Dynamic Learning Styles: Franklin and Hamilton JAMES W. MARCUM 2008
Relevant? Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton grew up and attained their learning more than 200 years ago. Is their example relevant, useful to our time and place?
Learning: definition Learning is engagement that changes perception, belief, or behavior (knowledge) (Constructivist, activist, contextual)OLA Super Conference 2005
Dynamic Learning Engaged and reflective participation in a discovery process that builds new knowledge and enhances (changes) skills and competence appropriate to the given personal, social, and technical context of importance to the learner. Marcum, After the Information Age, 165. (Social and Contextual)
Dynamic Learning ProcessReadingWritingCollaborationActive, engaged learningReflection on „meaning‟
Borrowed books from brother‟s print shop, read overnight Books: “true and reliable friends”Reading: Founder: first community library Collected and read booksFranklin throughout his life Studied French, German, etc. in part to read important works in original language Book collection 7,000 when returned from Europe
Ineffective alone (Boston, London) Junto Printer partnersFranklin: Post Office Lightning (3: silversmith,Collaboration clergyman) Treaty of Paris (Adams, Jay) Declaration of Independence Revolutionary War Constitutional Convention Networker
Printer Publishing business Community, political involvement Post OfficeFranklin: Politics: local, empire, national Natural philosophy/ Republic ofActive, Letters Inventions (stove, bi-focals)engaged Diplomacylearning Nation creating
Franklin‟s method evolved but always encompassed reading, writing, explaining, clarifying, and persuading: a dynamic learningIn short: process. His insights came from constant reading, writing, observation, “hands-on” experimentation and really “hearing” his colleagues and critics. His opinions frequently were proven wrong and he changed them as his understanding expanded. Anyone can develop those skills and habits.
“And so his greatest legacy lies not in the blessings of genius, nor his stature as natural philosopher or self-educated statesman and founding father, but ratherFranklin‟s in the demonstration of a simple method whereby hard work and disciplined, socially-grounded inquiry enables one toLegacy grow and develop and accomplish great things. His prototype for dynamic learning as a path to greatness may prove to be Benjamin Franklin‟s greatest legacy.” Genius or Dynamic Learner? Ben Franklin‟s Path to Greatness, The Social Studies 99: 3 (May-June 2008): 99-104. http://view.fdu.edu/files/franklingenius.pdf
Does the Model fit Hamilton? Franklin Hamilton A year or two of formal A few years of schooling schooling and some college Business, Business experience administrative, legal experience Civic, political, Military, business, diplomatic, scientific political, legal practice engagement engagement
Mother: 34 books Mentored, schooled St. Croix and NJ/NY “self improving autodidact” RCHamilton: King‟s College Classics: literature, history, philosophyReading Military affairs (Plutarch, Grotius)(omniverous and Business and finance (Postlewayt, A.self-directed, RC) Smith) Law (Blackstone, Penn) Politics – statesmanship (Plutarch, Locke, Hobbes, Montesquieu) Grange: 1,000 books
Hurricane report 1772 Political broadsides (NYC) Correspondence for WashingtonHamilton: Letters! The Federalist (51 of 85; 175,000 wordsWriting in 7 months) Political broadsides Treasury and National Bank (Rept. On Manufactures; Defense of Funding System) Jurisprudence (Practical Proceedings) Papers (Columbia U.); digital: 1.3 M words
Friendships Mentors (Rev. Knox, Livingston, Washington, P. Schuyler) King‟s College and Washington‟sHamilton: Staff (G. Morris, Laurens, McHenry, Troup, Livingston, Lafayette)Collaboration Collaborations Federalist Papers (Jay, Madison) Federalist politics (R. King…) New York merchants Court cases (Burr)
Clerk for Crueger‟s merchant house (in charge at ~ 15) Political activist as revolutionHamilton: developed Military serviceActive, Law practiceengaged Campaign for Constitutionlearning Federalist party politics Treasury Department (and Inspector General of Army) Vision of commercial America
Education vs. Dynamic Learning Both Hamilton and Franklin lived in times of great change and upheaval Between them they established many of the institutions, policies, and practices of a new nation “Education” did not serve them They had to discover or create where nothing existed Their “omnivorous and self-directed” reading, writing, collaboration, and learning provided the wherewithal upon which they could produce their remarkable contributions to the creation of the U.S.
What is dynamic learning, again? Engaged and reflective participation in a life-creating process that builds new knowledge and enhances (changes) the skills and competence appropriate to the given personal, social, and technical context of importance to the learner.