What is Learning?

English 101

Opening Freewrite: Describe a time when you learned something deeply.

Note: Jen purposely kept this instruction general.  Tomorrow, you will find out why.

Rules for Freewriting:

  1. There is only one rule: Keep your pen moving.
  • First thought, Best Thought (so whatever comes to your head right away is “right”).  I.e. learning to ride a bike.  Learning to read.  Learning to dive off the high dive.
  • Go off on tangents (as thoughts occur to you, explore them, even if they are “off topic”
  • Write the “wrong” thing (a time you did NOT learn something, for example)
  • Switch topics (if you start writing about a time you learned something and you think of another time/event, go with it)
  • Swear
  • Ramble
  • Improvise your spelling
  • Use grammar creatively
  • Repeat words or phrases if you get stuck
  • Write, “I don’t know” over and over again until something better occurs to you

Metaphors of Note for Freewriting:

1) Sitting in Full Lotus for 24 hours while mosquitoes bite you

2) Message in a Bottle

Small Group Discussion Questions

  1. Appoint a group recorder.  Share your FULL names.  Group recorder writes down each person’s name.
  2. Share your story in two sentences or less.  Group recorder captures key words.
  3. Question: In terms of constructing a theory of learning, what do your stories have in common?  Group recorder, write this down in two or three sentences.

Video from LearntoBe

As you watch the video, ask yourself this question: What underlying assumptions about learning does this video operate on?  In other words, what is the theory of learning (what it is, how one learns) this video argues?



Please read the syllabus.


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