Building a learning model for LO's. LO7596

Ross Reid (
Sat, 25 May 1996 16:35:37 +1000 (EST)

Here I try to conceptualise the foundations for a model of the
learning/communicating process. I try to use cognitivist and humanist
concepts applied to a constuctivist/systems view in a bamboo/rope
metaphor. I would appreciate your suggestions.

Kind regards, Ross <>

Envisage a multi facited three dimensional construction/system - each
facit of which symbolises a story, made of lengths of bamboo - symbolising
information and knowledge which has been lashed together with chords of
rope - symbolising the emotions.

People construct, exchange, memorise and recall meanings and information
within complex cognitive structures that I will call meta stories and

Groups of people build meta stories in the form of social, political,
corporate and theological systems.

Within these systems individuals people derive meaning, purpose and
notions of their self.

Meaning and information is exchanged within these systems by means
of smaller more flexible structures called stories. In this way "stories are
the currency of meaning."

Meanings are by nature therefore "jointly constructed" and "situated"
within a context. A particular meaning can not exist outside the context
in which it was first constructed without taking on a new meaning.

Structures enable use to store new information and knowledge for
reflection and later recall. The effectiveness of this storage process is
partly influenced by the presence of suitable existing structures as
evidenced in answer to the question "Why cant I remember being
born?" The reason being that the new information presented in the
situation of birth, in terms of sounds, smells and surroundings had no
structural precedent to which it could be fastened.

From this early beginning attitudes to new learning experiences in the
form of emotions become part and parcel of a persons cognitive
structures. Emotions are the; can, should, might, will and must of
constructing and deconstructing cognitive structures. In this model
emotions are represented as lengths of rope with which people lash
together and unlash a multi-facited framework of stories within stories
using a variety of knots.

Some resulting structures such as values and beliefs can become so
tightly knotted that the individual and even entire communities become
either unable or unwilling to unbind them. These become "Gordian"
knots and sometimes it takes an "Alexander" can cut through them. END


Ross Reid <>

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