Sunday, August 11, 2013

Who Built That?

Learning is a layered, intertwined, interdependent process. It occurs in fits and starts, and refuses to follow a steady trend line. 

There are virtually NO new ideas or thoughts.  Every “new” idea/concept/finding/product is built in one way or another on previous work and knowledge.  

In education circles we describe this concept as constructivism. Our knowledge and skills do not spring solely from some content to which we were exposed (perhaps via a teacher, a mentor, a video, a friend, some software, etc., etc.).  

But what really makes learning “stick” is the context within which we learn it and within which we use it.  Most of us can peel a banana; few of us can tell how, or from whom, we learned that skill. We each “got there” through different pathways. 

Such is all learning.  It’s really one of the coolest things about learning – it’s personal and customized (and too often not intentionally so).  There are some interesting implications here for those of us who would like to teach something important to our children, our grandchildren, our students, our colleagues.  Context matters, A LOT!

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