Today I read a very interesting blog post about knowledge. It was by Stephen Downes on the different types of Knowledge and Connective Knowledge. This introduced a fifth kind of knowledge based on a network of connections.
Connective Knowledge involves learning about networks and learning from networks and connections. In the post Stephen mentions that humans are a part of a network and also have a network or are networks. Humans are part of society, a giant network that you can either observe by itself or based on the individuals who participate in it, and they are also a part of a neural network that is changed by interactions between people and through reflection.
Within these networks of knowledge there are also active and reflective participation. Active participation is, well, for lack of a better word, when you actively participate in society and when you perceive things as
they are with your brain. Reflective participation is when you observe society and reflect on your brain and how information is processed. It is a far more passive participation but requires far more thought.
I believe that they are both necessary, however are used at different times in different places.
Today in class we were talking about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
When the bottom of the pyramid is not fulfilled, the individual cannot move up the ladder and therefore cannot make the shift from active participation to reflective participation. It is when people find themselves with extra time to think and are not worried about survival when they move into reflective participation and begin to think about how they think, and why they think the way they do. Unfortunately when people find their lives threatened every day, they remain at active participation and do not reflect as much about why they think as such things are frivolous and will not help you survive. All of that being said; it is still important to have a combination of both as, in order to reflect on what is happening you must first understand the network and connections and be able to navigate and understand them.