Saturday, March 13, 2010

Reflective Learning (I) Linking with Learning Theories...

Title: Reflective Learning: Theory and Practice
by Deborah A Sugerman, Kathryn L Doherty, Daniel E Garvey, Michael A Gass

Picked up a book from the shelf... ah! one of the many new books waited to be picked (hahaha.... Those who know me, know why!). Suppose to keep me 'occupied' on the bus...

Started underlining and circling (though the bus journey was short)... here are some of the points (lifted directly from the chapter)
  • ... Reflection is, "the process of creating and clarifying the meaning of experience (present or past) in terms of self".
  • The connection between experience, reflection, making meaning, and learning is clear.
  • Reflection is an essential part of the learning process because it can result in extracting meaning from the experience
  • Increasing participants' abilities to reflect requires a deeper understanding of how individuals process and manage intellectual information.
  • [Theory of Active Learning]... learners actively making connections between new material and previous knowledge and experience.
  • [Theory of Constructivism]... learning takes place within the context of current knowledge.
  • [Narrative Theory]... learning takes place through stories. These stories are created from experiences and give value to certain aspects of the experiences.
  • [Piaget]... the ability to learn is a result of 2 related factors: thinking process and thinking capacity.
  • Thinking process refers to the way information is obtained, organised and analysed in the brain.
  • [Gardner]... indivdiuals vary greatly in how they process information.
  • Thinking capacity... ability of learners to understand and make sense of learning is related to the capacity of their brain.
  • Learning theories suggest that recognising patterns and making connections between new material and previous experiences is the key to learning

Dewey's model of experiential learning:
  1. Observe surrounding conditions
  2. Obtain knowledge from recollection of past experiences
  3. Gain judgement from observations and experiences
Pfeiffer & Jone's model of experiential learning:
  1. Experiencing through participation in activity
  2. Publishing, in the form of sharing, where learners share their observations and reactions
  3. Processing, when learners engaged in discussions of patterns or themes
  4. Generalising to form broad principles of how the world works
  5. Applying through integrate one's learning into behaviour
David Kolb's experiential learning theory:
  1. Experience is the beginning of learning
  2. Following the experience is learner's reflection on what has occured/happened and gain clarity regarding the nature of the experience
  3. Generalise by recognising the patterns of thinking - to make connections between what's gathered from this experience with other experiences
  4. Tes new situations with the generalised information to make decisions about future experiences

Looking at the 3 learning theories presented in this capture, it's not difficult to find the commonalities - in terms of the various stages - Experience > Make Connections > Digest > "What's next"

The importance of being able to make connections with the learner's known experiences is emphasized in all... it's the 'hook' that's needed so that one could build on the fundamental blocks before 'branching' out to make new meanings.

Hm... isn't this what we've been talking - what's encapsulated in the big words "Applied Learning"?

OK... I only finished Chapter 1...

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