Posted by: MandyS | May 1, 2013

Revisiting the meaning of learning

Do the concepts, theories and evidence described in my paper fit your own experience as a learner?

I think what I know now that I didn’t know when I was studying my degree is that there is a purpose to what I am being asked to do. I think that is more to do with seeing it from the other side as a tutor rather than any conscious desire to adopt a ‘desirable approach to study’. I still do what I need to do to pass the module whether it be surface, deep or strategic and although might not be a ‘desirable approach’ to the educational fraternity it is a ‘desirable’ approach for me as a learner.

Which of Säljö’s five conceptions of learning best fits your own definition?

From what I can remember about my definition I would say that all the conceptions are represented in some way. The only one that is missing is the 6th, but I am not yet convinced about ‘identity change’ as being part of the definition of learning as one can learn without undergoing any change in behaviour, simply because one might learn something one does not agree with.

If you have (or have had) a role in teaching or training, do the concepts, theories and evidence described in my paper fit your own experience as a teacher or trainer?

I still see students as being more strategic than the concepts give them credit for. Students, generally speaking, do what they are asked to do. From experience of my own module, students tend to skip the activities which ask them to think about their own views; for the majority this is just too difficult either because they haven’t got the time or they have little understanding of what it is they should be thinking about. In that respect, the student is ‘inducing a didactic approach’ to their learning; they will wait until they get to the tutorial and see what it is that I say are the ideas they need to think about.

Do you find my argument convincing?

Based on the evidence produced it is a convincing conclusion, but I would argue that there is other evidence, albeit anecdotal, which would make it less convincing in my own context.

You may find the similarity between the models in Figure 1 and Figure 2 beguiling, but are the models really justified?

For me, all the figures do is provide an overview of Richardson’s arguments. They are not something which can be relied on as theories to be applied as there are so many more aspects which have an influence on the way students learn and the way teachers teach which are not represented by the figures.


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