Towards a New Theory of Learning and Development

By Patrick Bradbery.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Western education system has been criticised by Rupert Murdoch, among others, as a Nineteenth Century system failing to cope with the demands of the Twenty-first Century. Over the course of the Twentieth Century and beyond, research has revealed insights regarding the way in which humans learn. In fields as diverse as neuro-science, quantum physics, psychology, developmental theory and spirituality these insights have tumbled onto the stage.
However, few of these insights have impacted significantly on the praxis of education. There is a disturbing sameness about the way in which learning is facilitated in educational institutions and other organisations. In particular, the confusion of knowledge acquisition and memorisation with learning, and narrow conceptions of development have contributed to the situation so harshly judged by Murdoch.
In this paper, a new and more comprehensive theory of learning and development is presented. By integrating some of the insights revealed by Twentieth Century research, the process of learning is dissected and reimagined. Similarly, the process of development of the psyche is dissected and reimagined. The two are then integrated into a new theory which, among other things, takes account of the need to unlearn as part of the learning process, and the developmental nature of learning. Implications for educational praxis are discussed and recommendations made for changes in that praxis.

Keywords: Learning and Development, Educational Praxis, Unlearning to Learn, Developing as Learners

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp.221-236. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 813.774KB).

Dr. Patrick Bradbery

Adjunct Research Fellow, Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW, Australia

Patrick is currently an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Institute of Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University (CSU). Until recently, he was Director of the Professional Development Unit (PDU) in the Faculty of Business at CSU. The PDU developed and administered specialist industry based courses, both accredited and non-accredited. He has had an extensive career in business management, as well as in management education. Patrick has had a long term interest in education and learning, particularly in the context of work organisations, and their leadership and management. His doctoral thesis was on learning, development and the learning organisation.

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