Saturday, October 04, 2003

As my research career here seems to be going to pot, I have decided to assume a new policy of reading and writing for one hour each, every day. This is experimental, but if it is something I continue, it should have great long-term rewards.

One quote from today's reading, Peter Jarvis' "The Practitioner-Researcher: Developing Theory from Practice" :
"Learning is the process of creating and transforming experiences into knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, emotions, beliefs, and the senses..."

Jarvis' definition suggests that learning comes directly from experience. One question is then, is the classroom an appropriate venue for learning? What experiences can learners have in the classroom? In my own field, I can help learners experience using language in the classroom. For example, I can do a unit on ordering from a menu at a fast food restaruant. (Making that experience authentic is difficult in a classroom.) Another question is that if the classroom is a place for experiences, then are the learners obliged to create and transform those experiences into their useable product. That is, if I construct the classroom one day to be a place for the learners to experience ordering from a menu at a fast food restaruant, then their task would be to transfer that into a skill that they could then use for their own purposes. That would end my role as teacher, facilitator.

Then my role as an evaluator would be to assess whether that learner has actually transformed the experience into a skill. The next problem is to build an instrument that actually measures the learner's transformed experience by evaluating his or her ability to use the new tool.

Have you ever been experienced?

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