Edev_502 response wk2_5

“I travelled in my mind through all of my educational experiences.” — This is a lovely expression. I could envisage you actually flying through the air visiting your various past selves. Thank you.

On reading your response, I have a few points to make and a few questions for you.

When you related your ski story, I wasn’t surprised that you learnt more by observation than listening. May I ask you why this surprised you then? Thinking back on the different domains of knowledge in play, are you surprised now?

When you refer to Dreyfus^2 and say, “It is advisable to regress to the level of a novice to remember what is needed,” are you paraphrasing what they said about Plato? I agree that understanding the position of the novice is fundamental for any teaching. The old adage ‘go from the known to the unknown’ underpins basic teaching methodology. Yet, I didn’t find the Dreyfus brothers develop this point in the rest of the article. Did they?

I see a contradiction in this phrase and in the source one:

The role of the philosopher was to help such moral and mathematical experts recollect the principles on which they acted. (p. 781)

with the aims the Dreyfuses then set out. Where exactly does going back to first principles lead? If it is to the knowledge of the novice, then we arrive at (according to them) a rule-based knowledge system. Yet, such a rule-based system cannot lead to expertness; their main contention is that rule-based knowledge can never produce more than competency. In other words, we go four steps back but only two forward! Plato was not referring to novice knowledge but to underlying bases of lower level knowledge (not rules) upon which more complex schemas derive. Socrates’ technique of going around asking (annoying) so-called wise people and expose their lack of wisdom doesn’t tell us so much about the nature of wisdom (well, it does) but about the lack of skill Socrates had in asking appropriate questions to get appropriate answers.

I liked your description of how your classes are similar to Dr Dawson’s. I think that what you do sounds great. My own situation is so different (or I’ve engineered it to be different unwittingly) that I can learn from your model. Also, I suspect that you’ll be able to really investigate how your classes work next week. I do have a question about your teaching content. You teach future teachers of English. Do you teach your teachers to teach grammar based syllabuses, communication, or any other type? I presume that you use communicative methodologies in doing so, but how do you get teachers to teach grammar?

You use the term intuitively after the Dreyfuses. But I wonder if this is just a ‘black box’ term, a catch-all expression for that kind of knowledge researchers haven’t yet codified. What do you think?

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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