A Leap of Insight!

March 11, 2010

I had an A-Ha! moment today. I was sitting in a meeting listening to a discussion about assisting students to understand CD frameworks. The conversation centred on “DISCOVERY LEARNING”. Talk about lightbulbs everywhere: I can’t believe I spent all yesterday talking about paradigm shifts and forgot to observe the one straight under my nose!

Of course students are frightened. I’m asking them to make a paradigm shift through this class. I forget that for some students, this way of learning is quite new. They are used to having things broken down and presented piece by piece. Whereas this is a much more intuitive kind of learning style. I’m asking them to grasp the whole – not the parts. As we discussed yesterday it’s also a step into uncertainty. How sad it is that we’ve lost the idea of discovery learning. We expect knowledge to be given to us, instantly. I suspect our instant IT world supports this notion. Have a problem? Just google it and the answer will appear. Have a concern? Just email someone and they will respond straight away. But developmental work is not instantaneous. It evolves. It is reflexive.

And of course all of our systems support the idea of lecturer as expert and reinforce the idea of knowledge to be handed down, rather than co-created. I’ve been so busy concentrating on the projects and the technology that I forget that the classroom itself is part of the stress for some students. I’ve done this so many time I easily dismiss it. I’m asking them to trust me – even though I may not have the complete map of where we are going.   I imagine if you’ve come out of a more conventional education system, the idea of aspects of the course evolving over time might seem incredibly disorganised and chaotic.  And the part of me that is a less than subtle control freak feels that stress too. I want to help students and resolve issues on the spot. But some things need time to incubate.

All I can do is trust the process.

And of course, include more  Leunig.

Image used with the kind permission of Eugenio Recuenco http://www.eugeniorecuenco.com/

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