Monday, May 7, 2012

On learning to learn

In a previous blog post we proposed as a definition of learning: “The improvement of one's whole person so that capacity for effective action is increased” If this definition is accepted, then learning to learn means becoming more effective in learning, according to that definition. By the way, similar definitions can be used for teams, organizations, countries or societies; but let's not introduce that complexity now...

There are innumerable strategies for improving school-based learning (just google [intitle:"* learning"]) but first, our definition is more general because it covers all kinds of learning, not only what is done in school; and second, we are here concerned not with learning itself, but with learning to be better learners.

Let's reframe that to clarify the recursion:

How to become more effective about acquiring..., information, knowledge, attitudes, virtues, values and skills...from...... books, articles, the web, other people, our body, our-selves, our experience, the past or the environment...; in order to increase our capacity for effective action in the world?

Can something general be said about that? Is it necessarily subject-specific? or source-specific? all of it or part of it? Can "that" be... explicitly learned, or we have to resort to experience only? Can it or should it be taught in school? What do you think?