Integrative learning and technoculture: what’s at stake?

Cronin, James, Blackshields, Daniel and Nyhan, Julianne (2011) Integrative learning and technoculture: what’s at stake? [Conference Proceedings]


Alvin Toffler (b. 1928), asserts that the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Toffler asserts the primacy of flexible learning for this century. Howard Gardner (2010) stressed that the synthesizing mind will be the most important mind for the 21st century. He suggests that we need to re-think the way we think, and by implication how we learn and teach. Interdisciplinary, transliteracy and integrative learning place emphasis on overcoming inhibitions and making connections between disciplines and fields. Integrative learning theory is rooted in many other learning theories, including, constructivism, project-based learning, and multiple intelligences theory. It distills those theories down to the following salient points: acknowledging learning diversity; student-centered and student-driven learning; authentic learning experiences; authentic assessment both to the learner and to the world around them. Advocates of integrative learning aspire to promote attitudes of mind which foster self-authorship and a lifelong engagement with learning. Such attitudes are greatly needed in contemporary technoculture. Facilitators need to remain flexible in order to support the development of this attitude of mind. To date the scholarly literature on integrative learning has largely focused on addressing issues from students' perspectives. By contrast, issues of integrative learning from teachers' perspectives have received sparse attention in the SoTL literature. Yet, the educational psychology literature emphasises the fundamental role of the facilitator in the promotion of deep learning. Emerging issues, discussed in the literature on integrative learning, teaching and collaborative practices, include: institutional support structures; disciplinary language; openness to difference and reassessing disciplinary boundaries. Drawing from collaborative studies on fostering visible thinking in Continuing Education, Economics, History of Art in Cork and Digital Humanities in Trier, this paper asks: for facilitators fostering integrative learning what is at stake?

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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