Monday, 2 July 2007

Learning is Conversation - Rebutal

Durff left a comment in my post Learning is Conversation - Revisited:

Learning is indeed conversation!

My original post was a shortened list from John Pederson's long list. That does not mean that I totally AGREE.

Conversation fosters learning. True and correct. Conversation builds, refines and mutually influences each other's understanding of the objective world.... All agreed!

Hundreds, if not thousands or more, experiences touch us everyday, including a lot of conversation with many different people. We filter out most of the experience. Only a tiny amount has left some traces in our mind. A short time later, these traces may have evaporated too. Conversation does not necessarily result in any learning! Conversation is NOT the ONLY way we can learn!

Learning is an explicit effort to capture the experience and enable the experience for future reference or application.

Introspective reflection, an internal dialog if you insist, is another form of learning. By working through a set of different experience, we gain insight and new understanding. To me, this is learning too.

During some design exercise, we manipulate model alone (no conversation with anyone else) and reach new design. Later, we may make use of such design. I will categorize this as learning too.

[Most lectures result in nothing, some may be grouped under information gathering and only exceptional ones inspire! That's also not conversation!]


Durff said...

I really believe all learning includes some sort of conversation, whether a monologue or dialogue, or whatever. Whether the monologue is internal or external, everything I ever learned involved conversation. Often that conversation was with myself while reading a textbook, but what is learned if there is no reaction to it? I think (converse), therefore I learn.

Albert Ip said...

I believe "conversation" in the context is between/among people and am not convinced that it include "internal dialog". Even if learning include internal dialog, I would still argue that there are some learning situations whereby there is NO conversation.

"Aha moments" may be an example of a sudden flash of insight (inter-connection between two concepts to give rise to a new understanding) occurs without dialog.

For intelligence beyond academic subjects (such as music, artistic), learning again may occurs without learning.

As I have noted, I am not saying conversation cannot provide learning. I am saying learning is NOT conversation and conversation is NOT learning. They are not the same!