Block 2 Activity 20: Exploring Rhizomatic Leanring

rootsRhizomes are roots which reach out into an ecosystem looking for ways to spread and grow.    But the route is not always clear.  Uncertainty lies ahead…some roots will break off, replant and spread out and grow again forming another network or community. Some roots will hit a barrier and have to re-route to continue.  Dave Cormier compares this plant system with Rhizomatic Learning.


Activity 20 asked me to consider four questions which I have considered below.

  1.  Were you convinced by rhizomatic learning as an approach? I can see rhizomatic learning as an approach which naturally occurs within establishments especially with the opening up of social media networks.  There are aspects of rhizomatic learning which I feel fit in with a more informal approach to learning for example reaching out to others working on similar projects. I can also see aspects of rhizomatic learning occurring within formal learning – especially distance learning courses such as H817. I believe this approach would form part of a tool bag of approaches used and would not be a stand alone approach.
  2. Could you imagine implementing rhizomatic learning?  Yes, but I think it would be challenging to keep on top of what learning was occurring and in what  context the learners were using the learn in. 
  3. How might rhizomatic learning differ from current approaches? Learners become more responsible for their learning paths.  They can react to their own environment and follow the pathway most beneficial to them whilst still being connected to their community.  Learners can learn within the uncertainty that lies ahead. Learners may get a chance to talk  with people they may not normally get an opportunity to talk with over complex issues/ideas. 
  4. What issues would arise in implementing rhizomatic learning? If our curriculum is our community how do we manage this with regards to the stakeholders? Especially within the pace of change brought in with opening up the world through web 2.0 and the effects this has had/ will have on our pedagogical practices. How would we measure the learning that has taken place and the personal/organisational costs that are involved (time and resources).  What value could be placed on this learning? Would it be suitable for accreditation?  If so, who and how would we set a rubric?


Supporting rhizomatic learning will need a curriculum context and learning community where the curriculum and knowledge is reshaped and reconstructed in response to environmental conditions (eg the next government initiative). There will be a mixture of formal and informal learning that takes place and this may be through social media and personal knowledge creation which has occurred through involvement within personal learning networks. This rhizomatic approach networked in its approach and promotes peer support and  learner responsibility.


Embracing Uncertainty – Rhizomatic Learning in Formal Education (2012) You Tube video, added by Dave Cormier [online]. Available at (last accessed on 22 April 2016).

Image courtesy of



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s