Two concepts rose to the surface in this this week’s reading on learning; how we learn and why we learn. When one is taught the process behind a skill they are learning the how. Whereas, when one seeks the reasons behind that particular process they seek to know the why.
Langer writes that “when we first learn a skill, we necessarily attend to each individual step” and the ways in which her process of learning differs around baking a cheesecake each year continues to bring delicious results. Additionally, many of our readings last week surrounding digital learning as well as Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think explores the paradigm shift of how access to information in our digital age has changed the process of how one learns. We are shifting from a place that sets computers and humans as opposites to a place where they are collaborating in order to “help us work, mediate and create.” Knowing the how helps create sustainability.
Keeping one on it toes, the why is ever-evolving. It incorporates the context found in oneself as well as the respective environment and to what degree that context affects one’s process. Sir Ken expresses teaching goes beyond delivering information, teachers must also “mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage” to ensure that any real learning taking place. Real learning takes place when one has a curious mindset, when we desire to look beyond the steps of the process and the how something took place and discover the why it took place. Knowing the why helps create adaptability.
I need to be mindful of both the how and why when creating a platform of learning for students. Being new to teaching, I aim to have a better understanding of ways to cultivate that environment and am open to hearing suggestions for developing these best practices.