The teacher, the learner and the collective mind

Jon Dron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper deals with techniques for tapping processes of self-organisation in adult learning. It looks at systems that make use of evolution and stigmergy (communication through signs left in the environment) to generate a kind of group mind, which both influences and is influenced by the actions of its constituents. Such systems exhibit both high structure and high dialogue, constraining choice and providing freedom at the same time. This makes them very interesting educationally as theory suggests that such opposites cannot co-exist. The paper describes two such systems, exploring their strengths and weaknesses and identifying potential future avenues of research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-216
Number of pages17
JournalAI & Society
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Adult learning
  • Learning technologies


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