Edev_502 response wk4_5

Thanks for introducing the notion of ‘common sense’ into the habit question. I hadn’t considered that until now.

If teachers need to tie in various components into a single education practice, they may well start off following the process described in this module: select an appropriate working theory of learning (week 1); look at expert knowledge to see if a curriculum can be developed to promote that knowledge within the learning theory (week 2); consider problematic areas in conceptualisation of that curriculum (week 3); inculcate positive learning actions that propagate automaticity of powerful actions in the learner (week 4). Remembering that at Dreyfus and Dreyfus’s stage 5, conscious thought is not a feature of expert knowledge unless there are problems (Schön’s reflection-in-action), your notion of ‘common sense’ fits well as a heuristic of expertise.

Rita suggests that habits may detract from critical engagement with knowledge. Not only do I agree with this view following Dreyfus^2, I would add that automaticity is a goal as it frees up cognitive space to engage with higher-level categories of concept. A key assumption in habit formation is that the higher-level categories successfully encompass the lower-level ones, and this may not always be the case. So, on this programme, students are encouraged to reflect, to revisit those areas of automaticity in order to see (amongst other things) if previous habit formation has resulted in less than optimal current practice or concept development.

Having a perception of common sense seems useful to me; it may be characterised as an emotive or cognitive summary of past habit, and this perception allows us an inroad into understanding more deeply the components of our knowledge at the same time as exhibiting to us our acquired knowledge.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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