“Togetherness” is a fittingly nauseating name for an old ideal in planning theory. This ideal is that if anything is shared among people, much should be shared. “Togetherness,” apparently a spiritual resource of the new suburbs, works destructively in cities. The requirement that much shall be shared drives city people apart. (p63)
I can’t help but think of Connectivism when I read the above quote. My image of the popular interpretation of the theory is similar to this description of “togetherness”, based around the concept that All things are Connected. In this way, it’s not so much a theory as it is just a description of some ideology, one that comes off a bit cult-like at times, unfortunately.
When All things are Connected then Nothing is Connected – this is simply an observation of the default, the base. Stating that All things are Connected is just another way of pointing out that we are all located in the same universe.
Clearly, some things are more connected than others. This is true for the weather – the number of clouds in the sky is more connected to an afternoon thunderstorm than the color of my hat – and it is also true for education and learning.
Painting an abstract picture of ‘connectedness’ may be useful for popularizing the idea, but in practice it is a very shallow approach to intentional learning. Perhaps as Jacobs mentions, it creates an ultimate ideal that unless action is directed towards this ideal, said action is frowned upon, not reinforced, unvalued. Learners are felt to be forced to choose between being a part of the mighty connection of all things, or nothing.