Reading : McPheeters “5000 Year Timeline of Learning Theories” – Reflections

Just some thoughts…

Although I found this very interesting and relevant in terms of structuring an overview of Learning within history (with a variety of methods that are present today in relation to a variety of ways of teaching and learning that I also use within my own practice), one part that really distracted me from the whole narrative and also primary reflection is related to something the author says at the the opening of the video itself: “…the US spends more on Education than on Defense”. Really?

The video-piece is from 2011, so I have looked into statistics of different years, and I am struggling to find a year where education in the US was funded more than Defense between 2009 and 2016. Will need to research more here, but I am quite surprised by the opening argument that the author does. And, whilst the historical framework of Learning is indeed very interesting, I am going back into thinking about the Education Systems, about Politics affecting the future of Schools (from primary to secondary), Universities, etc. Not only the US,  but also expanding and taking the input from yesterday’s comments of Theresa May UK Universities, describing them as one of the most expensive university system in the world and how people should consider other ways of learning and growing professionally. I mean, I agree that there are different ways of learning outside of university, but I also think: how can Theresa May talk critically about UK Universities being one of the most expensive in the world, when it is actually her Conservative party with Cameron that put up the students’ fees of 3 times?” I am probably going out of topic in relation to the reading/viewing we had to do (or probably not, maybe I am straight to the point) but how can we talk about learning methods and educational approaches without considering the bigger contextual picture? In history, socioeconomic reasons have shaped the way of learning and teaching too; it is theoretically  important to connect the flow of learning methods and how successfull they might be in connection to how we learn differently, but also what the society wants from the “learning”. Is it individual learning, or is it a public open learning for all?

Then yes, as the video recalls, technology comes now to the table too, allowing a different level of engagement and interaction. But that is a new method…only a method, not a new philosophy for learning. The philosophy of learning has a bigger system to consider and/or to be considered upon.

…just some thoughts.



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