Minimalistic Learning Principles

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Andrew Lian: For many years, I have been trying to discover/find/identify/create minimal principles for learning/teaching. Am I getting close?

  1. Respect the learners’ meaning-making mechanisms.
  2. Find ways of making the learners aware of the characteristics of the new signals.
  3. Find ways of refining newly-perceived signals so as to make them usable.

NB. “Making the learners aware” does not, of itself, imply the intervention of an external party (e.g. a teacher) in the process. Learners may be able to find ways to make themselves aware of characteristics of signals or else they can use awareness-raising approaches and resources developed by others.

Of course, the detail of how one may achieve this can be very complicated but if we remember these principles then we have a clear path.

Note that the signals referred to here are not necessarily physical, e.g. a sound or a colour, but might include an idea or a way of thinking. Signal-manipulation can take many forms, ranging from discursive approaches like telling the listener to notice something, to actual physical transformation of the signal like digital filtering. This process is a form of awareness-raising (Gattegno, 1987; Lian, 1987; Mason, 1998; Schmidt, 2012) and, […] it is a central component of the act of learning and, therefore, teaching

Based on:

Lian, A.-P., & Sussex, R. D. (2018). Toward a critical epistemology for learning languages and cultures in 21st century Asia. In Andy Curtis and Roland Sussex (Eds), Intercultural communication in Asia: Education, language and values. Proceedings of the Third Macao International Forum, 15-19 December 2014, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao. Berlin and London: Springer Verlag.