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Mind the Gap!


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Mind the gap, the sequel.
9 / 03 / 2009
Presentation Dr. Viv Golding

Published in: Education, Technology
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Mind the Gap!

  1. 1. Antwerp 9th March 2009 Dr Viv Golding (
  2. 2. Learning Theory <ul><li>theories of learning & the relationship with theories of knowledge (epistemology) </li></ul><ul><li>current key thinkers & the historical context of their ideas </li></ul><ul><li>strengths and weaknesses of different theories </li></ul><ul><li>value of theory to the museum </li></ul>
  3. 3. Timetable <ul><li>Behaviourism </li></ul><ul><li>Gardner </li></ul><ul><li>McCarthy </li></ul><ul><li>Falk & Dierking </li></ul><ul><li>H ein </li></ul><ul><li>Csikszentmihalyi </li></ul><ul><li>Your constructivist museum </li></ul>
  4. 4. Behaviorism <ul><li>Ladderlike hierarchies of absolute knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental assimilation of new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Based on observable evidence of how people behave </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour objective, recordable, measurable </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific. Animal experiments lead to the conclusion that humans repeat behaviour has a positive outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Associated with laboratory animal’s desire for food (ie rat’s in a maze, Pavlov’s dog) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Behaviorism <ul><li>Criticism. Simplistic incremental view of learning </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Learning’ is low level. No account of active human engagement, the influence of experience & the environment, Success & failure </li></ul><ul><li>How can the consistent reward of one ‘right’ factual answer lead to deeper conceptual understanding? </li></ul><ul><li>How can learners connect across subject specialisms & develop an overview of specific ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodernism? Multiple viewpoints & beliefs? </li></ul><ul><li>Is knowledge independent of & external to knower? </li></ul><ul><li>E thics, morality, power structures in society in experiments involving individuals (Miligram)? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Miligram ‘authority’ experiment
  7. 7. Howard Gardner 1990 <ul><li>‘ At least’ 7 Multiple Intelligences ‘It is a pluralistic view of mind, recognising many different & discrete facets of cognition, acknowledging that people have different cognitive strengths & contrasting cognitive styles’ 1990:12) </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic. Manipulation words & meanings. Poet, writers </li></ul><ul><li>Logical-mathematical. (Piaget) logic, science, abstract models & theories. </li></ul><ul><li>Musical. Make, compose, listen to. Musician, teenager </li></ul><ul><li>Spatial. Use mental models of spatial world. Doctors, sculptor, navigator </li></ul><ul><li>Bodily kinaesthetic. Use all or parts body to solve problems or express ideas. Dancer, craftsperson, athlete </li></ul>
  8. 8. Gardner <ul><li>Interpersonal. Understand other people, motivations & aspirations. Teacher, religious leader </li></ul><ul><li>Intrapersonal. Understand oneself & use this negotiate the world </li></ul><ul><li>Naturalistic. (8th) Understand the natural world & use this to appreciate & care for the environment </li></ul><ul><li>‘ It is of the utmost importance that we recognise & nurture all of the varied human intelligences, & all of the combinations of intelligences. We are so different largely because we all have different combinations of intelligences’ (Gardner 1990: 18) </li></ul><ul><li>Can you identify </li></ul><ul><li>The usefulness to museums & galleries? Any drawbacks? </li></ul>
  9. 9. McCarthy 1983, types of learner Sense - Feel (concrete experience) Think (Abstract conceptualization) Do (Active Experimentation) Watch (Reflective Observation) Dynamic Imaginative Common sense Analytical process perceive
  10. 10. McCarthy 4 types of learner <ul><li>Learners have differentiated learning styles & learn by: </li></ul><ul><li>Trial & error. Dynamic. Their favourite question is, ‘What can this become?’ Their strength is action </li></ul><ul><li>Listening & sharing ideas. Imaginative. Their favourite question is, ‘ Why or why not. Strength is innovation & ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Testing theories & applying common sense. Common sense. Their favourite question is, ‘ How does this work?’ Their strength is the practical application of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking ideas sequentially. Analytical. Their favourite question is, ‘ What?’ Strength is creating concepts/models </li></ul><ul><li>This stresses a range skills & ways of learning that humans possess, rather those dominant in the modern world ie the ability to accumulate factual information </li></ul>
  11. 11. Formal & informal learning? <ul><li>“ This distinction has become largely counterproductive; one wonders what ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ refer to and whether the learning process in these settings are somehow different, or whether the outcomes expected are different. Learning is learning. It is strongly influenced by physical settings, social interactions and personal beliefs, knowledge and attitudes.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Falk & Dierking 1992: 99) </li></ul><ul><li>Can you identify the reasons Falk and Dierking object to the idea of formal and informal learning </li></ul>
  12. 12. Falk& Dierking (1992, 2000) <ul><li>Personal, Social, Physical Context of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Context: </li></ul><ul><li>Different levels of prior knowledge (skills, interests, aptitudes & preferred styles of learning) we bring to the learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>Varied combinations (person to person & experience to experience) </li></ul><ul><li>Subject to changes in the development of intelligences and increasing maturity over time </li></ul><ul><li>Storing & processing of information is personal </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of situations is different for each individual </li></ul>
  13. 13. Social Context <ul><li>Museum visiting is mostly a group activity according to research (colleagues, friends, family member, school or other study group) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is mediated by the social group (CWWA) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural background influences learning membership of particular interpretive communities or communities of practice (Wenger) </li></ul><ul><li>ie a social historian or an art historian engaged on a museum studies course become part of a new interpretive community </li></ul>
  14. 14. Physical Context <ul><li>Memories of the visit are spatially located </li></ul><ul><li>Journey, sensory experience of environment influence the willingness to enter the learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Formal & inaccessible architecture can be off putting ie to ethnic groups (Desai & Thomas 1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Considering all 3 factors are necessary to promote learning can you identify </li></ul><ul><li>What influences the way knowledge changes & develops? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact do new experiences have on our structures of knowledge </li></ul>
  15. 15. Interactive experience model Interactive Experience Personal Context Physical Context Social Context
  16. 16. Contextual experience model Personal Context Physical Context Sociocultural Context Time
  17. 17. Constructivism Focuses on the learner & the ways people learn, quality experiences & lifelong processes, rather than on teaching Creates interactive environments & uses the assimilation/ accommodation tension to generate learning (Piaget) Sees no absolute knowledge independent of the leaner & all knowledge as linked to experience (Dewey, Vygotsky) Learning is a way of making sense of our lives or constructing meaning, not the simple acquisition of facts, feelings, sensory phenomena ‘ .. Follow a pedagogy … provide learners with opportunity to (a) interact with the environment (b) construct their own world’ (Hein 1996: 33)
  18. 18. Constructivism Learning is an active & a social process whereby people ‘learn as they learn’ Learners use sensory input to construct meaning but physical action alone is insufficient, since action that constructs meaning is mental, ‘minds-on’ &’hands-on’ New knowledge needs to be related to prior knowledge & experience to be accessible, to contextualize what is already known and move into what is unknown Learning takes time, it is not instantaneous Motivation is a key component in learning
  19. 19. Constructivism. Hein
  20. 20. Csikszentmihalyi. Motivation Intrinsic & extrinsic motivation Intrinsic motivation leads growth, desire repeat Clear goals Appropriate rules Immediate unambiguous feedback Correspondence actions required & skills actor Positive state mind, free worries Sense discovery New challenges
  21. 21. Csikszentmihalyi. Hook & Flow
  22. 22. Viv’s feminist-Hermeneutics <ul><li>Gadamer & Black feminist thought </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy & Arts: novel, music </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding is like a conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Respectful exchange between equals: I&I </li></ul><ul><li>Prejudices, tradition, fusion horizons </li></ul><ul><li>Entering the dialogue may not be easy </li></ul><ul><li>Work of art has value </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is endless </li></ul><ul><li>Creative process </li></ul><ul><li>Start a conversation and adjourn </li></ul>
  23. 23. Keep in touch! Dr Viv Golding (
  24. 24. A Constructivist Museum/Space <ul><li>Develop a constructivist museum/space. List the: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>characteristics & activities of yours </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. strengths weaknesses opportunities threats SWOT analysis: use of theory?