Daily Archives: Sunday 22 November 2009

It’s nothing personal: Identity, learning environments and covert curricula

Dave Cormier appears to be arguing for a particularly strong form of cultural determinism in his post, “Does the PLE make sense in a connectivist context?” and in his reply to comments. He is troubled by the use of the word “personal”:

… why call it personal? That’s the thing that i keep coming back to… in what sense is it [a PLE] personal? It tends to sound more like a desperate attempt to keep our enlightenment sense of the individual and not open ourselves to the fact that the things that we know are indelibly connected to everything else and are not, in fact, personal at all. In the sense that there are ‘no new ideas’ what we think of as personal are in fact just brand choices.

I couldn’t agree more that most assertions of my-personal-whatever do amount to “brand choices”, or rather, non choices. We are largely unsure of what our positions are in respect to most issues of the day. Positions most strongly held are often the least “personal”: the most influenced by ideologies, for example climate change denial, immigration, one’s position with respect to the European Union, sex roles in society and so on.

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