Learning Style: Insanity

Posted: June 24, 2013 in Essays
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A/N: This piece was my very first university essay for my subject; SSK12 – Introduction to University Learning.  I received a Credit grade.

This essay aims to identify how my personal world view has shaped my attitude towards learning and education. In order to achieve this I will draw upon my own experiences as well as readings from Hobson; Samovar and Porter & Marshall and Rowland. I will start out by defining what a ‘world view’ means to me. I will then branch out to the influences that my family, age and social habits have had on my word view and my attitude towards learning.

What is a ‘world view’? The Oxford Dictionary defines world view as:

“A particular philosophy of life or conception of the world.”

This is the perfect way to describe what a world view is and what it means to me. A world view, no matter what form, is a concept. A set of personal or cultural ideals that forms your view of everything
life has to offer and beyond. (Samovar and Porter 2004, 85). World view is something that can be hotly debated as everyone has their own ‘personal’ world view. This is where you can come into what Samovar and Porter called an “unconscious or automatic level of world view” (Samovar and Porter 2004, 85). This view can be things such as culture or religion.  Things that are a second nature to you but still vastly change and differ your personal world view from that of someone else.

Now that I have defined what a world view is and what it means to me. I will move onto the influences that my family, age and social habits have had on my world view and my attitude towards learning. In my personal experiences with learning my parents had the most influence on my attitude towards it.  Both my parents are from Europe and migrated to Australia.  My Father came from Scotland at four years old; his family life was quite difficult so he left home and school at the age of thirteen.  Later on in life after I was born he studied to achieve a Masters in Psychology and Graduate Diploma in  Management.

Study and learning have always been something that he has pushed for me to do.  In my early years as a teenager I never took education seriously.Learning however, was a different thing.  I loved to learn anything that interested me; I had hundreds of books on different subjects.  If I spent as much of my time as a teenager studying instead of reading I probably would have two Masters Degrees by now.

If there was anything my parents did teach me about learning it was everyone is different.  My Mother learns in a fast paced environment and is a very visual person.  My Father learns at a slower more thorough pace and understands something by just reading its theory.  I think I inherited my Father’s learning speed and the visual learning aspect of my Mother.  The beauty of learning is there is not just ‘one set way’ to do it. (Marshall and Rowland 2006, 2) Everyone is different.

I believe age plays a huge part in your attitude towards learning.  Nowadays computers and the internet are two of the biggest ways for people to learn. Whether it is about a family member on Facebook or something in the news, just about everyone uses the internet. If we briefly examine Hobson’s concept of medieval, modern and postmodern world views you can clearly see that today’s learning falls under the ‘postmodern world view’.

A medieval world view of self as Hobson puts it is that all meaning comes from God. The idea of self was based on that one’s true self was spirit, spirit was in everything and everything was made by God. (Hobson 1996, 3)  Although it is important to note that in some people’ world views God and religion still play a huge role we can see that humanity has evolved from this point into a new world view called modernist.  In the modernist world view the mind is not a part of anything.  The mind is separate.  In the modernist word view the self is seen as an independent entity instead of a part of God. (Hobson 1996, 6) The postmodern world view there is not ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do things.  In the postmodern view we make it up for ourselves. (Hobson 1996, 7).

What does this have to do with age and the attitude towards learning?  I believe many still hold the modernist view of the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do things.  Many people in the older generations, in my experience, think that computers and doing things online is the ‘wrong’ way, especially when it comes to online learning.  I will always remember this one old man who I rode the train with one day.  He was arguing with a student who was doing a university degree online.  He said to this student in a gruff grumpy manner:  “You don’t learn anything from staring at that taptop (yes he said ‘taptop’ not ‘laptop’). You learn from books!”  He held the belief that people could not learn anything by studying online.  There are thousands that have proved him wrong.  I believe age has an important standing in how open you are to new ways of doing things.  The younger generations and quite a few from the older generations live in the postmodern world where we make it up as we go along.

Finally I will discuss my social habits and the affect they have on my attitude towards learning.  Most people I find are ‘social butterflies’, people who love spending time among others who are at ease in a social situation.  This is not me.  I am the most awkward person in social situations, I get nervous and start a babble fest making those around me cringe for my sake.  I am a through and through book worm slash nerd.  Having a social life has never been a hindrance to my life or learning. I would rather be at home with my head in a book, than having coffee with ‘the girls’ and the only time you’ll find me up all night is when I get a new computer game.  I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been clubbing so I never had to curb my social life to study.  I did have to put a lot of personal projects aside while at University but those can be picked up at a later date. I find that because of my social habits my ways of thinking and learning differ vastly from others. I have found what I get out of reading, lectures and tutorials is very different from others.  This difference reflects my personal world view and accurately, Marshall and Rowland state: “You are entitled to your own interpretation.” (Marshall and Rowland 2006, 11).

In this essay I have discussed how my personal world view has shaped my attitude towards learning and education. In order to do this I defined what a ‘world view’ means to me. I then discussed influences that my family, age, and social habits have had on my word view and my attitude towards learning.

Hobson, J. 1996, Concept of the self: Different ways of knowing about the self, SSK12 lecture transcript Murdoch University, Perth.

Marshall, L. and Rowland, F. 2006, A Guide to Learning Independently, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.

Samovar, Larry A. and Porter, Richard E. 2004, Communication between cultures 5th Ed., Wadsworth/Thomson, Belmont, California.

Brown, L. ed. 1993, The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Volume Two, Oxford University Press, New York

Creative Commons License
Learning Style: Insanity by Sheridan Brownlie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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