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The student learning experience - what exactly do they learn and what exactly do they experience?. Helen Bulpitt Deputy Director Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Social Policy and Social Work. Aims of this workshop. To propose a model of learning (presentation)

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the student learning experience what exactly do they learn and what exactly do they experience

The student learning experience - what exactly do they learn and what exactly do they experience?

Helen Bulpitt

Deputy Director

Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for Social Policy and Social Work

aims of this workshop
Aims of this workshop

To propose a model of learning (presentation)

To interrogate assumptions of the model (interactive activity)

To respond and reflect on practical implications of the approach (discussion)

we build toys some toys change the world
We build toys. Some toys change the world

Key point one: We learn most useful things by accident

collateral learning
Collateral learning

There is no such thing as educational value in the abstract

Key point two: we don’t learn things in isolation

the realisation of incongruity
The realisation of incongruity

A fundamental human urge to make sense of the world and bring it under deliberate control

Key point three:learning is triggered by a sense of the incongruous – when our internal working models are no longer fit for purpose

when i began this course i was na ve and when i found out how na ve i was i started to get critical
“when I began this course I was naïve, and when I found out how naïve I was, I started to get critical.”

Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world and with each other

Key point four: by becoming aware of incongruence, we can become critical. This is both empowering and transformative

no one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar
No one who cannot rejoice in the discovery of his own mistakes deserves to be called a scholar

a very important part of the job of a teacher is to guide [the learner] towards tasks where s/he will be able objectively to do well, but not too easily, not without putting forth some effort, not without difficulties to be mastered, errors to be overcome, creative solutions to be found

Key point five: discoveries are only made when errors are celebrated

drinking wine moves me to write about it and writing about it moves me to drink it
Drinking wine moves me to write about it and writing about it moves me to drink it

Key point six: play, play and play again

forms of serious play
Forms of serious play

An invitation for the creative play of others

Key point seven: all good academic research is play

learning as experience experience as learning
Learning as experience – experience as learning

If adults of widely differing class and ethnic groups are actively exploring ideas, beliefs and practices then we are likely to have a society in which creativity, diversity and the continuous recreation of social structures are the accepted norms

Key point eight: a diverse social context enriches all the learners and may lead not only to individual, but to social transformation

learning to play
Learning to play?
  • We learn most things by accident and very little in isolation
  • Learning moments are triggered when our internal working models are no longer fit for purpose: an incongruence
  • By becoming aware of incongruence, we can become critical and curious. This is both empowering and transformative
  • Discoveries are only made when errors are celebrated (contrary to much of the history of education - Ed)
  • A diverse social context for learning enriches all the learners and may lead from individual to social transformation
  • These are all characteristics of play
  • All good learning and all good scholarship are play
interactive activity
Interactive activity
  • What are the strengths and weakness of the ‘play’ proposition?
interactive activity1
Interactive activity
  • What would be the implications of reconceptualising your current learning methods as ‘play’??
  • To what extent should we be trying to foster an environment that values and nurtures ‘play’?