The paper takes a sometimes humorous but always ironic look at the process of learning. It endeavours to arouse the sympathy (empathy) of the communicator for the poor unfortunates who are the receivers of our communications.

Learning is a constructive process whose outcome is the gradual growth and addition of new meanings and understandings. The learner's conceptual framework is not replaced; it gradually changes. Each learner views "objects" and data differently. To understand learning, we must understand the learner as well as the material to be learned. The understanding of the receiver of information is not the same as that of the person who wishes to convey a message or story.

Often the learner's understandings of data are regarded as "peripheral" - they do not "see' what we want them to see! But that is where the learner is! We ignore these "peripheral" understandings at our peril.

After the presentation, the author hopes that discussion will bring out the common. feature of all communication whatever it is - the need to consider the audience.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Learning
Focusing on the periphery - hazards in teaching science

David Demant  

The paper takes a sometimes humorous but always ironic look at the process of learning. It endeavours to arouse the sympathy (empathy) of the communicator for the poor unfortunates who are the receivers of our communications.

Learning is a constructive process whose outcome is the gradual growth and addition of new meanings and understandings. The learner's conceptual framework is not replaced; it gradually changes. Each learner views "objects" and data differently. To understand learning, we must understand the learner as well as the material to be learned. The understanding of the receiver of information is not the same as that of the person who wishes to convey a message or story.

Often the learner's understandings of data are regarded as "peripheral" - they do not "see' what we want them to see! But that is where the learner is! We ignore these "peripheral" understandings at our peril.

After the presentation, the author hopes that discussion will bring out the common. feature of all communication whatever it is - the need to consider the audience.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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