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Title: Reconceiving learning in further education : a Wittgensteinian perspective
Author: Guy, Catherine
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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As Manager of Northern Ireland's Regional Support Centre, the author has the role of supporting further educational colleges in their implementation of blended learning. Blended learning is the first research theme in this dissertation. The author's Doctorate in Education studies have played a determining role in her approach to "selling" blended learning to college lecturers. This research began in the search for a "theory" of blended learning but quickly became a preoccupation with learning in its widest sense. The dissertation uses the later philosophy of Wittgenstein to demonstrate that learning is characterised by a first-person/third-person asymmetry. While third-person ascriptions of learning are based on criteria, this is not the case for first-person ascriptions. When this approach to learning is applied to the cognitivism which underpins contemporary blended learning, it is revealed to be a theoretical. In addition, claims that software can personalise learning by tailoring learning experiences to the individual are questioned. While this takes nothing away from the immense value of blended learning, the blend of ICT-mediated personalised teaching and learning and the focus on developing higher order skills in face-to-face interactions with college lecturers cannot be incorporated into a coherent learning theory. The second research theme was to critique the deep-seated contrast between academic learning (in subjects like mathematics, history, physics) and the vocational learning that takes place in further education colleges. The dissertation claims that what is perceived as a difference in kind is merely one of degree. The author traces the enduring appeal of the erroneous notion that while academic learning is concerned with the "in here" (the intellectual processes located in the mind), vocational education concerns the "out there" (the practical activities located in the physical world) to a mistaken picture of the relation between inner and outer.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available