My Masters starts tomorrow and I have been playing around with note taking strategies. Evernote, the Paper App, and my blog are all being considered for my note taking work flow. As some of my books are the paper kind I am also having to relearn how to mark up with a pencil and highlighter. Below are my notes from chapter 1 of Connecting Leadership and Learning by Macbeath and Dempster.
The fallacy in stage theory, or it’s application, is that with developing intellectual and emotional maturity we do not put away childish things.
Keiran Egan outlines a theory broadly developmental in nature but also recursive so that, he argues, whether as children or as adults, we constantly revisit ways of knowing, building not so much on what we know but how we know.
Egan’s 5 cognitive tools
- Somatic Understanding- uses bodily sensation, rhythm and musicality to learn and communicate
- Mythic understanding – world is constructed of binary opposites
- Romantic Understanding – simplicity of binary oppositions is problematised and relationships are complexified.
- Philosophic Understanding – concerned with norms and the rules of argument, logic and evidence.
- Ironic Understanfing – questions not just what we know but how we know it. Irony, without philosophic understanding is impotent.
The progress from cognitive dissonance to cognitive resolution is intrinsically rewarding.
In formal settings and conventional curricula the ZPD is often interpreted as the next linear step represented by pre-determined targets, rather than, as Vygotsky intended, a horizon of possibilities which may take us in new and uncharted directions.
A sense of empowerment and self-esteem stimulates learning while a positive learning experience in turn reduces dependency and depression.
Mary James (2008:22) ‘remembering things is fundamental. What is much more questionable is that pupils should, or can, remember things in exactly the same way as they are remembered by their teachers.’
The transmission of information between a teacher and a student gets stuck in many places en route. It gets stuck in,
- Misconception – because no prior knowledge on which to build.
- Remaining faithful to old mental models – because of resistance to new ideas.
- Failing to adhere because there is no emotional glue to hold it fast.
- Young people being affected by the attitudes of their peers.
- THE CONTEXT OF THE CLASSROOM
Learning is of necessity mediated in some form, but all forms of mediation involve constraints as well as empowerment.