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Styles of Learning

Posted on the 03 November 2011 by Combi31 @combi31

There was a gathering of educators from around the world brought together to explore the improvement of student learning. Also invited was a wise man known as a world teacher who was asked to share his thoughts and perceptions with the group. There was a buzz among the educators, for it was known that the wise man had a unique understanding on the subject, and he was considered the foremost authority on the characteristics operating in the learning process.Everyone gathered in a semi-circle around a slightly raised platform with a single chair on it. The wise man entered the room and proceeded to the platform. He began the discussion by asking, “Are you aware of all the different words we use interchangeably when we converse about learning? Have you given any consideration to how much confusion is created when we are not able to distinguish these differences within the language we use to refer to the learning process? I should like to begin with this, if that is acceptable to everyone.”He continued, “It appears that there exists two different paths of learning, and these two paths offer different perspectives and purposes. These two pathways are Mechanical Learning if you will, as well as Holistic Learning. The distinct differences between them will become self evident as we proceed. Let me say up front that the best possible use is a union between them, where each function operates independently by their designs, but in harmony or unison with one another.”At this point a questioner asks “Sir, how can there be only two ways to learn when we have so many types of learning? We have knowledge, education, information, genius, intelligence, and wisdom, all of which represent learning.”The wise man answered, “Yes this is true, but they all end up on one of the two paths of learning. If one examines more closely, for instance, mechanical learning, you will see that it essentially consists of three features-education, knowledge, and information. What is inferred here in mechanical learning is the acquisition and accumulation of specific knowledge, targeted learning, and specialized training. Do you follow?”Questioner-”Maybe it would become clearer if we could address and explore the meaning of these three features.”"Yes, I agree that is the way to proceed,” answered the wise man. “What does it mean to be educated? What are the characteristics of an educated individual? Surely, to be educated means being persuaded or conditioned to feel, believe, and act in a desired way. One is taught, and tested to see if they memorized correctly. One is educated in a career in order to make a living. This is what education is today in the world. Do you see?Now knowledge is what one acquires while being educated. The process of studying-making something known to you-through the use of instruction and memorization. One might say that being knowledgeable is the outcome of being educated. You could say it’s the accumulation of information, facts, figures, and the like, or the results of filling the brain with content. Is that not so?Along the same line there is information-the gathering together of content through resources, investigations, examination, and communication, with the intent of converting it to knowledge. We become well versed and polished in the gathering of information and subsequent transformation into more knowledge. Am I being clear? Do you see the relationship they have to one another and their mechanical operation?”Questioner-”Sir are you saying that although they have different labels, the three features combined are of similar intent, and mechanical in nature, so therefore considered mechanical learning?”"Yes, I think that’s quite clear”, responded the wise man. “They have roots by their very nature in mechanical acquisition-hence mechanical learning.”"Shall we move on to the next path-Holistic Learning?” asked the wise man. “The nature of holistic learning is to make whole, which suggests a boundless quality. It is of the cosmos-the collective learning of the human mind throughout all of human history. This learning takes place outside the boundaries of mechanical learning. Holistic learning can include mechanical learning in its considerations, but mechanical learning does not lend itself to holistic learning. The essence of holistic learning lies in the discovery of truth and reality. We access it through reflection, interaction, insight, attention, and meditation.”Questioner-”Are there features specifically associated with this path of learning as well?”The wise man explained further, “Yes, there are three features associated with the path of holistic learning and they are genius, intelligence, and wisdom. Let us begin with genius, which is associated with a special capacity, aptitude, or giftedness acquired at birth. Its characteristics include a very high degree of ability and exceptional talent.The second feature in holistic learning is that of intelligence. This intelligence has a cosmic quality, and represents the cumulative and collective mind of humanity since the beginning of time. This intelligence retains the ability to understand and comprehend the whole, and its constituent parts, simultaneously. Emotional intelligence is also one of the qualities under the umbrella of this intelligence we are referring to. To access this intelligence requires the capacity of attention, and the depth of thought and wisdom.Wisdom is the third feature of holistic learning. One may observe that with wisdom comes an exceptional level of inner knowing, even if you aren’t aware of why or how you know, your knowing is of this holistic nature. Oftentimes profound insights are also involved, as well as a sense of enlightenment. Other qualities often associated with wisdom are clear thinking, and the sanity that brings a sense of stability. It is the ability to see reality clearly, while at the same time seeing the illusion that people generally pass off as reality.”Questioner-”I feel I’m getting a sense of the differences between the paths-but could you speak to the relationship between them?”The wise man sat quietly for a moment and then responded, “To get a clearer picture of the relationship of the two paths, we could say that mechanical learning is but one tool of holistic learning. In our society we place the bulk of our educational emphasis on mechanical learning, as though that’s all there is or all that is important.I challenge that position and suggest that mechanical learning should-how you say-be second fiddle to holistic learning. You may think of it as the proverbial cart-and-horse. To facilitate the full potential of their relationship, think of mechanical learning as a car’s construction and mechanical operations, and think of holistic learning as understanding the importance of mechanical operations, but also in conjunction with that it is learning how to drive, learning to read maps, the importance of safety, and the different uses of different vehicles. As one becomes familiar with the differences between the paths the better equipped you become at experiencing the full range of human experience.”The wise man closed with, “It is important that we don’t divide the two processes, as in pitting one against the other. As we said earlier, it comes down to the relationship between the two. They each have a separate and distinct role, like that of husband and wife; they are both integral to the relationship, marriage, the partnership between husband and wife. I hope I’ve been clear with you?”Author: V. P. MosserArticle Source: EzineArticles.comProvided by: Canada duty rate

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