Friday, 15 September 2006

Slow ways of knowing


Guy Claxton in his book 'Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind' talks about "the slow ways of knowing ... the mind needs to be given time" and that we need the disposition to take one's time. I've just been to a slow food weekend in Melbourne which is about "living an unhurried life, beginning at the table." This sounds like a good idea that should apply to education where everything is speeded up with standards, assessments, progression points, high level thinking, authentic learning.

To add to the food metaphor, Claxton also says that the "know-how regions of our minds are organised less like the Library of Congress than a well used kitchen". We need both the organised, logical, deliberative thinking, as well as the meandering, serendipitious, playful, dreamy thinking.

Let's slow down and enjoy our learning and teaching.

6 comments:

Joan said...

The Claxton line fits with my partner and I. I am the organised one but it looks messy. He, on the otherhand, looks organised but is meandering along thinking in a million ways that one can never catch up with. Its partnerships like these that helps the 'slow learning'

Anonymous said...

But Joan, does he pick up wet towels?

Joan said...

Yes he does!

patrick said...

hi sam thanks for the opportunity.
I look forward to contributing in the future.

Clark Quinn said...

Sam, I talked about this back in July and I'm in agreement. Though, really, I think of slow learning as a complement to the uni and 'event' model. There's a role for uni, at least, but I am thinking of a separate mechanism that's a long term relationship between learner and 'learning system' that extends through life and slowly develops us in interesting ways.

We now have ways we can do this, but we have to want to, and we have to do some experimentation before we're ready to bring it to market. Still, your core point about the lack of time for (and the valuing of) reflection is spot on!

Sam Grumont said...

Thanks for the comment Clark. I read your post about slow learning.

Claxton talks about learning by osmosis, the know-how learning which is more intuitive learning I guess. It involves a calmer more leisurely process which we are usually unable to articulate.