is different from the what on learns in a university.

    And of course the real Teacher in either scenerio is the Tortoise…or the one who taught us.

    I suggest that the “one that taught us” is not always in the University but can be in the sea…even in a school of peers.


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