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Does the 18th century German philosopher G W F Hegel have something to offer to e-learning design?

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This arrived from Amazon this morning – about 24 hours and 35 seconds slower than a Kindle version had it been available. How did I get here on a Masters course in Open and Distance Learning?

The formation of consciousness interests me.

I indulge my mind. I let it take me on a journey of its choosing. I will never limit myself to the course as designed and resourced for some imagination, some ‘persona’ of whom I may or may not be the ‘type’.

Hegel, and this book in particular, came up recently – a reference.

I have, potentially, more than the book but the mind of the world’s leading Hegel scholar to tap into when I get stuck (as I will). Long retired from Hegel, his books in a library in Poland, my 85 year old father in law did nonetheless quote Hegel over coffee on Wednesday as I drove onwards to the far less inspiring World of Learming at Birmingham’s NEC.

That no man is a valley as he is unable to correctly percieve the nature of a valley.
The thought that dry flowers are no longer flowers.
The similarity between following the news and being religious.
And something in relation to our conception of History.

See, the mind already boggles, which is what intrigues me, this process of going from clueless to comprehending. This is how – to my mind, learning and the desire to learn is triggered – you set the synapses trembling.

The subjective mind
The objective mind
The absolute mind

Not just ‘who are we?’ But ‘how we are so?’

Whether this will help me design interactive health and safety e-learning for the operatives of a nuclear power plant is another matter.

Late in the day for me but Hegel did wonders for PPE students in the past by teaching them how to think and express complex ideas accurately and succinctly – which is perhaps precisely what is required as a nuclear power station goes up in smoke and you wonder what you are supposed to do.

Understand your students so that you don’t presuppose anything.

‘If we were to look at the whole of contemporary culture in the Western culture as a kind of school and consider adult roles as courses in which we are enrolled, most adults have a full and demanding schedule’. Kegan (2006:39)

Piaget (1954) Assimilative or accommodative processes?

Understand your students so that you don’t presuppose anything.

Learning for knowledge and skills, everyone will be challenge to improve the repertoire of their skills.

Not what I want to teach, but what, after assessment, they need to learn. No longer had a flexible peg jumping through an institutional, departmental, and academic or LD designed module, but a flexible peg and an accommodating hole.

No two people can possibly be learning the same thing, no matter what common  assessment students undertake – the student with a disability, or disabilities,  whatever these are and how they affect or impact on this individual – will be  acquiring knowledge or a skill that has or is in some way transformed or  translated, the focus diluted or pinpointed through a note–taker, reduced range,  voice of an audio–reader, missing a lecture or seeing it from only one  perspective, access denied or field or lab work excluded through their choices,  risk assessment, health and safety, time, money, people and other such barriers – though sometimes enhanced if a live debate becomes an asynchronous forum or verbatim transcripts of audio and provided to all.

What is the disabled person’s frame of reference?

Each learner’s experience of learning and their relationship with the subject.  Kegan (2006:45)

Where the learner is coming from as well as where they are hoping to go in order to bridge the two – this applies to all learners whatever their circumstances.

Where the bridge metaphor is week is to visualise the physical person in transit rather than a myriad of billions of complex bridging actions occurring between neurones in the learner’s brain. (Kegan, 2006:47) So a spider gram might be better, showing how close to a goal the learner is.

Not just knowing more, but knowing differently. (Ronald Heifetz, 1995)

Mezirow (2000) Transfer of authority from educator to learner. How rapidly will this transformational shift occur, which is a function of how far along they are on a particular bridge.

How do define an adult, self–directed learner?

Skill, style, self–confidence.

What if, for example, we define, say Boris Johnson by what he can do – read Latin, ride a bicycle through traffic and play whiff-whaff, not by what he cannot do, say brush his hair or swim 1000m Front crawl.

While what if I define X by what he cannot do – say, get up in the morning or speak in anything shorter than a paragraph, rather than what he can do, swim the Channel and empathise with others.

Need to read: Hegel, The phemonology of mind.

This is why:

Hegel attempts to outline the fundamental nature and conditions of human knowledge in these first three chapters. He asserts that the mind does not immediately grasp the objects in the world, concurring with Kant, who said that knowledge is not knowledge of “things-in-themselves,” or of pure inputs from the  senses. A long-standing debate raged in philosophy between those who believed that “matter” was the most important part of knowledge and those who privileged “mind.”

REFERENCE

Kegan, R (2006) ‘What “form” transformations? A constructive-developmental approach to transformative learning. An abridged version of a chapter that appeared in Jack Mezirow et al. in ‘Learning as Transformation’ (2000). In ‘Contemporary Theories of Learning’ (2009) Knud Illeris.

Mezirow, J. (2000) “Learning to think like an adult – Core concepts of Transformational Theory.” IN J.Mezirow and Associates: Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

Piaget, J. (1954) The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York: Basic Books.

What if, for example, we define, say Boris Johnson by what he can do – read Latin, ride a bicycle through traffic and play whiff-whaff, not by what he cannot do, say brush his hair or swim 1000m Frontcrawl.

 

'If we were to look at the whole of contemporary culture in the West culture as 
a kind of school and consider adult roles as courses in which we are enrolled, 
most adults have a full and demanding schedule'. Kegan (2006:39)

Piaget (1954) Assimilative or accommodative processes?

Understand your students so that you don't presuppose anything.

Learning for knowledge and skills, everyone will be challenge to improve the 
repertoire of their skills.

Not what I want to teach, but what, after assessment, they need to learn. No 
longer a flexible peg jumping through an institutional, departmental, academic 
or LD designed module, but a flexible peg and an accommodating hole.

No two people can possibly be learning the same thing, no matter what common 
assessment students undertake – the student with a disability, or disabilities, 
whatever these are and how they affect or impact on this individual – will be 
acquiring knowledge or a skill that has or is in some way transformed or 
translated, the focus diluted or pinpointed through a note–taker, reduced range, 
voice of an audio–reader, missing a lecture or seeing it from only one 
perspective, access denied or field or lab work excluded through their choices, 
risk assessment, health and safety, time, money, people and other such barriers 
– though sometimes enhanced if a live debate becomes an asynchronous forum or 
verbatim transcripts of audio and provided to all.

What is the disabled person's frame of reference?

Each learner's experience of learning and their relationship with the subject.  Kegan (2006:45)

Where the learner is coming from as well as where they are hoping to go in order 
to bridge the two – this applies to all learners whatever their circumstances.

Where the bridge metaphor is week is to visualise the physical person in transit 
rather than a myriad of billions of complex bridging actions occurring between 
neurones in the learner's brain. (Kegan, 2006:47) So a spidergram might be better, showing how 
close to a goal the learner is.

Not just knowing more, but knowing differently. (Ronald Heifetz, 1995)

Mezirow (2000) Transfer of authority from educator to learner. How rapidly will 
this transformational shift occur, which is a function of how far along they are 
on a particular bridge.

How do define an adult, self–directed learner?

Skill, style, self–confidence.

What if, for example, we define, say Boris Johnson by what he can do – read Latin, ride a bicycle through traffic and play whiff-whaff, not by what he cannot 
do, say brush his hair or swim 1000m Frontcrawl.

While what if I define X by what he cannot do – say, get up in the morning or speak in anything 
shorter than a paragraph, rather than what he can do, swim the Channel and 
empathise with others.

Need to read: Hegel, The phemonology of mind. 

This is why:

Hegel attempts to outline the fundamental nature and conditions of human 
knowledge in these first three chapters. He asserts that the mind does not 
immediately grasp the objects in the world, concurring with Kant, who said that 
knowledge is not knowledge of “things-in-themselves,” or of pure inputs from the 
senses. A long-standing debate raged in philosophy between those who believed 
that “matter” was the most important part of knowledge and those who privileged 
“mind.” 

REFERENCE
Kegan, R (2006) 'What "form" transformstions? A constructive-developmental approach 
to transformative learning. An abrdidged version of a chapter that 
appeared in Jack Mezirow et al. in 'Learning as Transformation' (2000). In 
'Contemporary Theories of Learning' (2009) Knud Illeris.

Mezirow, J. (2000) "Learning to think like an adult - Core concepts of Transformational Theory." IN J.Mezirow and Associates: Learning as Transformaton: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.

Piaget, J. (1954) The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York: Basic Books.

 

 

Turning thoughts into action – the life of Z A Pelczynski remembered

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Read cover to cover yesterday, into the evening and small hours. I’m now onto the second read, with various notes to add, references to pursue and further research to undertake.

Yet to be published, I’ll give detials in due course of how to get your hands on a copy.

Why read ‘A Life Remembered’ ?

It’s a fascinating life story from surving the Warsaw Uprising as a teenager to achieving as an Academic and educator in England, Scotland then at various leading universities around the world while pursing various interests and causes with passion and dogged determination. A life lesson? I think so.

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