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ERIC Number: EJ917774
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1474-8460
Learning about Learning: A Conundrum and a Possible Resolution
Barnett, Ronald
London Review of Education, v9 n1 p5-13 Mar 2011
What is it to learn in the modern world? We can identify four "learning epochs" through which our understanding of learning has passed: a metaphysical view; an empirical view; an experiential view; and, currently, a "learning-amid-contestation" view. In this last and current view, learning has its place in a world in which, the more one learns, the more one is aware of counter positions and perspectives. Here is a conundrum for learning here becomes a kind of un-learning. This learning calls for the development among students of certain kinds of dispositions and qualities. These dispositions and qualities provide resources that enable students to venture forwards to enquire in a world in which every position and every perspective is subject to contestation. Learning here becomes the formation of a "radical-but-active-doubt". Such a view of learning for the twenty-first century points to a poverty in the notion of "learning outcomes", if learning is incessant but self-doubting enquiry. This learning has no outcome except the continuing formation--largely a self-formation--of the student's being. This view of learning opens the way for possibilities in curricula and pedagogy, possibilities that both unsettle students but which also help them to develop the inner resources to go on learning in a difficult world.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A