Edev_502 response wk5_5

Thanks for sending the link to Nimblekits (2008) article. I like the author’s observation that, “Learning happens all the time, over the whole career of the student”. Lave and Wenger (1991) expound their theory that learning is situated, that is, learning cannot simply be a matter of an educational institute’s curriculumthat focus is far too narrow to encompass the subtleties and richness of real learningbut must be a result of placing learner in opposition to the learning object in its entirety and allowing sub- or conscious reflection in the learner to decide what the hidden curriculum should be. In the artificial classroom environment, the lack of context to how information is turned into knowledge in the real world inhibits this involvement significantly. Nimblekits gets this.

What they don’t seem to get is the diverse nature of types of learning. On simple reflection, it’s abundantly clear that certain professions, such as medicine, are information-driven. Others, such as music, certainly literary criticism and I daresay education, demand a particular relationship between the learner and the learning object. We (in this forum) are knowledge-driven. This distinction is critical. Whereas medics need to memorise a lot, we need to internalise knowledge profoundly.

Tying these two paragraphs together, another weakness in Nimblekits argument becomes apparent. The author limits their discussion to school-based learning. Baxter Magolda (2004) and others found that higher levels of epistemology develop later in life. It’s probable that information-driven learners become knowledge-creating users when they are placed in a community of practice after formal education is over. None of this understanding, though, affects the duty and role of the educator to provide as high a level of content during formal education.

Jim

Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2004). Evolution of a constructivist conceptualisation of epistemological reflection. Educational Psychologist, 39(1), 31–42. http://doi.org/10.1207/s15326985ep3901

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Learning in doing (Vol. 95). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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