Archive for December, 2013

As this module comes to an end, Jesse has asked us to write a blog on what we have learned from this module.

One thing I think we can all agree on is that the education system is in dire need of repair. This generation of learners are being taught, but not educated. We are taught skills that are poor at adapting to new situations, such as memorisation and regurgitation of information. We are not taught how to think for ourselves, but how to tick boxes and attain grades. Extrinsic motivation strings us along to attain what we are told are achievements in education, but are little more than variations upon the question “How much stuff can you remember?”

Personally, this module has made me look back upon my previous modules. As I re-examined my grades from first and second years, I noticed that I excelled in the subjects I found interesting. I attained incredibly average grades for the subjects that I wasn’t interested in but studied for in order to pass. I’ve never really been consciously aware of how much harder intrinsic motivation has made me work, but throughout this semester I’ve noticed it more than ever. I really do think we should be able to pick our modules for second year rather than having a set course. This would let people actually study what they’ve come to university to study, and actually be enthusiastic about their course rather than complain about it (as I’ve heard many do, including myself).

So, aside from my observations upon intrinsic motivation and how key it is to my learning, what else have I learned? The second thing that springs to mind is that of student centered learning. We have hit a stage of education where we don’t need to be spoon-fed and have our hands held through learning. We are capable of learning for ourselves, and I believe that teachers should exist not to give us information, but to guide us as we find information for ourselves.

I’ve also discovered an entire network of skills that aid us throughout our education. Metacognitive awareness and skills, rational thought, critical thinking, logical thought, confidence, mindfulness, creativity, happiness, cognitive flexibility, deep-level reasoning, and the Socratic method. All of these things tie in to our education and give us a much deeper level of understanding, allowing us to learn about the kinds of concepts which are taught in higher education. We are taught next to none of these throughout our education, and I will be surprised if we ever are. I am glad that I have had the chance to investigate these things, as I would never have had the chance in a module that restricted my learning. I’ve been really interested in each blog I’ve done, and have put quite a lot of work in each one. I hope to use the skills I’ve learned so much about in order to advance my learning throughout my third and final year of my undergraduate degree, and hopefully my masters. This module, above all others that I’ve taken throughout the last sixteen years of education, has let me discover for myself and find new ways to teach myself and advance my own knowledge.

So, there we have it. The state of the education system, intrinsic motivation, student centered learning, and the skills I have investigated for these eight blogs. I feel like I have learned, truly learned, quite a lot throughout this module, and feel that as a learner I have come away much better for the experience.

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Here are two of the four talks I gave throughout our Science of Education module to our class, discussing various concepts that I have spoken about in these blog posts.

My first talk on metacognition and rationality:

The question and answer session from the end of my first talk:

My talk on critical thinking, creativity, and the socratic method:

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