What does learning look like . . . more thoughts March 21, 2010Posted by IaninSheffield in research, TELIC.
Tags: constructivism, digital camera, learning, meaning, research, TELIC
I’d like to thank Ed for starting a wonderful exchange on Twitter last night (night for me that is) by asking ‘what does learning look like?’ You’ll spot from my previous post that I’m chasing answers to the same question. It has to be said, there was a dearth of responses, but thanks to Dughall and David for adding to the debate and forcing me to address epistemological issues a little more carefully.
[Wonder why so few people responded? Maybe it’s because it’s such a tough question . . . and certainly not one which 140 characters allows sufficient response perhaps.]
David suggested that learning is empowered, enriched, entertained, enlightened. I can see where that’s coming from, but for me those adjectives are more to do with describing how pupils might feel after a good learning experience . . . but maybe using after-effects or consequences might be one way in which pupils describe their learning. In another alliterative response, Dughall saw learning as arising from collaborating, communicating and connecting; a social constructivist viewpoint and one I find attractive – well I would, given what prompted this post! But I also lean (at least by a few degrees) towards cognitivism and that learning is about making meaning from information and situations. Communication with others can be trivial and meaningless unless our thought processes are stimulated and challenged and we try to make sense of what’s being communicated and what we’re communicating.
So how exactly do we capture these things? Given the nature of our data collection tool – the digital camera – I suppose we’re going to need to be looking to capture activities with which learning is associated – collaboration, discussion, reflection, negotiation, investigation. Once again though, I have to remind my self that all of this is what I think. Much as I might regret it and despite appearances to the contrary, I’m no longer a teenager and definitely see the world through older eyes which need optical augmentation (yes, I mean specs!). I just can’t wait to see what learning looks like through our students’ much younger eyes.