Saturday, April 11, 2015

When and how does learning happen?

More than a year ago (may even be more), Raghav came up with this desire of wanting to share what he had gleaned and learned about the planets, the solar system, and the earth, with his friends and other interested adults (age no bar!), in the form of a talk. We discussed many ideas and he finally decided that he wanted to do a PowerPoint presentation with pictures, videos etc. included in it, besides some other things like a model etc.

I was very excited with the idea, and realised quite soon that the reason for my excitement was also because my mind finally had something to do! Yes, it loved organising and planning and would have so much to do while helping him build and create his talk! :) Unfortunately, the excitement was short-lived. :(

Well, I remember how I was telling him how it was important to decide on a time and place for the talk and get down to working on the presentation, maybe doing a little bit everyday. While he agreed to all that, I also remember what he said to me that day.....something which I had never thought of in this way, despite having made and having listened to so many presentations before!

He asked me how he could or would be able to include all the things that he would have learned in the 'in-between' time.....i.e. between the time he had finished creating the presentation and the time when he was actually standing there and sharing it all with his friends. What would happen to the learning in between and even as he was sharing with the others? How would he be able to share all of that, if he just went by his presentation and that predetermined content? That was his question, asked of course in his own simple words.

And I realised then how and when learning happens, and how so many of the tools that we use with the pretext of aiding learning or evaluating it, actually aim to 'freeze' learning in space and time....when in reality, learning is dynamic and is flowing all the time....and is uncontrollable, often intangible, unquantifiable and unstoppable...

And by the way, just to share this with all of you, he is still planning and still hasn't 'given' that talk:)

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