Saturday, October 16, 2010

We hold steadfast to our own theories of learning

I have always maintained that each of us has our own theory of learning and that we are prepared to defend it robustly.

This tendency to hold steadfast to one's existing understanding of learning is what I call the "in my day" (IMD) phenomenon.  You will find IMD's in many conversations concerning education and school.  You just need to be on the lookout and you will be surprised at the number of times they pop up.  Parents, politicians, economists and most especially business employers are IMD specialists.

The simple premise of the IMD is that what worked for me and has made me successful must be right for everyone else.

It is understandable that insights gained from past experience are valuable but sometimes we fail to recognise the assumptions we take for granted.  IMD statements exclude differences between individuals, changes in society, developments in education and the use of technology to support it.

Generally the older are wiser and experience counts for much. However, we also need to be mindful of the basis upon which we make judgements.  This is especially the case in education.

1 comment:

  1. Well put.

    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.” -Thomas Paine

    Perhaps it's a little immodest of me to mention, but I've written on this subject too: http://thoughtsonartandteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/hubris-of-teachers-and-uncertainty-of.html

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