Open Thinkering


Month: December 2006

Ed.D. Thesis Proposal Outline (expanded)

Google Docs & Spreadsheets

I’ve used Google Docs to write my expanded Ed.D. Thesis Proposal Outline. I’ve now emailed it off to my supervisor, and it’s available for the world to see here:

Comments, suggestions and ideas are very welcome! :-)?

Some ideas about the structure of my thesis proposal essay

A few months ago when I had to submit an outline for my thesis proposal essay, I indicated that I wanted to look at ‘changing conceptions of, and reactions to, the nature of knowledge by educational institutions.’ My feeling was (and still is) that, as George Siemens so aptly put it in Knowing Knowledge,?

Knowledge has broken free from its moorings, its shackles.

The five questions I framed initially I know think are a little broad: instead I intend to focus on where stimulii for change originate, examples of how changes have taken place in schools, and then what changes can be expected in the future (short to medium-term). This would allow me to discuss ideas surrounding the changing nature of knowledge, the role of educational technology and the structure of a 21st-century curriculum.?

The work that I have done since September, both on my blog and the reading I have done specifically for my Ed.D., has shown me that there is a fundamental difference between ‘education’ and ‘schooling’. The former is an ideal, something almost Platonic in form, whereas the latter is the practical implementation of more abstract ideas, subject to multitude pressures from varying angles. It is important not to confuse these two notions, especially when talking about the ‘purpose’ of each.

A lot of what happens in education depends on how conceptions of society, knowledge, human nature and varying degrees of optimism as to what extent the existing (fairly delicate) status quo can be maintained. For it is this stability that educational institutions strive for, over and above creativity, inspirational teaching and motivating students to become lifelong learners. Upon reflection, this has to be the case given that schooling is compulsory and schools do not, in reality, face the same market pressures as commercial entities.

Thesis Proposal Mindmap

The work I’ve done in trying to synthesize (some of) my research so far is here.

(I’ve been using the Open Source program FreeMind to do my mindmapping – I’m still getting to grips with it…)?


What does literacy look like in the 21st century?

The skills and literacies 21st-century learners need to understand, interpret and function in the world they will inherit are very different from those that most of their teachers are imparting.


  1. FuturelabThe New Basics: changing curriculum for 21st century skills
  2. John Seely BrownNew Learning Environments for the 21st Century (via elearnspace – PDF & audio)
  3. TechlearningThe New Literacy (Sara Armstrong & Dave Warlick )
  4. enGaugeLiteracy in the Digital Age
  5. David