An Early Morning Revelation

I have been waking up at 5:10 AM every morning for the past week. For the past two mornings, I’ve decided to get up. And, it’s amazing how much you can get done while it is still dark outside and everyone else is in bed. This morning, I decided to get some reading done for my ed tech pro dev class. We’re reading about andragogy, which overlaps with my adult learning class. In an article by Sharan Merriam that I had already read for the adult learning class , Andragogy and Self-Directed Learning: Pillars of Adult Learning Theory, the opening sentences struck me in a way they did not the first time I read them: “The central question of how adults learn has occupied the attention of scholars and practitioners since the founding of adult education as a professional field of practice in the 1920s. Some eighty years later, we have no single answer, no one theory or model of adult learning that explains all that we know about adult learners, the various contexts where learning takes place, and the process of learning itself. What we do have is a mosaic of theories, models, sets of principles, and explanations that, combined, compose the knowledge base of adult learning. Two important pieces of that mosaic are andragogy and self-directed learning.”

It occured to me that you could substitute children, student and pedagogy, and this would describe all educational endeavors! And, as I scanned the article again, I was struck more and more by this notion of the artificial divide between children and adults that leads to assumptions about adult learners that simply may not apply to all adults and assumptions about child learners that simply may not apply to all children. In the post-modern educational world in which we know so much more about how the brain works, I think the only assumption you can make is that we are each individual learners who may ourselves differ in the ways we want to learn depending on the circumstance and content of the learning. I would not have wanted to be a self-directed learner of statistics but I am happy to be a self-directed learner of Final Cut Pro.

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