Monday, July 12, 2010

What is Learning and teaching?

Undertaking the BLM course only ensures the theory of lifelong learning. Perhaps in day to day life this idea is taken for granted, but in the area of education there is absolutely no option otherwise.

After drawing blank on a specific informal or formal learning experience to critique, I reflected on my learning experiences to date within my time at university, thus leading me to critiquing... Reflecting.

Reflecting on your own learning helps you to understand knowledge you may or may not have acquired. Reading over reflections from LM1, I tended to try and explain what I thought was happening, as opposed to drawing on why it was happening. Writing a reflection is a personal account of experiences, yet the skill of creating an in-depth account that allows the reader to grasp where you’re coming from is a real skill. This skill for me did not just happen, I found it difficult to portray what I was asked to when in fact they are a whole lot easier to write when you have developed knowledge and understanding toward yourself.

This skill was a planned skill embedded in us by our educators, to not only see where we have been but to better develop where we need to go.

Attempting reflections is both intrinsic and extrinsic. Completion of the reflective task, I feel responsible( dispositional) for the success, and proud of its completion. The intrinsic nature of completing the task set, is my responsibility, the grade given however, is externally (situational) judged based upon my efforts or understanding portrayed. Bernard Weiner (1985) describes his Attributional Theory as, relating the structure of thinking to the dynamics of feeling and action. What better way than for cognitive development toward a subject to occur, then to reflect upon progress put toward it?

The cycle of reflections for greater understanding, through awareness of thinking about your thinking, is a desirable tool to use in learning and to teach in teaching. As Kelley (1971) stated, "The attributor (Learning Manager) is not simply an attributor, a seeker after knowledge; his latent goal in attaining knowledge is that of effective management of himself and his environment. Once causes, or causes, are assigned, effective management may be possible and a prescription or guide for future action can be suggested.

Reflections give an insight into the level of understanding/knowledge one has towards a topic idea. They allow the writer or reader to ponder the information’s significance, this is an effective tool for seeing progress made or where attention is needed. Undertaking the required reflections through the early topics in this course I’m sure is a useful tactic for lectures to profile their new students. This practice is then embedded into the students and can be practiced through their learning’s/teaching's using design journals, blogs and assessment pieces to refine their practices and knowledge.

Being successful with reflecting is a personal skill, perhaps being open and honest about the experiences your reviewing will help, but continual reflection is the key to greater awareness and productivity for any skill. Smith, Lynch and Knight (2007) state, the correlation of LMQ2 “Where does my learner need /want to be”, to LMQ7 “How will I check to see the learner has achieved the learning outcomes”, confirms if the LMQ5 strategies of “What is the best context for learning” are a success or not. This refection of the learning and the aligned teaching strategies should constitute the learning journey in, and for, all of us.




H. H. Kelley (1971). Attributions in social interactions, In B. Weiner.(1985) Psychological Review, An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion, American Psychological Association, Inc
Publishing. Retrieved July 12th, 2010, From

R, Smith, D, Lynch, B. A. Knight (2007) Learning Management, Transitioning teachers for national and international change, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, 2086

B. Weiner.(1985) Psychological Review, An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion, American Psychological Association, Inc
Publishing. Retrieved July 12th, 2010, From

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