What is learning? LO26073

From: Magic Circ Op Rep Ens (mcore@nyc.rr.com)
Date: 02/07/01

Replying to LO26058 --

Selena and group: Hope this isn't too intrusive but my work in
educational research and music pedagogy gives a different set of
definitions. REH

> just some very random thoughts on some of your questions:
> Q1. What is the definition of learning.
> (snip)
> Real learning could be said to be getting rid of something as opposed to
> acquiring something ie shedding of illusions to perceive reality.

In my work this is called coaching. Teaching is adding to knowledge
through controlled experience by a teacher. Learning is experience that
has been repeated until it is conscious and available as knowledge to
problem solve in new and different areas from the original experience.
It is built around systems thought in that what is taught is the system
rather than the particular. It is not considered learned unless the
system can be instantaneously applied to a different set of particulars
> Q2. What are the types of learning
> Being, doing, sharing/teaching.
> One of the best ways to learn is to teach?

Learning happens in four phases in my work.

Phase one is imitation and is holistic. This is the raw experience
provided by life or teacher that slowly builds to awareness and
recognition of the process being learned.

Phase two is analytic and involves the student building understanding of
the structure of the process while practicing the performance of that
structure in new controlled situations. We might say that the development
of the unconscious knowledge through imitation is brought to the conscious
mind through analysis and mastery through practice in phase two.

Phase three involves the learning that takes place in life through
dialogue in work. This is the constant growth that happens as a result of
the mature worker's mastery in interaction with other mature systems.

Phase four is mature reflection and has the added element of testing that
reflection through teaching. We say that giving your knowledge away is
the only way that you can truly own it.

> Q3. What is the learning process
> As well as single and double loop learning -

I've been "out of the loop" on this although I just reread the posts on
this thread. Could you explain? My guess would be what we call solo and
ensemble but that is just a guess.

[Host's Note: Probably not solo vs. ensemble. I'll write
separately. ..Rick]

> what about flashes of inspiration (sometime these come from being with enlightened
> people/beings, from prayer/meditation or just moments of great insight).

Inspiration is usually practiced knowledge raised to the level of zero
complexity, (in the Warfield sense) through mastery. It also has a
genetic element that manifests itself as talent. It is the unconscious
interaction of talent > practice > environment through reflection that
brings latent knowledge into the conscious intellect.

> Sometimes with learning there is no beginning or end and the outcome is
> understanding.

In musical pedagogy there is no beginning or end to learning.
Understanding is phase two comprehension of structure through analysis.
Knowledge is the ability to use that understanding in action in a
spontaneous manner. Art begins when all activity becomes automatic, like
walking or speaking.

> Q4. What are the types of learning processes
> what about learning from witnessing other people learning

Imitation > Analysis > Practice > Dialogue > Reflection > Teaching

What we find is that the Teaching is a three part process that involves
 1. all of the elements of observation and experience practiced until
conscious. (Preparation)
 2. the conscious naming of the process that has been learned as an
organizational trigger. (Presentation)
 3. the application of the named process to new situations successfully.

For reference you can examine the works of Richard Chronister and David
Krahenbuhl as well as Keyboard Companion Magazine. The Francis Clark
Piano Library, etc. You can also find some of this in Senge and Donald
Schoen's Reflective Practitioner books. It is also found in much Native
American Indigenous Pedagogy and Science articles and books in that the
learning process is a part of the concept of spirit in most Native
American traditions. (The Aztecs considered a failed or false teacher to
be a capital offense.) I've felt that most of the computer teachers
should be held to such a standard considering the time I've wasted at
their precious altar.

Ray Evans Harrell, artistic director
The Magic Circle Opera Repertory Ensemble, Inc.
New York City

Note New Address:


"Magic Circ Op Rep Ens" <mcore@nyc.rr.com>

[Host's Note: in assoc w/Amazon.com...

The Fifth Discipline : The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385260954/learningorg

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook : Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge (Editor), Art Kleiner (Editor), Charlotte Roberts, Rick Ross, Bryan Smith http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0385472560/learningorg

The Reflective Practitioner : How Professionals Think in Action by Donald A. Schon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0465068782/learningorg

Educating the Reflective Practitioner by Donald A. Schon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1555422209/learningorg

.. Rick]

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