As someone who believes that there has aways been a central and abiding fallacy at the heart of formal education, namely the mistaken belief that what is taught is what is learned, that what the teacher teaches is what the student learns, then this is a timely and important debate.
My prose-poem I Am Learner sets out my own thinking around this fallacy.
Education systems around the world today rest, as they have done for much of their existences, on an illusory foundation, and I believe that much of what is wrong with formal education today arises from this enduring and mistaken belief. When we come to the full realisation of the actual relationship between teaching and learning, and between teacher and learner, we can begin to discern the sheer pointlessness of so much of what passes for educational policy and strategy in today’s world. Human beings learn through interaction with others, with ideas, with information, with the world at large, but ultimately they create and shape their own learning. The intervention of the teacher in this process is important and valuable, but at no point in the interaction of teacher and student does the learner ‘learn’ what the teacher ‘teaches’.
An appreciation of the true nature of learning means that the complex edifices of curricula, pedagogy, assessment, accreditation, teacher education and professional development, as well as the overbearing structures of institutional management and educational organization, start to crumble before our eyes.
I am looking forward to joining the discussion.