Gary, I think what we know about learning is up in the air. We have data that says we need to meet individual needs. We have data that says social learning is best. We have data that says students prefer to progress at their own rate. So what we "know" about learning can fit these 2 platforms, and others. My 2 cents...
Peter is right of course. Too often I and others in higher ed talk like we know how to bring about learning. The challenge is implementation, but the end is clear, well-defined, and easily explained, we imply. (Of course this is a bugaboo for K-12 folks also, where set curricula and standardized exams subsume the question of what learning is into a debate about which test is best.) But Peter instead asks us to consider what learning actually is.
He has made me wonder what the other big questions are in higher ed--the ones that we ought always to think about because they are too important to assume that we already know the answer. So, here are a few "big questions", at least in my mind:
- What is learning?
- What does attending school add to learning? What does it take away from learning?
- How does an educator think about the needs/desires/interests of individuals versus the needs/desires/interests of groups, especially those groups larger than the class?
What are the other big questions?