Rhizomatic Learning: What is it?

This morning I came across Steve Wheeler’s post and his presentation: “It’s Personal: Learning Spaces, Learning Webs

What really caught my eye are slides 15-19 where Steve refers to learning in terms of rhizomatic plant; a plant that has;

“no centre and no defined boundary; rather it is made up of a number of semi-independent nodes, each of which is capable of growing and spreading on it’s own, bounded only by the limits of its habitat.”

For those who don’t know Steve (shame on you) he is a pioneer in the realms of Personal Learning Networks (PLN) and eLearning, so the above shouldn’t come as a surprise. From a background of reading and liking Steve’s work the approach of a Rhizomatic Learning Environment (RLN?) is another small step on the road to identifying a working ‘environment’ that is both structured (for the educator and facilitator) and yet flexible (for the learners).

Nitin Parmar refers to rhizomatic learning as;

“The ‘rhizomatic model of learning’ lends itself to a curriculum that is no longer predefined by experts but instead evolves. It is the community that determines a flexible ‘model of education’ which spontaneously shapes, constructs and reconstructs depending on external environmental factors.”

I like the way these guys talk; it makes sense. It’s all about working out what is needed to fully engage all stake-holders in the learning process (student, educators, facilitators, etc) and ‘give them’ a system (or systems) that will ‘enable’ them.