When asked to reflect over week 1, one of the students replied, “I didn’t learn anything.” The teacher probed, “really, no new friends? no new ideas? no new experiences?” The student responded, “what do you mean – that’s not learning!” Then, the teacher became even more interested . . . “really – what is learning then?” The student quickly responded, “that’s when you have a book and can answer questions in the book.”
Isn’t this interesting? This student sees textbooks as THE source for learning. What about assimilating to a new environment, new faces, personalitites, managing new schedules, exposure to new technology, developing social skills as we function in a multi-cultural community, managing several languages at the same time?
The official Webster definition of learning is:
Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviors, skills, values,preferences or understanding, and may involve synthesizing different types of information.