Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Old Classic - What is Learning?

As I try to formulate my learning contract I feel an insatiable desire to become clear in my own mind about learning and views of learning.

MY LEARNING TASK(S): Gather information on models and theories of learning; Read initial article on learning theory .

ABOUT MY LEARNING TASK
  1. Information gathering (research)

    • Five hours searching the internet using google
    • Very quick browse when selecting articles of interest
    • Bookmarking and organizing relative sites
    • Printing out articles (double sided fast print - to save paper and ink)

  2. Read “infed” article on learning theory

REFLECTIONS

Thoughts - We learn different things in different ways
Previously I had thought that all the different theories of learning were finalised opinions on how learning takes place. This may well be the case for certain opinions, but what is strikingly obvious to me is that we learn different things in different ways.

So for example whilst trying to comprehend theories of learning, I want to understand this by trying to gather a wide knowledge of the whole domain to make meaning of these abstract concepts. I hope to then some how order or relate the theories. When I am more well read I feel I will have a good core anchor to analyse and argue the merits of each theory.

By contrast, recently i wanted to make a workbench for the garage. My learning was largely led by conversations with staff in the hardware store(collaboration of sorts) and by doing the job and experimenting as I was going (learning by discovery).

So initial thoughts are that I can learn in different ways, doing different things.

It occurs that I could have approached both tasks in different ways. i.e read up on how to make a workbench before I started. This seems a sensible and realistic approach to learning. With regard to the subject of “theories of learning”; by practically teaching or planning to teach, i could have learnt on the job in this way. However for this particular learning task i think at this stage the reading and understanding is more appropriate as the first stage of learning.

Have not thought too deeply about how I am learning at this stage, but reading the infed article is a good start on the journey.

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