The discussions in the FSLT Moodle site are beginning to get going and quite a few people are already blogging or setting up their blogs.
We have set up an Arrivals Lounge where people can introduce themselves. And there is also a Course Questions forum, where we will try to answer any queries as soon as we can.
But in the Week 0 (Supporting Learning) area of Moodle (which is this run up week to the course), George has posted a great question to get us warmed up – ‘What is Learning for you’ and provided an audio introduction to go with it. Allan Quartly has pointed us to a blog post that he made last year
Like Allan, I feel as though this is a question I have asked myself before.
My thinking on this has been influenced by the work of Etienne Wenger – and his book Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity and here Etienne lists the key principles of learning that he outlines in his book. (Etienne and his wife Bev will be speaking to the FSLT MOOC on Wed 6th June)
I have also been influenced by the work of Stephen Downes who says that to learn is to practice and reflect and that learning is about recognising patterns
(Slides taken from – http://www.slideshare.net/Downes/the-meaning-is-the-message)
And much of my recent thinking about learning has been related to the work I have been doing on emergent learning and embodied learning
So when I think about learning I tend to think more about process than product. I don’t forget that Etienne has said that said that ‘learning is a claim to competence’ but more important for me learning is (as Ronald Barnett discusses in depth in his book ‘A Will to Learn’ ) the continuing process of ‘learning to learn’ and (through this) ‘becoming’ who I am and developing an understanding of my ‘being’.
Barnett writes on p.62 of his book
‘In a genuine higher education, the student not merely undergoes a developmental process, but undergoes a continuing process of becoming. This becoming is marked by the student’s becoming authentic and coming into herself ….. She discovers her own voice, is able to articulate it and deploys it to effect. She brings to bear not just her own intentionalities, but her own will. She not just is carried forward, but carries herself forward.’
My thinking is that this applies to all learners – not just students. We are all learners, are we not?