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B*A*M*B*I – Connectivism

September 29, 2008

It makes for a nice acronym:

B*A*M*B*I   =   Born-Again Materialistic Behaviourist Ideology

I have been thinking about this for days, wondering why a course on learning theory has such a focus on network theory, and network behaviour. And then this morning, while trying to decipher Stephen’s Intentionalism and Meaning  post, I felt my Connecti-Vision™ kick in to full gear….

I have been having this gut feeling that I was seeing connectivism in the wrong way, as some kind of progression in learning theory development from behaviourism-cognitivism-constructivism. I was wondering if connectivism was a replacement for, enhancement of or some kind of meta-theory. I have been reading voraciously and debating and blogging ferociously (both playing with myself and with others) in order to come to grips with this theory. A big obstacle of course for me is the terminology involved. I have tried to get up to speed in order to make sense of the language and concepts being discussed.

Today, fortunately I was able to connect with Stephen in a brief discussion in the above noted post by him. (The connection of course was in line with the slogan CAYMS™, and enabled the process of “connect and you may see” to occur, as per my nascent NoT™ theory).

But seriously.  As a result of reading Stephen’s Post I asked a few questions, retrieved responses, and went searching for definitions and a better understanding. I discovered these things:  Eliminative materialism and Qualia, and read about Language of thought, Philosophy of mind, and Knowledge representation amongst other things, including Wittgenstein and Feyerabend. I struggled with the concepts of intentialism, associationism, realism and meaning as defined by Stephen.

The end result for me is B*A*M*B*I

Connectivism has strong philosophical ties with the original behaviorist theory, and is either an offshoot or a revamped form of it.  The focus on Network Theory is the key to its typology.

I think connectivism is born-again behaviorism, with a new wrapper (networks).  Nothing more or less.


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  1. delliotthk permalink

    Stephen’s post was very difficult to understand and your questions/comments were helpful. Thanks. As I read the post I was reminded of Stephen and George going at it during the Friday audio discussion. Stephen seems to hold hard core to the absolute focus on the networking process as the expression of all reality whereas George wants to give “meaning”, value and reality to the nodes particularly when they are social networks of people. Stephen’s philosophical approach would lead you to a new behaviorism whereas George’s approach might lead towards a refined or extended constructivism.

    In my blog post on the theories, I find myself practically moving between them all as the moment requires. I suspect this has not yet shaken down enough to make clear categorizations yet. Thanks for stirring the pot. I suspect many benefited.

  2. deadvocate permalink

    Hi, thanks for your comments. I think you have described very well the polarity between George’s and Stephen’s view of connectivism. I observed some tension in that Friday audio between the viewpoints as well. I hope you don’t mind that I will make mention of the polarity in the forum.

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