Learning Philosophy 1.0
(This assignment is a late posting for me due to a medical emergency in the family.)
What constitutes learning for you?
Interestingly, my mind separates what is learning to me for me and what is learning for those that I teach.
For me, learning is gaining, refining, amending, or creating knowledge. Personally, I like to have useful information and find that I eliminate information that either I do not need (like welding, where I would hire someone to do it for me) or file it away to some recess in my mind only to be called forth later when I infrequently need it (like making biscuits). Since I am a “practical knowledge consumer”, I tend to like to learn things that involved my hands or some type of action that will yield something. As illustrated by attendance to culinary school, I want to learn something and then demonstrate it. I use the theoretical as a springboard for the useful but do not spend a lot of time with the theoretical once I gain the useful direction that I needed.
For those that I teach, I lean on the philosophy that it has to be personal and desired for the other person to learn. If it is personal, then there is a connection of some sort for the learner that is going to feed their passion and drive their motivation. If it is desired, then there is fertile soil for the development of knowledge.
How should learning happen?
I think learning should happen in the means that makes the most sense for the learner. For example, I am not a good auditory learner. I have to see it, say it, read it, and do it. Telling me how to do something, I will miss it unless I write it down. Have me do it once and explain “why” afterwards and I will know it forever. For anyone, learning should happen in a personally understandable way that is going to anchor the theoretical to the practical and cement the “what could be” to “what is”. By doing this, the learner finds their voice, constructs the meaning, and connects that new knowledge to prior knowledge to build a connection.
How do you know when learning takes place? What visible indicators or signs demonstrate that learning has taken place?
For me these two questions seem to fit together as part of one conversation. For the most part, I want to say when it can be demonstrated but I qualify that statement by saying when it can be taught to someone else. I have seen students who have mimicked what I have done but unable to explain it to others and teach the subject to them. However, when a student can teach another student the subject/topic/lesson, then I feel more assured learning has occurred because the concepts have been digested in a way that can be discussed and extended past the rotely memorized quote into a discussion and demonstration.
How would one differentiate between learners and teachers/facilitators in the context of participatory learning and Web 2.0?
I would see Learning 1.0 being one-way in direction, static, and didactic. Where Learning 2.0 is a collaboration of thoughts, ideas, and knowledge to determine a direction that reaches past the traditional barriers of access, geography, and language. While teachers may assist in guiding the student and scaffolding information for consumption by the students, the students determine their own direction, interests, and depths of investigation into the topic.
What do you see as your role in 2025? (For example how do you see your role in your professional context adapting to differences in information/content access, directed vs. self-learning, and the notion of learning as mobilizing networks.)
I see myself teaching, but more as an advising facilitator than a “sage on the stage”. I want to meet my students where they are but not leave them there. I want to challenge their thoughts but create a space to for them to determine the direction of their thoughts. I see myself as the person who assists in sustaining the students’ interests but not determining the requirements of the interests.