The diagram above was something I doodled up recently (yes, I know, I really need to find myself a hobby...) as I contemplated -- as I'm sure many of us do -- for possibly the millionth time: what is learning? What makes it happen (more effectively)?
What I found, by overlaying vertical and horizontal venn diagrams featuring what I've come to think of as essential criteria for learning, was a central pattern that leapt out at me as an 'eye'. Interestingly, the only way to get the full eye was to ensure there was an overlap of all four priorities:
Existing Knowledge: (or schemata) what the students already know based on experience and prior learning.
Expert Knowledge: what teachers and a range of other experts can pass on to students based on their specialised knowledge and experience.
Critical Thinking: hypothesizing, guessing, figuring stuff out, taking risks, problem-solving.
Peer Interaction: listening to and sharing with learners in the same (or similar) situation, age bracket or social setting.
What appears to be missing here, however, are the affective factors like motivation and interest. You could take all four of the elements above, for example, and they could fail dismally if the learners weren't motivated to be part of the learning environment and/or found it utterly boring to contemplate.
What do you think? Is it a dud depiction of learning, or is there something to it?