Lesson 5 - Theories of Learning

31. Key Takeaways


Key takeaways from this lesson are:

  • Teaching is a highly complex occupation, which needs to adapt to a great deal of variety in context, subject matter and learners. It does not lend itself to broad generalizations. Nevertheless, it is possible to provide guidelines or principles based on best practices, theory and research, that must then be adapted or modified to local conditions.

  • Our underlying beliefs and values, usually shared by other experts in a subject domain, shape our approach to teaching. These underlying beliefs and values are often implicit and are often not directly shared with our students, even though they are seen as essential components of becoming an ‘expert’ in a particular subject domain.

  • No single method is likely to meet all the requirements teachers face in the digital age.

  • Nevertheless, some forms of teaching fit better with the development of the skills needed in a digital age. In particular, methods that focus on conceptual development, such as dialogue and discussion, knowledge management (rather than information transmission), and experiential learning in real-world contexts, are all methods more likely to develop the high-level conceptual skills required in a digital age.

  • Traditional classroom teaching, and especially transmissive lectures, were designed for another age. Although lectures have served us well, we are now in a different age that requires different methods.

  • The key shift is towards greater emphasis on skills, particularly knowledge management, and less on memorizing content. We need teaching methods for teaching and learning that lead to the development of the skills needed in a digital age.