02 November 2007

4 Change in Thinking - Learning

The difference between education and training? You'd send your daughter to a sex education class, but not a sex training class.

To create new learning - something needed in order to keep pace with new and changing environments - one needs experience and a theory. This kind of learning challenges and changes our existing categories, our existing ways of thinking. Traditional learning tends to conform to our existing categories. Systems thinking suggests a very new and different way to think about education.

3 comments:

Vladimir Dzhuvinov said...

Information is cheaper to produce than Experience. Particularly in terms of time and effort. I suppose this is the leading reason why our education systems avoid 'experience lessons' and prefer the cheaper option.

Ron Davison said...

Vlad,
that's an interesting point. And, obviously, information will always be essential. The point I'm trying to make is that it's difficult to change perspectives or methods of thinking sans new experiences. Incoming information simply gets categorized into existing boxes - a not very transformative experience.

Vladimir Dzhuvinov said...

"...information simply gets categorized into existing boxes..."

This is how the memory and thinking function in our brain. A few months ago I watched a lecture in computing describing our organ of intelligence as temporal hierarchical memory: every sensory input gets categorised in a tree-like structure. Thoughts in the brain cannot be disconnected, they must always be attached to other related previous thoughts. Therefore, we are always going to categorise guided by previous knowledge/experience.

This tree, however, is not static. Not only it grows with new sensory input, but previous branches of thoughts get reattached to other nodes when we learn that our representation was not right: transformation!

I guess being more conscious about thinking, that is, understanding the importance of better discrimination, helps to learn faster; exactly what you were saying in this chapter :)