This blog is inspired by a post from Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s blog called Blogging as an exercise for the brain where he shares his view on why blogging is a central part of his life.
He has(like me) also been blogging regularly since May 2005 and says that blogging is like exercise for his brain. It is an excellent post which I recommend you read.
I think blogging (and the Web in general) are the foundation of a new form of learning. I touched on this subject in another recent post Why I pay to support Wikipedia (but I don’t trust it) and so should you …
The theory of learning and knowledge acquisition has been of interest to me as I observe my own son and his way of learning. (See Arrowes and why the educational system may need to be revamped. ). Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. It addresses the questions: What is knowledge?, How is knowledge acquired?, What do people know?, How do we know what we know?. Specific theories of knowledge acquisition include empiricism which emphasises the role of experience, especially experience based on perceptual observations by the five senses; Rationalism which believes that knowledge is primarily acquired by a priori processes or is innate and Constructivism- which we discuss below.
I think that the Constructivist theory of knowledge acquisition will play an important role going forward and (in my view) is the intellectual foundation of ‘learning via blogging’
Constructivism is a view in philosophy according to which all knowledge is “constructed” in as much as it is contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. Hence, in constructivist theory, knowledge is dynamic, interactive and experience based. This happens through the processes of assimilation and of accommodation. (Adapted from wikipedia)
Assimilation: When faced with new ideas or knowledge, individuals may assimilate that knowledge into their existing framework without changing that framework. This can occur either because the individuals’ experience is aligned with the external representation or if the individual fails to change the internal representation because they mis-interpret the event.
Accommodation: In contrast, when individuals’ experiences contradict their internal representations, they may change their perceptions of the experiences to fit their internal representations. Thus, in the process of accommodation, failure leads to learning.
In constructivism, the learner is a unique, complex and multi-dimensional individual and the learner is encouraged to arrive at his or her own understanding of the truth. The responsibility for learning lies with the learner. The role of the instructor is that of a facilitator.
Learning is an active social process with collaboration among learners.
The constructivism learning process lends itself to blogging. So, this is the reason I blog i.e. I see it as a learning experience .. And it has been a rewarding and a fulfilling experience.
Another way to remind yourselves about the importance of blogging is from the words of Ignacy Paderewski
Practice, practice, practice…
If I don’t practice for one day, I know it;
if I don’t practice for two days,
the critics know it;
if I don’t practice for three days,
the audience knows it.
Finally, I was thinking of a picture for this blog and then I thought of the Brick in the wall video .. The anthem of the misfits and almost the exact opposite to the ideas presented here. Enjoy!