During the writing of my dissertation proposal, I was asked, "What do you believe about knowledge creation?" This question really threw me for a loop. I answered immediately that every single one of the words was problematic and political, not the least of which is "I". Beliefs, knowledge, and creation are all political, and while that is true, I found what I believe about knowledge creation could be summed up in one word: experience. But that's not as easy as it sounds either. As Dewey writes:
We live from birth to death in a world of persons and things which in large measure is what it is because of what has been done and transmitted from previous human activities. When this fact is ignored, experience is treated as if it were something which goes on exclusively inside an individual’s body and mind. It ought not be necessary to say that experience does not occur in a vacuum. There are sources outside an individual which give rise to experience. It is constantly fed by these springs (Dewey, 1997, p. 40).
This quotation speaks to two different sources of knowledge creation; the first type is sculpted by a culture’s stories, and the second is forged in experience. Every month, I try to put together a brief for discussion at our Academic Leadership Council meetings. Here is what I put together for June's meeting.
PS. Assessment Strategies in Online Learning: Engagement & Authenticity should be available this Friday (July 6) and available in print on July 22.