Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 7 Assignment: How do I learn?

To be honest, my view on how I learn has not changed much. It’s been a great class though. I have learned a lot during the last 7 weeks, and I’m able to break learning into the different pieces now. To use an analogy, I’ve always known what fried chicken tastes like, but now I am aware of the different types of fried chicken. I also have an understanding of the different styles for how to make fried chicken.

In my original posting during Week 1, I wrote that learning is a function of discipline and entertainment (interest/motivation). This very much describes Adult Learning Theory. (I guess I’ve been an adult for a while, and I’ve intuitively been learning that way.) I also reflected back on my childhood and recognized Behaviorist and Cognitive influences. Now that I’ve read additional theories, I can see their influence throughout my life. For example:

  • I’ve really gotten into NLP and ontology during the last 5 years, and I have evolved into a constructivist. I create meaning. Knowledge is not acquired but created. I find that if I don’t create it, it doesn’t exist. 
  • I’ve gotten into improv comedy (amateur). As an improviser, I have become aware that learning is a social process. (I didn’t know it was a theory back then. I just experienced it that way. Most improv comedians are really very smart, and now I understand why.)
  •  I work in IT, so I’m constantly in front of a computer. I’m also a big Facebook user, and I’m quite aware that information is so abundant. I can’t keep up. It’s impossible. So, I’ve learned to accept that memory is collective. We need to collaborate.

As for the role of technology in my learning… we live in a different world now. Technology is not just a tool we use. We have become the tool. We are actually becoming nodes in an information society. “Hypertext is no longer just linking information. The web is linking people…. People sharing, trading and collaborating.” (Source: That has huge implications for us, not just legal or financial, but also our identity, sense of self, and sense of others. Technology is not just a way to search for information or record information. It’s become a way of being. It’s become the means for Jung’s collective unconscious to express itself. (Damn, that sounds deep!)

I’ll conclude this posting with a quote from Daniel Willingham. “Styles don’t exist….Good teaching is good teaching.” We’ve learned different recipes for learning, but that’s not the end of things. It’s just the beginning. There’s much more out there to discover. Let’s not limit ourselves, but learn from these classifications and perhaps discover (or create) new styles.

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