Some thoughts on and in between learning and research
September 14, 2016
Today I had a Twitter conversation with a colleague and somehow the discussion turned from dealing with a book respectively its content 🙂 toward a discussion on theories or terminology transporting an ideology or enabling enhancement.
It made me think about my own project, as a new/altered terminology (like my definition of GOAL as Global Online Academic Learning, of a new learning level as reaching “enhancement-competence” and of “Metacommunication as tool”) plays an important rule for enabling learners in global online learning to create new knowledge. Global networked learning-processes cannot be described, defined or enabled if we comfortably rest in traditional methods, theories, definitions. Research on something new needs the courage to leave comfortable pathways of re-assuring traditions. And maybe this may look like “ideology” at the first glance. But one of my favourite quotations is from Nora Bateson when she defines learning as the moment we realize that something we used to define and see in a specific way may be totally different.
An at which place, if not in research and in science, could be the right place to start re-thinking, re-defining and re-creating definitions and theories? Or – in Gregory Batesons words – to reframe situations and to commonly set new context markers. Defining a definition as ideology is a context marker. Others could mark the same context as “disruptive innovation” (of a terminology, a theory, whatsoever). And talking about these individual punctuations makes those conscious … this is Metacommunication on Learning. This is what enables enhancement.
Finally, research and science is a learning process on this level, isn’t it? I remember a moment of my own studies when I talked to my professor about a thesis or a homework and he told me that my work shows a clear understanding of the theories but remains explaining and describing and he would miss my critic on them. I was astonished as I would not have dared at this moment to criticise a scientific “proven” theory as a “little student”, even so I had a lot of ideas and critics which I never would have dared to “officially” write down. He said: As a student doing research you are already a scientist and not only allowed to but obliged to think critically and to give arguments using your own thoughts. This was one of (maybe the) most important moments of my studies and the most beautiful thing a teacher or professor ever said to me! And it started a process of learning that was different from all the others before. And a process of research on what exactly is so different and how we can foster and enable others to those kind of learning processes.