Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized. The field of education has been slow to recognize both the impact of new learning tools and the environmental changes in what it means to learn. Connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.
Brown, J. S., (2002). Growing Up Digital: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn. United States Distance Learning Association. Retrieved on December 10, 2004, from
Skinner was influential in defining radical behaviorism, a philosophy codifying the basis of his school of research (named the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, or EAB.) While EAB differs from other approaches to behavioral research on numerous methodological and theoretical points, radical behaviorism departs from methodological behaviorism most notably in accepting treatment of feelings, states of mind and introspection as existent and scientifically treatable. This is done by identifying them as something non-dualistic, and here Skinner takes a divide-and-conquer approach, with some instances being identified with bodily conditions or behavior, and others getting a more extended 'analysis' in terms of behavior. However, radical behaviorism stops short of identifying feelings as causes of behavior. Among other points of difference were a rejection of the reflex as a model of all behavior and a defense of a science of behavior complementary to but independent of physiology.
Constructivism suggests that learners create knowledge as they attempt to understand their experiences (Driscoll, 2000, p. 376). Behaviorism and cognitivism view knowledge as external to the learner and the learning process as the act of internalizing knowledge. Constructivism assumes that learners are not empty vessels to be filled with knowledge. Instead, learners are actively attempting to create meaning. Learners often select and pursue their own learning. Constructivist principles acknowledge that real-life learning is messy and complex. Classrooms which emulate the “fuzziness” of this learning will be more effective in preparing learners for life-long learning.
This essentially philosophical position gained strength from the success of Skinner's early experimental work with rats and pigeons, summarised in his books The Behavior of Organisms (1938) and Schedules of Reinforcement (1957, with C. B. Ferster). Of particular importance was his concept of the operant response, of which the canonical example was the rat's lever-press. In contrast with the idea of a physiological or reflex response, an operant is a class of structurally distinct but functionally equivalent responses. For example, while a rat might press a lever with its left paw or its right paw or its tail, all of these responses operate on the world in the same way and have a common consequence. Operants are often thought of as species of responses, where the individuals differ but the class coheres in its function--shared consequences with operants and reproductive success with species. This is a clear distinction between Skinner's theory and S-R theory.
Within the subculture of a long-established church it is possible to maintain the illusion that the Bible does not need to be explained, because people who have been raised in the church forget how many explanations they have absorbed over the years; but when the Bible is taken outside the church, the error of this notion becomes painfully obvious. At that point, the modern “Bible alone” idea, which insists that the common man can understand everything in the Bible without any help from an educated class of teachers, can be maintained only by the use of a highly interpretive and simplified Bible version. If we were to follow the example of the early Protestants, we would solve the comprehension problem by placing explanatory notes in the margin, but this would only undermine the idea that no explanations are needed. We might then expect a movement in the direction of paraphrase wherever there is a reluctance to acknowledge the explanatory role of pastors, teachers, and interpretive tradition in general. However, if the Bible is going to be separated from the church ministry and sent forth to speak for itself, we had better be very careful about what is being presented as “the Bible alone.” If the translation is grossly inaccurate or biased, it cannot go unchallenged. If we find that a body of theory has been designed to justify such treatment of the text, and its proponents deploy it in the defense of every bad and biased rendering, then that whole body of theory cannot go unchallenged either.
From the standpoint of an educated pastor the situation described here must seem absurd. How can a translation do justice to theologically important details of the text, when the translator himself is ignorant of biblical theology, having no education in the subject? Native speakers of the language who can read English have been recruited to translate the Bible (from a simplified English version provided by the ABS or Wycliffe consultant) because the native speakers are the best judges of what will be idiomatic and clear in their language. But their education is so deficient that they have no idea why John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God.” This is what we have in translation projects set up by the missionary Bible translation agencies today, in accordance with their priorities and in line with Nida’s view of missions. Naturally, the books and articles on translation theory that have been published by these agencies are designed to justify these methods.
The name of Eugene Nida, an American linguist, is usually mentioned in connection with this method of translation, because it was he who coined the phrase “dynamic equivalence.” He is generally regarded as the seminal theorist behind it. Nida was for more than thirty years (1946-1980) the Executive Secretary of the Translations Department of the American Bible Society, and during this time he published a number of books and articles explaining and promoting this approach. But in fact there is little that can be called original in Nida’s books. His contributions were more on the practical side than on the theoretical. He gathered up a number of ideas about language that were current among linguists in his time, he applied them to the task of Bible translation, and he presented these ideas in a very engaging and understandable way. He was essentially a popularizer of theoretical ideas and principles that might serve to bring some methodological discipline into “the pioneering efforts of missionaries translating the Scriptures for remote, primitive tribes.” His books are packed with examples of translation problems drawn from the experience of missionary translators who were trying to put the Bible into the local languages of South-American and African tribes (most of which lacked even a system of writing at the time), and his examples show very plainly that if people were to have the Bible in these languages, in versions that were to be immediately intelligible to the uneducated, the only practical approach to the task was to use a paraphrastic method. Reading his books, one gets a vivid impression of how difficult the task is, and how wrong it is to think that an essentially literal translation could be produced in these languages in their present state of development.
A translation of dynamic equivalence aims at complete naturalness of expression, and tries to relate the receptor to modes of behavior relevant within the context of his own culture; it does not insist that he understand the cultural patterns of the source-language context in order to comprehend the message. Of course, there are varying degrees of such dynamic-equivalence translations. One of the modern English translations which, perhaps more than any other, seeks for equivalent effect is ’ rendering of the New Testament. In Romans 16:16 he quite naturally translates “greet one another with a holy kiss” as “give one another a hearty handshake all around.” (p. 159)
This theory directly contradicts the behaviorist learning theory in which learners are believed to arrive at learning situations with “clean slates” of understanding....