A couple of weeks back I had a conversation with a friend who is—by trade—a psychologist. Said friend explained that I am an unconscious expert, to help me identify how to talk about the rational and concepts underlying my pedagogical models and approaches. Because I struggled to enable a smooth hand-over of some of the projects. So here is one of the scenarios I tried to dissect:
One day after a workshop in radiography programme, the class-head came to me and asked what I had done to her students. You might remember the post about Balloon academy; part of the assessment for students was to write a personal development exercise. This exercise was only due by the end of the semester. Although, neither me nor the students mentioned that exercise even once in our session, in the following session with their class-head the students cued to ask her how to get started with the exercise. Normally the students would only begin thinking about it two weeks before hand-in.
So what had I actually done?
I went back to analyse my learning and teaching strategies, and I know that most of it is based on the principles of creative pedagogy I wrote about on numerous occasions: relevance, ownership, control and innovation. But when I had a closer look at my pedagogical approach, I realised there is another principle I am using every single time in teaching:
This is based on Dewey’s paradigm that everything newly learned should be linked or built onto something the students already know. So creating a real-life context of the principles of the object (object as in a social constructivism), something tangible (like the balloons, or the white cups) and then after the experience of the principles, link it back to subject content. It is effectively: learning in principle, applying in the subject (or object as above). So this is a topic I need to explore further, as it links into a variety of learning theories, to bring myself back onto a conscious level.
Lernen im Prinzip—Anwenden im Gegenstand