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Digital scratchbook

Some fragments, thoughts and ideas. My digital scratchbook.

Times change, learning theories too?

There was a time people learned to write with a fountain pen. By using blotting paper they have to prevent the paper becoming smeared with spots of ink. At that time it was useful to learn to write with a fountain pen, because ball pens didn’t exist. I practically don’t write anymore. By the presence of an iPhone, laptop and iPad I always have the opportunity to make digital notes, mails and  course materials. Were all these years of learning to write useless? I don’t think so. I learned many many things at school. I learned all the capitals of the countries of the world, math terminology and the list of chemical elements. Okay, I learned many tricks how to remember stuff. But I have some questions. First of all, the list of capitals has changed. Second, I don’t remember the chemical elements anymore (I’m mostly confronted by this during quizzes). Third, I don’t even need to now math terminology anymore. And fourth, couldn’t we have spend all that time in secondary school more useful? When I teach my class, I can repeat how to design a template for Drupal for 10 times, without results. My students repeat but don’t remember the steps to be taken, a week later. So when I ask them to try it themselves, they remember the steps better. Continue Reading

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Teaching as Learning, in Practice – Jean Lave

About the paper

Schermafbeelding 2013-10-31 om 12.09.53This paper was a lot harder to read than the previous one.

Lave states that we should prefer a social theory of learning rather than an individual, psychological (which includes cognitivist and behaviourist theories) theory of learning. Furthermore she offers a theoretical perspective on the social nature of learning. She advocates that theories that reduce learning to individual mental capacity/activity in which the last instance is “to blame the marginalized people for being marginal”.

She bases her paper on 2 examples:

  • apprenticeship in Liberia – tailorship (ethnographic)
  • 19th-century mosque schools in Egypt – law practitioners (historical)

These examples are substantive, situated and historically specific. She doesn’t propose we should transfer these practices into our form of education (U.S. schools, etc). Continue Reading