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Martin Blazey The difference between open and social pedagogy

As you'll have seen from my previous blogs, we are still looking into the theories of learning and how they affect modern day cultures. Today I'm looking at open and social pedagogy and the histories of them.

Open Pedagogy

If our learning is based on an old model, we are an old model, our behaviour follows where our education leads and innovation is not likely.

A relatively early concept, but essentially it is opposite to choosing traditionally selected and copyrighted content upon which to base the learning. Using an open source method means gaining access to the possibilities of the non-copyrighted path as opposed to that typically found in in the traditional method of textbook style learning. Open pedagogy favours in the creation of learning in an open and public way.Ipad

Learning in this context is task orientated with a spirit of openness to learners, who are encouraged to express different skills and experience, to edit and create their own learning experience in a way that refutes the concept they are simply consumers of material.

Treating education as a learner-developed process connects people for their mutual benefit and values through the development of team-orientated enquiry and problem solving the concept of perpetual growth over that of mastery.

A simple but effective example of this is telling stories. Sharing our experiences is something modern people lack. With the rise of the internet stories being told again and shared between people, this creates a “valuable way for small groups to share new knowledge and observations in a way that has a cumulative effect that benefits the group.” [Klint Janulis, Antropologist. Cited on io9]

Social Pedagogy

The original role of a pedagogue was one of servitude in ancient Greek society, they were slaves and family attendants – and their role was separate to that of a teacher, who taught specific facts about words and numbers. The pedagogues were part of the family (even as slaves) and existed as a member of the house. Their role was to advise the young children they were attached to how to behave and act – they acted as a moral compass and understood the family’s values and belief structure which they imparted to the young.

Social Pedagogy reflects upon attention to the socio-emotional and relational context being an important and effective aid to the learner.

A great example of these conditions can be found in Nintendos Wii Fit agent – where a simple cartoon character acting as a gym instructor interacts with the user based on the information they entered, and their progression through the training. Feedback is given to the user via the agent from a wide range of pregenerated scripts to generate bespoke and relevant feedback at any given time.

It is anticipated that eLearning will include many of the above elements but without a significant effort to change the culture and expectations of learning, due partially to our long-embedded experiential history of educational institutions, innovation may be slow. However, the more globalised and connected business and people become, as seems inevitable, so the expectation and pressure to bring about change to the traditional relations found in learning there will be.

In my next blog I’ll be looking at the metaphors of learning. if you missed my previous blogs in this series you can find them here - The Global Pedagogy and The Innovation of Learning Practice.


Martin Blazey, Senior eLearning Developer, Bray Leino Learning

In my blogs I will be talking about what to look out for in eLearning, what good eLearning might look like now and in the future, and what some of the most interesting ideas might mean for eLearning as well as a fixation on game-like technologies and how they might be good for eLearning.

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