Thoughts on John Connell’s ‘I am Learner’

By Friday, November 15, 2013 0 , , Permalink 0

I’ve been reading various texts on learning and creativity over the past few weeks and have of course needed to think about the kind of learner that I am.  I have never really thought about what kind of learner I am, but through this research I have begun to see my own learning processes in a different light. As  I engage with my reading materials in a personal way, I realise that for me teaching and learning are interchangeable. For other people they may be two sides of the same coin and I do understand this, but for me, (and this came as a surprise to me) teaching and learning are the same thing. There may be something odd about this?!

Most recently however I came across John Connell’s ‘I am Learner’ and it resonated very deeply with my experience as learner. Please have a look at it here:

http://iamlearner.net/?page_id=1510

I have often thought about the issue of interconnectedness of learning and teaching as I considered anew my own learning experiences. It came as a positive and reinforcing surprise to me to read John Connell’s prose poem which seemed initially to articulate the very concept I had been struggling with.

Although Connell makes no mention of reflection per se the entire piece is a reflection on his personal learning experience. Is learning intuitive? Do I know that I’m learning? Does learning just happen? I usually make a conscious effort to think about what it is that I’m learning. Perhaps the most important idea presented here is that Connell resists the view that as a student I am taught, in other words, that I am the ‘object’ (implying that I’m passive and merely receptive) receiving the ‘subject’ (the knowledge that is imparted in the learning experience). I guess this piece raises  more questions or comments than answers for me, but I don’t think that’s a bad place to start…

  • Active and self-directed learners use interactive situations to enhance the experience; how universal a learning experience is this?
  • The role of interactive and multidimensional learning is not to be underestimated– self-development can occur through interaction with peers; it  provides a platform for a critical challenging of our experiences.
  • The implicit underlying thought here seems to be that there are different kinds of learner – which is true – but also that there is a kind of knowledge that is accepted and preferable; i.e. one style of learning is in diametric opposition to another

 

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