Network Learning Culture and the Emerging Paradigm

Network Learning Culture and the Emerging Paradigm

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6351-0.ch002
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This chapter presents and discusses the Network Learning culture and the emerging paradigm. The authors approach the need for developing a network learning culture, under the perspective of an emerging paradigm, in the context of Teaching and Learning in the Network Society. They present and discuss a subtopic, “Emerging Paradigm: Reflections about Reality,” to characterize this paradigm that is under construction. The subtopic, “Systemic Thinking and Complexity: The Emerging Paradigm,” cites examples of theories that are being developed in this emerging perspective. “Epistemological Conceptions” is a subtopic where the authors discuss the epistemological, ontological, and methodological foundations of some contemporary theories. The last subtopic, “The Culture of Network Learning,” covers the concepts that are involved in the formation of the network society. The conclusion is the emerging paradigm as concepts which are constructed in the everyday life of men and women.
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The humankind organization in contemporaneity, which constitutes a society that increasingly organizes itself through different digital virtual media like the network, can be called the “Network Digital-Virtual Society”, which represents the ontological construction of a certain group which lives and collaborates, builds knowledge and creates reality in different spaces and dimensions. Every human being, through his ontogeny1 (the historical construction of interactions carried out from birth to current times), contributes in a singular way to the constitution of this “Network Digital-Virtual Society”, either being a digital immigrant or a digital native2, as discussed in chapter 1, Teaching and Learning in the Network Society.

We found ourselves in a particularly dynamic time, characterized by the permeability and plasticity of the contours and edges, among different generations and spaces, which were previously defined by Cartesian patterns. In the research developed by Backes (2011), participants from different generations, both from Brazil and France, were engaged and showed particular characteristics from the different generations such as familiarity or not with digital technologies and ease or difficulty in communicating using different languages, as well as characteristics typical of the different spaces, such as Brazilians immediately adhering to digital technologies, and French participants being strongly critical of digital technologies. The ecological disasters, the economic crisis, globalization, individual and social pathologies and the development of digital technologies, empowers us to reframe our relations and rebuild the world in which we live. So, we build up new knowledge, based on different logics of thinking, past and future meet in a present under transformation, according to Maffesoli (2012), a “dynamic rooting”, where the archaic (past/origin) is in synergy with the technological development (future/perspective).

When considering contemporary dynamics, so that we can evidence emergent ones, we seek an interactionist understanding – constructive – systemic – complex, which obviously consists of an emerging paradigm. According to Pérez Goméz (2001), a paradigmatic conception implies:

The basic system of beliefs, of principles, of the general view of reality and of knowledge, that guide, condition and empower the work of researchers, intellectuals, politicians and doers was subverted in a deeply radical way which directly affects not only the choice of production methods and diffusion of knowledge, but specifically and clearly, the very concept of knowledge itself, (epistemology) and the consideration of reality (ontology). (p.61)

Given this reality we build and which builds us at the same time, we need to think about our way of thinking, to look inside ourselves in order to raise awareness of our living and sharing. In this way, we can go forward, not through transforming reality but above all, through knowing our intentions, which define the paths we choose. With that said, we do not dominate reality nor do we steer it, rather we are part of it.

In this chapter we firstly describe the paradigmatic trends that contributed to the ontological construction of the reality in which we live, so as to approach the epistemological choice that supports our thinking in a swirl by the converging of divergent flows, as well as with congruent methodologies. By the end it will be possible to demonstrate the ideas about culture and network learning, constituting digital virtual living and collaborating3.


Emerging Paradigm: Reflections About Reality

When we think about human relations, in a current context, based on structured theoretical assumptions from the past, or even, when we think about human relations from the past based on structured theoretical assumptions in contemporaneity, we accept the challenge of breaking the notions of time and space to understand that men and women build their relationships in spaces of flow in a timeless time. Physical mobility also brings digital-virtual mobility as people travel to other countries and start instant communication with people who are encouraged to use digital-virtual spaces, even when there is no technological fluency. So, digital-virtual mobility also brings physical mobility when we want to know our “virtual friend” in a physical way.

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