This paper aims to initiate a timely discussion about the epistemological advantages of Web 2.0 as a non‐foundational network‐centric learning space in higher education.
A philosophical analysis of the underpinning design principles of Web 2.0 social media and of conventional “foundational” and emergent “non‐foundational” learning and which uses Wikipedia as a case study.
For academics in higher education to take a more informed approach to the use of Web 2.0 in formal learning settings and begin to consider integrating Web 2.0's architecture of participation with a non‐foundational architecture of learning, focused on acculturation into networks of practice.
The paper argues that the continuing dominance and therefore likely application of conventional old paradigm foundational learning theory will work against the grain of, if not undermine, the powerful affordances Web 2.0 social media provides for learning focused on social interaction and collaborative knowledge construction. The paper puts the case for non‐foundational learning and draws attention to the importance of aligning Web 2.0's architecture of participation with a non‐foundational architecture of acculturation as the latter is better epistemologically placed to more fully realise the potential of Web 2.0 to position students on trajectories of acculturation into their new networks of practice.
This paper exposes the epistemological dilemma Web 2.0's participatory culture poses for academics wedded to conventional ideas about the nature of knowledge and learning as is, for instance, clearly evidenced by their sceptical disposition towards or outright rejection of, Wikipedia.
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