Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Philosophy.
I wonder if various theories of education put forward in the main introduction for Moodle is helpful in terms of giving potential Moodle teachers a way to know the potential of the product. It is not that I disagree with these frameworks for thinking about activities and ways of learning. It is just that Moodle has the potential for a much broader market. Features like essay writing, feedback loops with instructors, quizzes administered and scored, web gradebook, etc. are features that help teacher new to Moodle be better able to transition into the software, but don't necessarily focus on constructionist pedagogy. Once people are using Moodle, Wiki's, Blogs, Forums, Chat Rooms, Workshops and other cool features become available for teachers to start to experiment with. But I suspect that it will be harder to win teachers over to trying the software if it comes across that it is mostly useful only if you subscribe to a particular theory of education as your primary framework as your primary way of thinking about learning. --Gary Anderson 13 October 2005 16:31 (WST)
I agree that the initial emphasis should be on what Moodle can do for the teacher. Let them absorb the philosophy osmotically.
--Mark Draper 2 March 2006 16:53
I think the site well represents the features of the product that are useful, appealing and interesting. The fact that a particular theory is promoted doesnt distract from that. In my case (not a "classically" trained educator, I found it useful to know that this was designed by educators and not software engineers. I agree that if they promoted that aspect of it too much, it could be a detraction, but I really dont hink thats the case.
I'm an experienced teacher with a constructivist philosophy and teaching methods. I'm also new to moodle. This philosophy page let me know that moodle is worth a serious look.
I am a teacher. What I do is, I teach people science.
I don't like the reference in the article to science teachers regarding the social constructivist model as mumbo jumbo.
I take it as read that social reality is socially constructed and socially sustained. Thomas Kuhn showed this to be true for science.
http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/Kuhn.html The social construction model is not mumbo jumbo. It is a paradigm based on sharing. The question is about the best ways of implementing shared learning on line
Someone should put a link on the french version of this page : fr:Philosophie
--Séverin Terrier 02:55, 22 December 2006 (CST)
Social constructivism and other theories
I think the emphasis on this page could be slightly re-aligned, to focus on the fact that Moodle enables educators to embrace the social constructivist approach better than most/any other tool. In addition, an exploration of other theories (which often do not conflict with constructivism) would be useful, and may prove that Moodle can successfully support those approaches as well.
I think for example of Self-Determination Theory by Ryan & Deci, a view that motivation is highest (and learning is best achieved) when behaviour is self-determined, that is, chosen for its own merits instead of as a means to obtain another reward (e.g. good grades) or avoid punishment (e.g. bad grades). (See the SDT website for more info.).
In addition to social/educational theories, a number of psychological theories and fields of enquiry should be examined in the context of online learning environments, especially group dynamics (see Kurt Lewin for example). Recent research into the potential of online learning communities may yield significant insights into ways in which Moodle already taps into this potential, and ways it which it could be improved to better take advantage of this research.