Irmeli Aro #moodleMOOCs throughout the Summer 2013

CCK08 Short Paper #1 – Seeking convergence and multiculturalism in learning and management

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According to Siemens (2005) connective decision-making is a learning process. “While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision.” My CCK08 co-learner Dave provides a great list of characteristics of connective people: “The world needs these revolutionary facilitators, these artful hosts, and thousands, millions more like them, self-organizing, connecting, smashing learned helplessness, corpocracy, hierarchy, bureaucracy, and inertia.” Another co-learner Ton introduces the 1st International Workshop on Personal Knowledge Management in his blog. 2nd Workshop on the Convergence of Knowledge Management and E-Learning organized by the conference states: “Convergence is one of the main trends of this decade: Systems, technologies are merged or developed in a common direction“.

The objective of CCK08 is to acquire connective knowledge by experiencing connectivism in form of participating the course i.e. learning in a connective way. My CCK08 co-learner Sui Fai John Mak writes in a CCK08 Moodle discussion thread: “I am starting to realise that each of us interpret the definition, concept of connectivism, connective knowledge differently“. The way I chose is to evaluate my own learning process througout the course and as the Final Project of the course I’ll collect my evaluation in form of a practical taxonomy, which I’ll then further test in a case study belonging to my Master’s Thesis on Industrial Management.

We are experiencing a revolutionary effect caused by the expanding use of digital tools and networks. The meaning of it is as huge as was the expansion of the use of mechanical technology. Virtual social networks surround us with and exponentially increasing speed. The choice is ours – whether we are active or passive members of the networks. It’s as well up to ourselves to choose in which networks we are active, developing, productive and empowering members. The networks keep existing and expanding with or without our personal input. By participating CCK08 we are sharing and increasing our cultural understanding and awareness of requirements and prerequisites for learning and working in the digital age. This increases multiculturalism and inter-cultural relations.

I quote an essay I wrote when participating ELECTRA – Global Online Course for Intercultural Understanding in 2006: “The best definition I’ve found for culture is by Prof. Jaakko Lehtonen from University of Jyväskylä, Finland (2003): “Culture is a continuous interaction between the ideas in the heads of people and their actual behaviours. Within our culture we do what we do because we have acquired the knowledge that this is the right or normal way to do things. At the same time, behaving in a certain way makes existing rules stronger or gives birth to new cultural rules.” What I think should more be included in both teacher and business training, is the reflection beginning from one’s own closest surroundings and experiences. What is most right and normal for me? How do I behave due to that? Step by step we learn to recognize the reasons behind culturally diverse others’ behaviour. And we learn to act according to what is best for the whole group in which we have impact. This can also be expressed as the difference between pluralism and multiculturalism – culturally diverse groups, in addition to having the right to exist and develop, must as well head for learning to form a common societal goal.”

The above mentioned essay was a continuation to my previous essay comparing learning philosophies of Finland, Great Britain and India: “Pluralism was emphasized in the Finnish and British frameworks. India’s approach is aiming at a multicultural society. Unlike pluralism, which points to the amicable co-existence of cultures, multiculturalism makes a value statement – it asserts that the many cultural communities that are present in a society must live as equals in the public domain. It speaks of differentiated citizenship with group differentiated rights. Multiculturalism mistrusts the pursuit of uniformity because it is usually a way of establishing the hegemony of the majority community. Multiculturalism grants positive value to the collective identities of all ethnic communities. People are included in the nation state as members of diverse but equal ethnic groups.”

CCK08 is the current step on my ladder of personal learning towards finding convergence and multiculturalism in learning and management.

Non-linked source:
Lehtonen, J. 2003. Globalization, national Cultures and the Paradox of intercultural Competence. In Holm, H. G. & Quiros-Schauman J. (eds) Intercultural Communication – Past and Future. Åbo Akademi University, 141.

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Written by Irmeli Aro

October 7, 2008 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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