Thoughts on My Thoughts

April 28, 2008

I wrote the previous post as part of a larger paper on my thoughts regarding designing for distributed learning. Looking at the paper again, with the insight provided by Dr. Scott Warren, tell me I have a lotmore thinking to do.

My problem is that I believe in multiple tools, multiple approaches. I don’t believe any one item can be effective for every learner, every learning style, every subject, every… you get the idea.So I tend to draw from multiple theories. It follows my “Whatever works” approach to getting things done.

I am beginning to understand that while “whatever works” works in the trenches, it doesn’t fare so well, or more accurately, so simply, when travelling in the realms of learning theory. I still believe more than one tool can be used, more than one theory can support my work. But, I must recognize and formalize what works when & where. I have to identify when an objectivist approach works best: the types of learners who must be required to demonstrate specific observable outcomes as opposed to the constructivist approach where learners must be allowed a freer rein to construct their own  knowledge.

And on other fronts, I have to define where the bridges are between opposing practices. Or, I have to understand that “whatever works” doesn’t work anymore. Probably the best way to find my way is to revisit classic theories–constructivst and otherwise–so that I can establish what truly describes the theoretical basis for what I have practiced. And then take these theories and show how my beliefs are an extension and, possibly, a new application od sound learning theories.

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