Significant Learning

SIGNIFICANT LEARNING

 Sometimes we wonder why the teacher uses colorful chalk with some of the words written on the board. Sometimes the teacher writes in capital letter with important words. These are useful as guides for the students to differentiate the important and unimportant facts. In other words, accurate perception is important in good learning. It is part of the Gestalt principles. Clearly, these principles are useful as guide for teachers as they organize their materials and learning activities. Gestalt is a perspective focuses on the belief that human consciousness cannot be broken down into its elements

 Yet repetition learning is very limited. Learning word perfectly that “the square of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle is a square to the sum of the squares of the two sides” in Mathematics, while in Physics When body A exerts a force on a body B, then the body B exerts a force, equal in magnitude, opposite in direction and along the same line of action on the body B. Generally, we considered a little value of idea in a form of words, these have learnt without understanding. Indeed one of the real issues in assessing students through formal test and examinations is that is far easier to judge when to award marks if the criterion is remembering a specific recognizing formulation for a law rule, theorem etc. than to judge whether the students own words can be considered to reflect an understanding sufficiently close to the recognized meaning. Yet if understanding is the aim of much teaching ability to reproduce given statements and definitions is of limited interest. So although learning by repetition is an important phenomenon, much of formal education is about a different kind of learning this what we call a significant learning, because, when it becomes very clear that even when it may be justified to assume there to be inherent meaning in the objects and events we perceive in the environment, there is no automatic process of acquiring that meaning., rather we have available cognitive device that allows us to interpret what we see in meaningful ways, because we can call upon existing cognitive resources ,knowledge elements and interpretative frameworks. This cognitive device usually allows us to recognize a chair, even if it is not quite like any chair we have experienced before. Like someone who had never seen a chair might well decide to sit on, just as they might decide to use a convenient boulder as a seat. However, people recognize a chair because they have developed cognitive resources for recognizing chairs based on previous experiences relating to chair.

One of the first tasks teachers face when designing a course is deciding what they want students to learn or get out of their course, students will always learn something, but good teachers want their students to learn something important or significant, rather than something relatively insignificant. We can classify the significant of learning like foundational knowledge; at the base of most other kinds of learning is the need for students to “know” something. Knowing, as used here, refers to students’ ability to understand and remember specific information and ideas. It is important for people today to have some valid basic knowledge, for example, about science, history, literature, geography, etc. foundational knowledge provides the basic understanding that is necessary for other kinds of learning. Application knowledge: this kind of learning occurs when students learn how to engage in some new kind of action, which may be intellectual, physical, social, etc. Learning how to engage in various kinds of thinking (critical, creative, practical) is an important form of application learning. But this category of significant learning also includes developing certain skills or learning how to manage complex projects. Application learning allows other kinds of learning to become useful. Integration learning; when students are able to see and understand the connections between different things, an important kind of learning has occurred. The act of making new connections gives learners a new form of power, especially intellectual power. Human Dimension; when students learn something important about their own Self and/or about others, it enables them to interact more effectively with themselves or with others, students discover the personal and/or social implications of what they have learned. What they learn or the way in which they learn sometimes gives students a new understanding of themselves (self-image) or a new vision of what they want to become (self-ideal). This kind of learning informs students about the human significance of what they are learning.

Sometimes a learning experience changes’ the degree to which students care about something. This may be reflected in the form of new feelings, interests, and/or values. Any of these changes means students now care about something to a greater degree or in a way than they did before. When students care about something, they then have the energy they need for learning more about it and making it a part of their lives. Without the energy for learning, nothing significant happens.  Students also need how to learn something about the process of learning itself. It may be learning how to be a better student, how to engage in a particular kind of inquiry for a specific methods or scientific reference or how to become self-directing learners, this enables students to continue learning in the future and to do so with greater effectiveness.

 

Sources: 

Steve Paul (1952-2001): Creating Significant Learning experiences

http://www.unl.edu/philosophy/[L._Dee_Fink]_Creating_Significant_Learning_Experi(BookZZ.org).pdf

 Dee Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning
http://www.byui.edu/outcomes-and-assessment-old/the-basics/step-1-articulate-outcomes/dee-finks-taxonomy-of-significant-learning