Francis, you were thinking of nouns and verbs, and I was thinking of prepositions. I’m coming to think that the prepositions are more instructive in a rhizomatic field, and I intend to blog about this soon, but I’ll steal my own thunder here.

You say, “Like Simon, I am not sure how ‘community is the curriculum’ fits with rhizomatic learning.” I won’t presume to speak for Dave Cormier, but I have an answer that makes sense to me. For me, ‘community is the curriculum’ means that the learning is defined from the inside out, not the outside in. The traditional curriculum (I’ll speak in extremes to make my point) defines the entire learning from the outside with some kind of syllabus that makes explicit the terms, the objectives, and the assessments of the learning. The class, then, is defined by the contractual terms of the syllabus. The successful student, then, traces over the readings, activities, and assessments of the course, arriving at or near the appointed learning objectives of the course.

This did not happen in Rhizo14; rather, the class was defined from the inside-out. The curriculum/syllabus emerged from the engagement of the community and cannot be written until after the class, if at all. The curriculum follows from the course; whereas, traditionally, the course follows from the curriculum. The successful student, then, maps the activities that emerge in the course, arriving in no particular place, but having traversed a more, or less, interesting terrain.

What does this have to do with prepositions? I’ve just read about 50 different meanings for the preposition “to”. Prepositions are infamously polysemous, and this suggests to me that they don’t really have a definition, a specific meaning. They are not defined from the outside-in. Rather, they attain their meaning from within each particular sentence. Meaning hardly precedes use for prepositions; rather, use precedes meaning. That is highly rhizomatic.

Nouns and verbs tend to be more anchored in a specific meaning; thus, their meanings tend to precede usage.

Well, maybe. I’ll think on this some more. Later. 🙂