Tuesday, July 08, 2008

At a conference

I'm currently at a conference on language learning with a team from Whittier College. There is interesting discussion of integrative learning, metacognition, technology, etc. There is a lot of overlap with NITLE types of issues. I'm quite intrigued by inserting more critical thinking, literature and culture into the 1st-year language experience.

Some of the influences on this are the writing of Barbara Ganley: "For the past 25 years I have tried to get my students out into the world...to have those slow conversations that billow out around the central learning purpose, deepening, and adding complexity and richness to the learning--making it real. I want them to feel what Ted Nelson says: 'Human ideas, science, scholarship, and language are constantly collapsing and unfolding. Any field...is a bundle of relationships subject to all kinds of twists, inversions, involutions and rearrangement.'... But it has not been easy. Our educational systems conspire against a messy, organic approach to learning."