Wednesday, October 12, 2011

James Gee on ‘opportunities to learn’ and ‘beyond mindless progressivism’

Working through one of the comments brought up by one of the examiners of my PhD dissertation. The context is to ensure that ‘affordances’ to workplace learning is not conflated to cover all aspects of opportunities for workplace learning. The reference suggested to check was one on ‘sociocultural perspectives on opportunities to learning’ by James Gee.
I have come across Professor Gee’s work via my interest in researching elearning, mlearning, reluctant learners and vocational education. His background is in linguistics as informed by socio-cultural frameworks and so I have used references to his work on several occasions. Of note is his work on identity and its role in education research. He proposes four views (nature, institutions, discourse and affinity identities) as lenses that can be used to study how socio-cultural influences impact on learners and their eventual perspectives of learnt concepts/ideas. Antother aspect of his work, is on video games and its contribution to education with an example here  being one of several publications of games and learning.
A recent blog on ‘beyond mindless progressivism’ argues for the introduction of a ‘post-progressive pedagogy ’ form of situated learning. Many of the 17 points he brings up, are relevant to our current Ako Aotearoa Southern hub funded project, using net tablets to encourage students to create their own content. The main gist is to encourage, provide learning opportunities and tools for students to become ‘constructors’ rather than consumers of content/knowledge
Professor Gee's blog contains thought provoking content, along the lines of another edublogger I follow, Artichoke. Both bring up topics that are in accord with much of my work. Keeping in touch with these blogs, provide a source for my continual critical introspection on where my work goes plus affirmation that I am on the right track most of the time.