Learning Philosophy

This section will show how my journey as a teacher has involved several philosophical ideas about education and learning. In order to portray how I developed my insights in learning theory and the starting point will be ‘Social Constructivism’. This theory of knowledge argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas.  Piaget explains knowledge development as a process of equilibration between assimilation and accommodation which are the processes of adaptation (e.g. understanding of the world involves changing the ideas in your head).

Vygotsky believed education’s role was to increase our ability to solve problems by encouraging and advancing their zones of proximal development (ZPD).  He argues that consciousness involves a number of dialectical progressions (e.g., from primitive to cultural knowing, from basic to expert knowing). These dialectics involve a dynamic reorganization of the subcomponents of consciousness (e.g., memory, attention, perception) along a developmental scale.  Bakhtin, on the other hand, draws attention to the dialogical within consciousness; specifically the ideology and values that permeate consciousness as different ‘Types of Knowing’.  We need to consider “multiple others” just as we recognize that there are “multiple selves” (find out more).

Ference Marton introduced the distinction between deep and surface approaches to learning, and developing phenomenography as a methodology for educational research. More recently, he developed a theory of classroom learning based on establishing the prerequisites for learning conceived as the “space of learning”.

Roger Säljö specializes in research on learning, interaction and human development in a sociocultural perspective, where he has published extensively.  Much of his work is related to issues of how people learn to use cultural tools and how we acquire competences and skills that are foundational to learning in a socially and technologically complex society.  In “Digital tools and challenges to institutional traditions of learning: technologies, social memory and the performative nature of learning”, he has worked extensively with issues that concern how the so-called new technologies transform human learning practices inside and outside formal schooling.

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