August 10, 2014

Modes of Learning: introduction

Professor Richard Elmore

I am discovering the wonderfull "Modes of Learning" which is a collective of a groups of theories on how different individual learn, how are they motvated to learn and what social structure serve each learning mode.

Professor Richard Elmore is a Professor of Educational Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has fifteen years on research and clinical practice, concentrated on the improvement of instructional practice in schools and classrooms, and the development of organizational systems to support those improvements.

Prof. Elmore categorized modes of learning into four quadrants, using two contiums axes; (1) heirarchical to disctibuted learning and (2) individual to collective learning.

  1. Heirarchical learning is organized into blocks and has sequences
  2. Distibuted learning means the value of what is learnt is determined by use, and that the learner makes choices about what to learn and what to do with waht is learnt.
  3. Individual learning has the person as the primary unit of learning, therefore, it is individual activity
  4. Collective learning is a social activity

Modes of learning

So i took a questionnaire to help me decide where do i fit in the modes of elarning, apparently my conception of learnin falls into the Hierarchical Individual Quadrant 53% and the Distributed Individual Quadrant 51%. I only scored 19% on the Distributed Collective Quadrant.

I think this reflects my conception of learning should be institutionalized, accredited and very formal. For example, I have always sough accreditation for my learning, that's why I have two BScs an MSc and a PhD on the way. Furthermore, wouldn't have subscribed to any online courses (which i have dont alot in the past) if they didn't offer a certificate of completion. I mean the certificate serves as a guarantee of a well-organised learning process. Now i cannot say that the assessment surprised me but it has definitely challenged me. I though i would be more into collective learning than individual. I think i have to justify why individual learning is more "valid" than collective from an epistemological point of view. Not sure i can do that!

According to Prof. Elmore All the "Modes of learning" assessment does is to identify your initial disposition toward learning! he argues that we might expect change our mind by learning more aobut the different modes and or probably move toward the boundaries of one quadrant or another. I will have to follow up on that.

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