So joining me now to discuss metaphors for learning among students of schools in Western Sydney, the two academics who are part of the team that wrote the paper, could you please introduce yourselves?
Well, hi, my name is Dr. Megan Stacy. I'm a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales. And I'm the second author on this paper. So I'll throw now to the first author.
I'm Dr. Sam McMahon, I have an honorary position at the University of Sydney and was working at the University of Sydney when we did this research. I'm currently working as the lending manager at Bundanon. The institution just outside of naira.
Well, Megan, Sam, thank you very much for your time. We're here to discuss this paper, as we said about student metaphors for learning and look at some of the implications from your findings over a two year study. But just to start off, could you explain what you mean by metaphors for learning and why they matter in understanding education,
we were interested in hearing from young people about how they understand this idea of learning and themselves as learners, which is something that I guess we felt was not often asked of young people to articulate themselves in relation to these ideas, there's a lot of ideas about learning that are sort of put on students in different ways. So that was something we were interested in, in this project. But the metaphor aspect came from a set of metaphor cards that I think actually Sam had used in her teaching at the University of Sydney. But he's also establishing research as a way to kind of sort of an elicitation method is the term that sometimes used in the research, methodological research literature, a way of sort of opening up conversations that can be particularly helpful when, when you are maybe working with young people and and interviews can be a little bit intimidating. Maybe. So that was, I guess, some of the reasoning behind that. Sam, did you want to add anything?
Yeah, I guess I can speak a little bit to how powerful I found metaphors as an educator. So we used these metaphor cards to help people explain to each other really abstract concepts. So it might be, you know, learning is like, or it could be a theoretical concept such as behaviorism is like, and you know, when you have to liken it to a rainbow, or a sticky tape, or whatever you need to be able to articulate its its parts, and how you understand those parts. That's kind of a really nice kind of way of drawing out people's understandings of a particular naughty concept. And when I knew I'd be working with young people, and I knew, describe yourself as a learner was perhaps an inappropriate question. I thought this might be a really kind of playful, but helpful way to add not some of those naughty thoughts around complex topics.
I mean, when you talk about metaphor cards to elicit responses, you know, my mind goes to Rorschach tests, and what are the cards? What are the cards actually look like? What's on them.
So the cards that we use were actually designed by the Nevada writing project, they were used for a different purpose originally. And there's like, a number I can't remember it. There's like 20 pages of icons, maybe there's no Nikon's tool page, because it's close to 100 graphs. There we go. 64 photographs in total, and they are of random objects. So it might be a cassette tape, a rainbow, a teddy bear, a book, a plant quilt. And the idea being these are just things that mean nothing until someone finds meaning in them, or can infer their own meaning onto them. So they very innocuous, non blot like tests. Like experiences is nothing testing about it really. Yeah.
And so when you are using these cards with students to elicit a response about their perception of themselves as a learner, what does that interview process look like? Like how much of an in depth conversation you're having with each of your research subjects?
That's a good question. So we spoke to 47 young people in Western Sydney, and for 22 of them we spoke to them two years in a row a year apart. And in each time we had a chat we spoke for about an hour on a range of topics and the metaphor Question was like a part of that interview. And the prompt that we gave everyone was to say, when I'm learn, I'm like a blank pick a picture, because it's all about the reason they give. So they, when I learned, I'm like a teddy bear, because of what I learned. I'm like a plant because whatever photo they picked, they had to explain that choice. And it was a very kind of easy part of the interview, it was very enjoyable people. Interestingly, some people picked the same picture a whole year apart, or a related one. So they picked the same metaphor, but with a different picture. So it showed I think, premise and consistency as a research method.
And what you say you did this as part of a broader interview? What was it you're hoping to understand from the whole the broader interview in general? Obviously, it's part of multiple research trends. But what are you hoping to elicit specifically from the metaphor question?
Yeah, well, the project overall, was actually an evaluation of a particular Widening Participation Program at a university. And this was, I suppose, one of the things we were interested with, in within that evaluation was to kind of track students developing understanding of themselves as learners as they participated in this program, and sort of looked towards the possibility of tertiary education in the future. So yeah, it was kind of a, I suppose one kind of indicator, if you like, within that broader, much more broader project.
And I suppose this notion of a metaphor of the learner, it in my mind, one of the reasons that this paper caught my attention and sparked my imagination a little bit was because there's not often policy or political or even personal agreement on what it means to be a learner in a school. That's one of the the constant challenges, you know, is it lighting a fire? Is it filling a pail? Is it you know, memorizing and remembering and whatever else? And so there's one of the things that really caught my attention for this. Were you when you went in asking this question? Were you expecting to see more change looks and you expressed a bit of a surprise that some people are came across a little bit like surprised, and some people chose the same image year on year, what were you expecting going into this?
Okay, so learning takes time. And the reason it makes sense to think about ourselves as learners was these young people were engaged in a program over their high school time and ways we spoke to them at an interval that's long enough to imagine that learning or a shift in thinking or has happened. So by looking at something happening over time, there is a possibility for consistency and no change. There's also a possibility for change. And because we were particularly evaluating the impacts of a program, we used indicators that the program designers were interested in, and one of the things that they thought they could achieve was that they would help young people understand themselves as learners in positive ways. And so it was up to us to say, Well, how do they think of themselves as learners? And what does that? What does that look like over a time period? I think what's really interesting was, to us, it was like one question in an interview, and we were struck by the patterns in the data, I, we wouldn't have necessarily predicted that we could find such discernible consistencies. Like you, Cameron, we understand learning to be a highly contested and highly personalized experience and looking for patterns in self concept of learner, you know, qualitatively is not a pursuit many people do. So we were just really struck by the fact that we had all this data that was really had really strong patterns in it. And that's what made it worthwhile publishing about was a pleasant surprise.
Well, the other part of the title of the paper and you know, you specifically focused on students in Western Sydney. I'm just curious, what was the reason for targeting that particular demographic?
Yeah, well, I think this was a project that was looking at the experiences of young people, as you've said, in Western Sydney, which is an area of diverse cultural and linguistic groups with pockets of significant socio economic disadvantage, although that's not the universal experience. And I suppose we were interested in tidying that demographic because often Students who are experiencing disadvantage can be kind of seen as at some kind of deficit within education. And so I suppose for us, it was important to actually hear from these young people themselves. And I think very much in the results that came out of this study, we did not see that kind of deficit positioning really at all. Instead, we saw some really strategic and quite clever ways in which these young people were navigating their educational institutions. So that was something that, that we were pleased to see sort of come out of that research.
Well, let's get into the actual findings and the conversations and look how how did these young people see themselves what metaphors did come out of your conversation?
So we are using a kind of thematic analysis process, we categorize students responses to this question across three main domains or ways of, I suppose thinking about learning. The first was kind of a process of learning. The second was the time that learning takes and what can happen over time with learning. And finally, a effective metaphors that students use when they talked about of how learning felt. And it was interesting to us to see the way in which across each of these kinds of domains, there were quite clearly contrasting conceptualizations, which we also saw as kind of aligning with broadly construed sort of behaviorist versus kind of constructivist approaches to learning, which we also saw in the sort of policy background, which we can speak to, perhaps a little bit later. But if you like, I can provide some of the the actual metaphors that students used across these domains. Yeah. So when they were talking about learning as the process we saw, on the one hand, some students talk about learning as this kind of lifelong active, perhaps more constructivist kind of process. One metaphor a student used was a camera, they picked a picture of a camera, and they said, I feel like a camera, anything that's important. While I think is important, I take a photo of it, which is like absorbing into the mind, all the pictures, then turn into a film. And if I think that knowledge is still important, I might get back film captured to print it into actual photos that will stay with me. So this very kind of agentic kind of understanding. Another example is a student chose a platter of fruit, and said, I chose the platter with the different types of fruit. And that's because I feel like I like to learn in many different ways, I don't just use one method of learning. I like writing notes, I like repeating it to myself, I like using flashcards, all of these different kinds of strategies that they had. But then on the other hand, with processes of learning, we had more sort of perhaps behaviorist ways of understanding learning. One student chose a hot air balloon, and said, You know, I'm like a hot air balloon, because when someone's speaking like the teachers, it's like, the hot air runs into the hot air balloon, it's like my brain, it's like getting filled with hot ideas. And then when they're not, they're letting in the air and I'm back on the ground. It's a slightly more deflated, if you like, kind of image.
There was a trend. So in this first example, that Megan's talked about, in terms of process of processes of learning, sometimes, but not often being talked about as really active with lots of verbs, I do this, I process that I take this picture, I printed out lots of Active Words in these metaphors, showing that learning is a thing that is done and something they're in control of, which is very in line with constructivist notions of learning. Where the learner sort of seeks the learning does the learning reflects on the learning and then does something important with the learning, like apply it or whatever. Whereas the, the process of as of learning that look more at sort of operant conditioning these inputs, these inputs, these inputs, is positive reinforcement, and then when the reinforcers go away, the behavior stops. That's kind of like behaviorist extinction. You know, so this is sort of, we're not saying that the kids have read learning theory, and they're giving us metaphors, specifically from one one theory of learning or another. But we are saying that these theories of learning coexist and circulate at the policy level at the practice level at the pedagogy level. And they would feel these and understand these as a student in in very different ways. And what's interesting is that even though they haven't learnt the theory, they can articulate very specific and very identifiable kinds of learning processes against those big overarching ideas of behaviorism and constructivism.
And sorry, oh, sorry, go ahead.
No, the other thing I was gonna say is, just like in these examples, when we started mapping these domains against the theories And the more positive and happy thoughts of learning and agentic lifelong learning kind of ideas, which we hoped for our learners tended to sit with people who used metaphors that reflected more constructivist ways of understanding what learning is. Whereas the people who used more behaviorist kind of metaphors, metaphors that align quite closely with with behaviorist theories of learning, they tended to be a little bit more negative and a little bit more sad or deflated about themselves as learners. So I'm sure Megan can give you other examples, too.
Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, one of the ones that actually was used by a couple of students was, was sticky tape. A couple of students chose rolls of sticky tape and said, you know, well, unlike sticky tape, because, yeah, things stick to me. But just after a while, I lose my stickiness. And I don't feel like I have that knowledge anymore. It just kind of disappears. We had other other metaphors like sort of passing clouds. There was one which was a kind of a little bit violent, like a piggy bank was chosen. But then the way the student described it was like, well, you put the knowledge in, and then when you need to get it out for an exam or something, you go smash it open, and then it's just, you know, that's it.
It's gone. And then it's gone and the piggy bank. That's right. So again, with more with the metaphors we've analyzed as belonging more to the behaviorist approach, nothing seems to last whereas the constructivist metaphors are the metaphors that seem more aligned with constructivism. Talk more about growth and permanency. So the plant that grows up or the quilt that is built and stays there, you know, as opposed to the running out of battery, passing clouds, smashing piggy banks, and then it's gone kind of metaphor, you know? Yeah.
Yeah. And then I suppose just to jump in one more time, that was kind of reinforced further as well, by that sort of third overall theme that we had around the sort of effective metaphors were, for instance, I guess we're here we're looking at the way in which learning and understanding oneself as a learner makes these young people feel. And in the metaphors that we analyzed as being more aligned with the kind of constructivist agenda to kind of approach this was more or active more in control. But then in other ones, it was more a sense of kind of getting pushed around, or one which we, there was a soccer ball, for instance. But one other one that we included and quoted in the paper is sort of really evoking feelings of stress and pressure, they said they chose a smoke alarm because I'm stable, but then when I get stressed or pressured, I give up, I get overwhelmed. So like with a smoke alarm, when there's too much heat, or smoke or gas, and then Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, it blows up. So this kind of sense of building pressure, but not being in control of that, and then kind of, yeah, explosion.
Wow. Now, you mentioned earlier that you categorize the responses into broadly behaviorist or constructivist approaches to education. And I think we see those terms, particularly constructivism get used in a dozen different ways, particularly on social media. Can we just let people know quickly? What are your sort of working definitions of behaviorist and constructivist approaches to learning in this paper?
Okay, so these are very complex fields of study. But I will make a simple comment on each to give to give a sense of where we're coming from. So behaviorism will understand learning as a change in long term memory. And it's something that happens through conditioning through operant, conditioning through stimuli. It's a stimulus response psychology model, so you get given something and you're told it's correct or incorrect, or you get rewarded or punished or whatever. And so from this bunch of external stimuli, and through practice, you learn the correct way of doing something or the correct answer to it or the correct process. And it becomes internalized and you are then able to use that correctly. So that's it that works on the idea of knowledge as discrete true things that can be learned through yes and no reinforces positive and negative reinforces. Okay, so if we think of these true statements that are yes, no learn, correct, no, correct. These kinds of ways of understanding learning are really useful when we want to measure it when we want to put when we want to find out who knows what and put it in a knowledge economy. So things like public exams, and that kind of assessment is very suited to understanding learning as a happening in this way. constructivism, on the other hand, broadly defines learning as a shift in thinking. And they position the learner as agentic in the learning process. So whilst the learning environment stimuli and the construction of learning experiences are very important, it's the learners engagement with that environment, their choice of how to navigate it, their reflection upon their discussions with other people that help construct meaning making and shared meaning making, it's often construed as a social act, learning as opposed to an internal one. So constructivism works on the tenant that you have to build knowledge that you take pieces yourself from here, and here, you put them together, you help them you make meaning from it, you make sense. And you use that. And in sort of dynamic and ongoing and reflective ways, you're permanently building up. And in that sense, there's not necessarily a point in drawing a line across it and saying, Do you know it? Now, let me test you. It's so it's less amenable to the examination assessment, it's more amenable to something like designing a product or writing an essay, or having a debate on television and recording and analyzing it, it's much more it might be about designing a really good question, as opposed to coming up with a really good answer. So it's a different kind of assessment and a different kind of look and feel to the learning experience, then behaviorism, the kids who were trying to revise so being really strategic, like it's not a bad thing, behaviorism isn't a bad constructivism isn't good. It's just that in their metaphors of how they felt themselves as learners had this really strong, divisive, affective kind of impact. And that's what's interesting.
You mentioned that the students who had more agentic metaphors tended to be a bit more enthusiastic about their learning, and the ones who had the behaviorist metaphors tend to be a bit more deflated, I think, was the term you used. Out of the 47 students you spoke to what was the sort of balance leaning in those two directions? Was it sort of a 5050? Split? Did you find more of them feeling in control, or more of them feeling deflated?
It was probably more towards the deflated end? Unfortunately, it wasn't, I wouldn't say it was, you know, 1090. Certainly, there were some lots of positive comments about learning and about enjoying learning and enjoying feeling in control of one's learning. But certainly, those themes of kind of stress and pressure and needing the input to generate the output and being worried that learning won't stay in that will fade over time. That was something that was really was quite dominant in the data set. I would say, Sam, do you want to add anything?
Yeah. So I think the usefulness of this data, I agree with Megan Megan's assessment that the there was more of the behaviorist metaphors than not, and it wasn't by a massive margin. I don't want to a centralized population, saying that these guys are particularly stressed or deflated. But I feel like what this data shows rather than patterns in a population, because it's really not a very big study, it shows that how you understand learning can really impact or how you understand what learning is, can really impact how you feel as a learner. And I think what that matters about like, why that's important, is, as teachers as teacher, educators, if we can develop a meta language about learning, that clearly says what we think learning is and how we hope learning feels and what the processes for that would look like, ah, rather than just going through and doing of the learning in particular ways that could be really fruitful for young people who are feeling really crap about it. And that's not to say that you have to abandon giving tests like that's not a pragmatic or practical thing to say, but maybe you can contextualize. Okay, yes, this is an examination, we have to jump through this. We do need to just get some answers out show how much we know to be correct. Bla bla bla bla bla, but it's just a test. What we care about is do you know what I mean? Like we can have sort of conversations about what's important in learning and if we really want people as the policy landscape hopes for to be agentic lifelong. learners, we want them to feel good about it, because otherwise, they're not going to do it as soon as they don't have to. Like, so I think that's the issue that we've uncovered is not so much that the metaphors are different, even or, but, but the fact that particular kinds of understandings of learning can lead to negative feelings, that's an important thing for educators to ponder and take forward in their pedagogy.
I mean, it sounds like a very effective way to unpack a student's, you know, that link between self perception and motivation. It sounds like you've sort of found a very effective bridge, to get them to elicit their sense of self as it relates to that motivation and engagement for learning. I suppose the question then is, in the context of your broader study, did those trending groups in the metaphors correlate with any other aspect of the data you were gathering about the students?
Yes. Sorry, it correlated struggling with the kinds of activities and the kinds of outreach that they valued, compared to the things that they did not value. So if we think about the positive metaphors around constructing learning and being active in the learning process, when they were, when we were talking with them about the outreach they'd been engaged in the things they loved, were the bits that were constructive. So the conversations with university students who were there, the physically finding things on campus, going and doing things and, you know, creating things with people, things they did not like were practice tests for that plan, things they found, like, added to what they added to their repertoire, but not expanded their knowledge with was things like, practicing exam technique and study techniques and things. So. So it did map across some of their descriptions of the things that they experienced in the outreach that went well for them. And that didn't.
And just to pick up there, just quickly, on a point related to, you know, when Sam mentioned NAPLAN, and not enjoying doing practice NAPLAN tests and things like that, or whatever it might be. And Sam also mentioned, you know, it's not practical to tell schools and teachers to well, don't do tests don't do exams. One thing that I want to pick up on is that these ideas about learning and what it is to be a learner, are coming from somewhere. And it's not, we don't think it's really just schools and teachers, we think it's probably a bigger systemic question that's behind that as well. And when we see these kinds of conflicting, not necessarily mutually exclusive, but kind of distinct ways of understanding oneself. We also see that in the kind of overarching policy scape that's sitting behind and underneath schools and students and teachers, you know, so Well, on the one hand, we have these really aspirational policy documents like the inventory declaration. Or perhaps, we can look to other examples, like the emphasis on 21st century learning that comes through from the OECD, for instance, this is much more that kind of a constructivist agentic, lifelong conceptualization of learning. But then when we see the way in which students are actually having to sort of perform day to day with things like Northland, the HSC, that is really more tailored towards an input output kind of structure of learning. So I think that there are things we could think about at a bigger, broader level, when we're trying to talk about ways in which to support students to understand themselves as learners in really positive and helpful ways.
Though, that notion that one of the things that a lot of students reported on negatively, we're having negative attitudes towards things like practice NAPLAN tests, and obviously, students are going to be encountering that kind of content in various educational contexts. Did you were you able to identify or get any understanding of why some students might have had that experience and come away from it negatively? And other students might have taken that on board and just gone? Yes, but I'm still a lifelong active learner. Is that was there something about their particular school experiences? Or was it just a quirk of their response? I guess.
So I feel like and this is I have to say, we finished this study a while ago, but my memory of this is that we didn't went on the activities that we observed and the answer views about said activities in situ that we did. So it was a mixed design. So we physically went and observed things happening and talked to people in situ as with four schools, and those four schools weren't the people that we asked the longitudinal questions of, they had experienced the same program. But it was we felt it was ethically too much for any one school or bunch of kids to have us follow them for two years and do studies with so. So we followed one set of four schools to observe what was happening and gather information and in time data, and then we did the longitudinal aspect of the story with kids who've done exactly the same activities in four comparable schools. And so in some ways, it's a little bit of a false question, because we can't really match the two data fits directly.
I don't think that we necessarily trying to say in this paper that there are students that only understand themselves in this kind of behaviorist way, or only in this kind of constructivist way, I think probably most students are drawing on different kinds of understandings of themselves at different times in different situations. And, and I don't know that we're trying to put them necessarily into a box, even though they might have given us a metaphor that leans in one direction, you know, on one particular day when we're interviewing them.
That's beautiful said, I agree. And I think thank you, I was trying to get there, but I couldn't quite get there. So I agree. And I feel like not only do people draw in different metaphors to explain different things, I think people are very pragmatic. And Megan said before strategic about what works for them in particular situations. Of course, revising and learning discrete answers, and aiming for correct and incorrect sort of differentiation in learning when you're learning to study for an exam is important, it's essential, we can't say that it's a bad thing. It's like, it's just the way the structure is kind of guiding the learner to be in that moment. And that's not to say even that they haven't experienced pedagogy from their teachers that is highly constructivist, maybe they go to classes every day and are deeply engaged in the class itself, but then have to go through this process that they're less fond of that it's more behaviors just to do the hoop jumping of the examination. So we're not pretending that behaviorism and constructivism are mutually exclusive, that they don't coexist at the policy level at the practice level, that there are structures of schooling. And there are policy structures, that privilege particular kind of understandings of what knowledge and learning are compared to others. And, and having that examination, and that discrete knowledge, that's positively reinforced privilege, so frequently seems to be having an impact on what kids think learning is full stop, that is becoming what they think learning is not what they think learning can be for life, or what they think learning could be, in other ways, shapes and forms.
I suppose another element to the way that I was thinking when I asked that question was also, is there a difference in the way that the experiences are presented in the school? Is there potentially a contextual difference that leads to a different interpretation of common experiences, of course.
But I would say, I would say even within schools between classrooms, they'll have very different experiences of, of what is expected, what learning is understood as and how they're expected to show and engage in learning in that space. So I don't for a minute, want to characterize a school as engaging in more or less of one type of pedagogy or other but we do point to some literature in the beginning of the review the literature review in the article that shows that sometimes schools that are under resourced and experience. Children with varied and high needs, such as school situated in low socio economic areas, do sometimes revert to very simple, low level behaviorist understandings of what's required, but that is, in no way universal. And I don't want to come off as saying that. Like, because we also point in the literature review to schools in those contexts who pivot and do very differently. And maybe Megan, you could talk to some of those.
Yeah, I mean, there's definitely the all of this sort of productive pedagogies research, plenty of research on sort of Turnaround Schools and things like that. So, while we do recognize that in the literature, there is a body of work that looks at some of these I suppose rates to more comfortable practices. Sometimes when schools are working in contexts with students who are experiencing various forms of disadvantage. At the same time, that doesn't mean that that's what all schools are doing. And I suppose we're also wanting to recognize there that this work of teachers in schools like that, where there are students experiencing disadvantage, is is often very challenging work. It's very highly engaged work. It's creatively and intellectually, very high level labor that they're doing. So, yeah, we certainly wouldn't characterize based on the data that we gathered any of these schools as particularly one way or the other. And that's that's the other comment that I was going to make in response to this is that we didn't see any pattern across the schools that we included in this study looking to say that no one was doing particularly different work to the other. So the kinds of patterns in metaphors that we observed were sort of similar across the different schools.
And so what do you see as the implications for these research findings for schools and education more broadly?
Well, I mean, I think that there are probably some questions to ponder, arising out of this project more so perhaps, than answers, but I suppose when we're looking at the sort of policy level, we might query whether there, there might need to be a little bit more alignment in the kinds of learning that is valued and how it's valued. And particularly kind of the distinction between talking the talk and walking the walk, perhaps, you know, there are documents that say things and then there are practices, which seem to say other things. So maybe there's some something to reflect on there. And, and more or to
be as, as the host, I can be a bit less diplomatic than you and say, you know, having a policy document that describes learning as a lifelong process, but the only thing we're going to measure you on is standardized tests that are given almost every year without, without any reprieve leads to a bit of a conflict in what's said, and what's done,
I wouldn't mind and we actually put three questions forward at the end of our paper. And I think the best answer to your question is to pose more questions. And that's not because we're being glib, it's because this is really new work. No one has come up with the fact that, that young people feel differently about themselves, depending on the kinds of metaphors of learning that map against different kinds of explanations of learning. And so there is no answer yet. But what there is, is there's really clear directions for finding out more, and we invite all our colleagues and practitioners to join us in finding out and here's the three questions. The first question is, if high school students don't see themselves as lifelong learners, if they feel themselves as deflated and stuck in this cycle of short term, impermanent learning, how can this impact or not decisions about tertiary studies? And what might this mean for university outreach programs? So, you know, if learning sucks, and feels terrible, who's going to do it forever? You know, at a fundamental level, so how can we shift understanding and feelings of what learning is, so that it is inspiring to keep doing it for the rest of your life? That's, that's one thing to think about. Another thing to think about is, well, what does that mean for university outreach programs? So if University outreach programs are just assuming that kids who are experiencing complex lives are experiencing socio economic disadvantage, need to be inspired to come? We need to be telling young people what learning is like at uni? And how much of that temporary short term in outlets just get through the exams? There is what disciplines are more geared that way than others, you know, like we need to be having really helpful conversations about is uni like school? Or is it different? In what ways? You know, and can you imagine yourself learning as a different learner in a different context? You know, and I don't know that that's a very popular route yet. For outreach. It's all about University Marketing, subjects, selection, applying scholarships, talking about what learning is like when you get there is not a large proportion of what happens in outreach programs. But it's something that the young people, yeah.
I suppose we should take a moment to pause and reflect on the implication that learning is not at the heart of recruiting people to university.
Well, I mean, I think that's probably learning in the in The technical sense, like we don't talk about how we do it, we talk about that you do do it and you get a qualification. And you'll you'll, you'll be able to do things you never could do before you can like, there's definitely that sense of learning, but not the how,
and not how is it the process of it? It's kind of just assumed, yeah,
and not how is it different to this thing you haven't enjoyed so far? Or that you don't think you like doing? So? That's an interesting question. The next question is, if teachers at school are invested in developing lifelong learners, and I'm sure we all are, what pedagogic practices might need to alter in order to shift students to this view of what it is to learn and be a learner. So how do we go about our work in such a way that learning is felt in positive ways, and that it's understood as multifaceted and Okay, partially this thing, but importantly, this thing, and so forth? And so on? How do we create learning environments and learning experiences that say, Hey, this is learning and this is the good stuff? This is the good. We want to do more of this tomorrow and the next day and in 10 years time? You know, how can we how can we do that as educators? And I think we always strive for that to be completely fair. But we must be missing the mark, a little bit of kids are running around feeling. So there's that question. And then the last question is, if teachers need to do this work, how can teacher educators, that's people like me and Megan, prepare them to do it? How can we teach about teaching in such a way that this is part of the gig, this is part of how you prepare, this is part of how you deliver. These are kind of the fun, metal languages we can put around learning to kind of create a learning environment that learners can engage with, and have these kinds of experiences that might make them think about learning in more constructive and positive ways.
So for anybody you'd like to know more, obviously, the link to the paper itself will be in the show notes for this episode. Is there anywhere else you'd recommend they go to read up on this topic?
There is in terms of constructivism and behaviorism. There's a really beautiful book that has chapters written by people from constructivist discipline, with questions from co authors who've written in the behaviors, discipline and then answers. And so it's a really nice kind of exploration into the limits and complexities of considering the world in black and white from behaviorism. And constructivism. I can't think of the name of the book right now, but I will send you the full reference and a link to our library. Yeah.
Excellent. Well, I'll make sure that title is linked in the show notes as well. Well, Megan, Sam, thank you for your time. It's been a fascinating conversation and my mind is still willing with the the possibilities of Link finding this bridge between students self perception and their motivation and enthusiasm for learning in school. So thank you very much.