I’m not a shy person. Ask anyone who knows me – I can be very fond of blowing my own trumpet. And I enjoy collaborative writing – the stuff we’ve been doing over the last year has been fun, and rewarding, and I’ve learnt a lot. But I don’t always learn by collaboration, and I don’t only learn from collaboration, and often I don’t learn best by collaborating – there are some things I learn best by practising, privately, on my own. So I think this is wrong:
One of the central narratives of rhizomatic learning is the idea that learning is at once a deeply personal, individual process and something that only happens in collaboration with others. We are all different, but we need each other. A practical guide to rhizo15
Here’s why. I’ve been learning to play the ukelele for the last few years. I’m not very good, but that doesn’t matter because I only play in the privacy of my study. Well, our old cat used to sit and watch me – her favourite song was the Internationale, which I cannot play anything like this:
… but apart from that my uke playing is an entirely solitary, private activity. And I think that practice is making me, well far from perfect, but a bit better than I used to be. I’ve learnt a lot of chords, and some basic strumming and picking techniques, and I can play a few of my favourite songs. And I have done all of this on my own. No collaboration. I think a lot of learning is like that.
(Simon makes a related point on his blog)