The elusiveness of the term community, or perhaps the jaded quality of the word raises the challenge of mapping “community” in any useful sense. The idea of community as curriculum could be understood as essentially getting rid of the concept of curriculum and working with the “community” at hand. This is a useful approach that I have found works well with demotivated learners, and though I have not participated UMW’s ds106 course seems to work in a similar direction very successfully.
If however curriculum is still a useful notion, and we wish to frame community as curriculum, then we need to further discuss what community involves. In a previous post I mentioned some of the elements that may form part of it, but left out perhaps the most important one, perhaps because it is so obvious, interaction. Communities involve interactions between individuals and groups of individuals and indeed with other communities through networks. When these interactions are rich, conversations emerge, and when these conversations are rich, when they go beyond serial monologue, dialogue can be developed (in the sense used for example by Freire, Böhm or Buber). This kind of interaction, though hard to achieve, could perhaps go some way toward revealing and contesting the power relations that Mariana Funes refers to. It is also perhaps what we should be looking for, at that campfire in the dunes, as a way of focusing and mapping our learning. I believe marram grass is a rhizome J
In this sense, it may be that instead of community as curriculum, we might explore the notion of the conversation as curriculum.