Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Constructive learning

Is it better to learn by experience or by sitting under the experienced and watching it done? If you had a choice of one or the other before you went out and put it in to practice, which would you choose?

6 comments:

reuben// said...

I don't think you can purely 'learn by experience' - everyone learns by watching others i reckon. Sometimes something truly novel is done but mostly it is mimicking and repackaging...

So i think the choice is really how much watching the experienced do you do? the experience of succeeding or failing is just feedback of the extent to which you 'get' how to do something right.

Very intuitive people can get away with less time watching others before they 'get' how to put it into practice.

I like collecting ideas but i'm impatient to put them to practice so i'd go for seeing the experienced do it for a moderate amount of time. just enough to figure out why and how they do what they do.

reuben// said...

What about you Geoff?

Stan and Clare said...

I'm more like the "sitting under someone experienced" than learning from experience. If I had the choice of both, I'd do the former, then the latter. That is what my MTS experience was like.

geoffc said...

Reuben,
It needs both really, doesn't it? If you have one without the other you won't really learn.

Not only is not sitting under someone with experience stupid, it's probably unbiblical. But I think it's easy to just want to always sit under someone in a learning environment, and until you truly get out there getting your hands dirty you won't really learn, or be effective.

You need both I guess.

Jason Au said...

I think the poles your looking for are between learning by doing/experience, and learning by reading about it/in a hypothetical way.

Then again, there are people out there who learn by cracking things open and having a look, but I think that most people usually have a rough idea of what they think they are doing, which is in a sense a memory of having watched someone do something.

geoffc said...

Thanks for finding the poles Jas.I think you're right.