After reading Ertmer & Newby and thinking about the critical discourse of the theories of learning from an instructional design perspective, I have gained new insights and reaffirmed concepts or notions previously conceived. With previous exposure to Experiential learning theory which places the individual, or student in pedagogy, at the center of understanding, where the person exposed to inquiry, analysis, assessment, discovery and how they adapt is at the essence of this theory. It explains that knowledge is attained by one’s ability to transform their situation into a sensible memory or adaptive tool. According to the theory, it employs a more holistic approach and uses variables such as emotions, environment and cognition.
Although there are elements of all three theories from the Ertmer & Newby article, the cognitive application seems to be at the core of this theory and is probably similar to my partiality towards a cognitive approach to teaching and learning, not because of my exposure to Kolb’s (1981) theory, but through what my experience and perception has been as sustainable, perpetual learning or as one of the five(or seven) questions proposed in Etmer & Newby’s article: How does transfer occur?
As an executive coach it is my role to both attain and maintain my clients’ attention and motivation to act or follow through with what they believe is their best course of action to problem solving, attaining goals and maintaining their feelings of accomplishment. It is my experience that when they actively participate in this realization or discovery it is the most sustainable and realistic learning.
“Knowledge acquisition is described as a mental activity that entails internal coding and structuring by the learner. The learner is viewed as a very active participant in the learning process”. (Ertmer & Newby, 2013).
This aligns with my approach to coaching which often uses a Socratic method of powerful questioning to evoke profound thought leading to a sense of reassurance or confidence in the client’s self-determined path of how they will transfer or apply these cathartic coaching sessions.
Neuroscience explains that we never forget how to ride a bike, because ultimately, it is we, the riders, who take that leap of faith and allow the guiding hand, which has supported us in all of our previous attempts to pedal on our own, to let go. Only then can we know the exhilaration of finally being able to ride. It is essential to recognize that ultimately, this thrill belongs to the rider, alone. Another memory of my youth and learning is the Rubic’s Cube. As frustrating and reflecting on how much time I wasted, once I figured it out, I never forgot how to solve that puzzle.
At the risk of sounding trivial, I digress back to my current day to day life. As a legally blind person, there are many daily tasks that I have had to relearn or adapt to. Because I once was fully sighted, I have a very difficult time separating or using my other senses as individual
modalities. Although I am forced to listen and touch more than ever to orient myself, vision(at least in my mind) is an integrated part of my perception. It can be a lot fun, but is definitely a learning curve. In the context of learning theories I have relied heavily on a constructivist approach where I have, through my experience and the tips and information given to me by others, used a constructivist learning approach. For all intents and purposes I know, as the article implies, it is ultimately my impression or cognitive processes that are interpreting, storing and retrieving this information. As an online learner at Royal Roads in LRNT 523 I am tasked with learning the course content which is very interesting to me, how to use assistive technology and how to navigate the course with the use of that assistive technology. Feelings such as fear of falling behind or simply inclusiveness motivate me in a behavioristic approach to learning at times, but through the understanding and problem solving of the professor and administrators I am able to learn on my own in a constructivist(via platforms like this) and my own cognitive interpretations of the materials and your insights and reflections.
At the risk of boring anyone who is reading this or going over the word count, I’ll finish it there.
Kolb, D. A., Stumpf, S. A., & Freedman, R. D. (1981). Experiential Learning Theory and the Learning Style Inventory: A Reply to Freedman and Stumpf/The Learning Style Inventory: Still Less than Meets the Eye. Academy Of Management. The Academy Of Management Review, 6(2), 289.
Ertmer, P., & Newby, T. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71.
Rock, D. & Schwartz, J. (2006). Breakthroughs in brain research explain how to make organizational transformation succeed. The Neuroscience of Leadership. Retrieved from http://westallen.typepad.com/files/the-neuroscience-of-leadership.pdf.