I believe in lifelong learning and Jarvis (2010) has defined learning as:
“the combination of processes throughout a lifetime whereby the whole person – body (genetic, physical and biological) and mind (knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, emotions, meaning, beliefs and senses) – experiences social situations, the content of which is then transformed cognitively, emotively or practically (or through any combination) and integrated into the individual person´s biography resulting in a continually changing (or more experienced) person.”
The definition is hopelessly complicated and if you want a catchy slogan to promote learning, this is not the one. Yet, I can´t help myself – I love it! I think it is brilliant and the more I learn about learning the more I get to adore the definition.
I have designed a learning activity and today I was trying to argue for what theoretical framework it has. The activity aims to enhance the students awareness of ethical dilemmas linked to CPR-resuscitation and what considerations to be highlighted. The students will be divided into small groups and they will get three short introduction videos to the topic,
- Surviving CPR-resuscitation
- Not surviving CPR-resuscitation
- No active CPR-resuscitation
After watching them the students are supposed to discuss ethical considerations and argue for pros and cons. Finally they are asked to present a quick version of their discussion for the other groups.
At first it was not an easy task to take a theoretical stand but after some reading and thinking it ended up with me arguing for Vygotsky´s Sociocultural Theory… or at least from that tradition. Development and learning process is dependent upon collaboration, interaction and relationship. When I got feedback from my colleagues I learned that this learning activity also could be related to Variation Theory by Marton. At first sight CPR-resuscitation is all about saving lives. When diving into the topic, viewing from different angles students can learn throughout discerning differences about the topic.
It appears to me that teaching is a blessing thus you can pick and choose from a diversity of learning theories when designing learning activities. The main thing is to choose the right theory for the right purpose. The purpose of learning! As Jarvis definition implies, learning is a complex process, occurring both cognitively, emotively and in social contexts. Learning is truly embedded into a persons whole lifetime.
Jarvis P (2010) Adult education and lifelong learning. Theory and practice. 4th edition. New York, Routledge.
Photo: Embedded by Simon Evans (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)