Philosophy & Science of Learning

What we need to know about how we learn

  • For Teachers,  Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Carl Wieman Lecture

    I attended a lecture in DIT Bolton Street by Dr Carl Wieman titled “Science Education in the 21st Century; using the methods of science to teach science” .This was of great interest to me as in the distant past I studied science and, like many others, I believe that we need to do more to stimulate effective practices in science eduction. Many science teachers at school and college level are passionate about their work and are often willing to explore new pedagogic methods to stimulate student engagement. Wieman focused on teaching methods and as his title suggests he uses analytical methods to assess different approaches and strategies. He contrasts two…

  • For Students,  Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Learning Assessment Through Life

    I attended an excellent workshop today on the topic of assessment and learning. The workshop was delivered by Professor Sally Brown of Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. The attendees consisted of a mix of our own faculty at National College of Ireland and teachers from some of the other colleges around the country as part of the Learning Innovation Network. Sally started by inviting participants to reflect on how learning assessments have impacted on all our lives.This exercise got me thinking about the idea of a lifespan perspective on assessment – key moments of assessment and how significant their influence can be.When I was in school we were streamed…

  • Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Can we measure learning?

    Somewhere in recent conversations someone came up with the line “if we can’t measure it we can’t manage it”. I have heard this many times before and I’m not sure of its origin – if I was asked in a pub quiz I would suggest Jack Welsh of GE but I could be wrong.Anyhow, the axiom is part of everyday management speak and is often cited as a core principle used in change management and strategic planning.We’ve had a good example of this recently where financial systems and governments appear unable to ‘measure’ the extent of the bad bank loans (aka toxic debt) and, so the argument goes, we need…

  • Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Jacques Lacan

    1901-1981French psychoanalytical theorist who’ s influence continues today most notably advocated by Slavoj Zizek. Lacan in turn, reinterprets Freud and in particular, the difficult concept of the unconscious. Lacan links language and the unconscious and suggests that the unconscious is structured like a language. This resonates with some of Freud’s ideas as articulated in Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious and his earlier work on The Interpretation of Dreams. Lacan is also known for his theory of the Mirror Stage. This occurs in infants who at that stage develop a capacity that is evidenced by their reaction of recognition when they see their own image in a mirror. What…

  • Philosophy & Science of Learning

    The Question of Psychoanalysis

    I face a challenge every time I engage with psychoanalytical theories and theorists. I’m never really sure as to the substance and value of the approach. I remain detached and skeptical and tend to apply a higher degree of critical appraisal. On the other hand I sense that there are some very important ideas in this field and that part of the challenge is the complex and intimate nature of what’s being studied.In this series of blogs I propose to review psychoanalytical thinkers and their theories and to work through their ideas to see what stacks up in. To begin with, I intend to look closely at three of the…

  • For Students,  Philosophy & Science of Learning

    Adult Learning

    Adults learn what they want to learn and what they perceive as useful to them;Internalisation involves the construction of new meaning based on passed experience and new stimuli;Learning can be understood as always involving cognitive, psychodynamic and societal/social aspects;Communities of practice embody all three of these aspects and as such are powerful drivers for adult learning;Engagement in critical discourse is a likely outcome of successful adult learning in the long-term the reverse is also true adult learning is the inevitable outcome of critical discourse.Transformative learning can arise in adults where appropriate conditions exist for questioning assumptions, critical discourse, reflection and restructuring of perspectives. posted by Leo Casey