20 April 2013

Learning is not simply about “bits”

I love this riff on Dewey:

Dewey’s point is clear even if the writing is dense: so-called analysis of things into bits for the purpose of learning the whole has no basis in cognitive psychology or epistemology. Indeed, as he says just after, it is a case of putting the cart before the horse. Distinctions are made when we need them in the service of understanding. Learning an endless array of distinctions and their names prior to encountering the whole and interesting problems that require analysis yields no meaning and merely verbal knowledge.

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2 Comments to “Learning is not simply about “bits””

  • rnysse says:

    The approach under critique in this “riff” has been advocated repeatedly in PRCR discussions. Depressing to hear it articulated over and over –and then have it enfranchised by the rhetoric of “respecting” academic freedom.

  • hessmaadmin says:

    True! But hard to know what to do about it, other than continuing to invite people into a more open and thoughtful stance.

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