Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Learning - A One Way Street?

Kia ora tātou – Hello Everyone
Filling Jugs

Robert Winston got it right when he corrected John Campbell on TV3's Campbell Live today. John had remarked that he was learning a lot during his interview with Lord Robert, when the surgeon politely pointed out that he too was learning a lot.

Lord Robert is Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College, London. He made the point that the brain is an ever-changing organ where (learning) connections are being made all the time.

He said that when he left the TV studio, his brain would be different from how it was when he came in. This is because neural connections would have been made in Lord Robert's brain during the time he was in the studio. He would have learnt new things.

Empty vessels

'Filling jugs' has been a favourite metaphor for teaching and learning.
It implies many things erroneously. Among which is that teaching is a one way process of transmitting knowledge from teacher to learner.

My teacher training lecturers at Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh, in the 70s, were before their time. They each passed on their message. But a common theme was that teachers should never stop learning.

Part of good pedagogy is sharing the journey with the learner. There is as much for the teacher to learn on the way as there is to be taught.

If ever there is an idea that is ‘learner centred’, that one is!

Haere rā – Farewell


V Yonkers said...

It is interesting how each generation feels they have the "new" idea when in fact it is just that the idea has new merit in a new environment.

My mother, during her teacher education in the early 1940's, was taught of the importance of play and "down time". Today, we'd call it activity and reflection. Just this weekend, our newspaper had an article about how children have become so over programmed that they don't know how to just "play" and have "thinking time" or "exploration time". There is now a push to incorporate this into our life styles and school (this within a state that mandates homework starting from pre-school).

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Virginia

I feel much the same as you do about the drives for more homework and more play time when I consider work stress. Though little seems to be done to alleviate the stressors beyond the control of the employee, there is greater pressure for the employee to take charge of their own stress levels.

There seems to be no 'yin and yang' to it.

Cathya later