Learning and Teaching in Post Compulsory Education


During this module many learning experiences have been covered which have practical relevance to my job as a Lecturer at Hartpury College. From the great many theories covered so far on the course, I have selected two that have direct relevance to my teaching experiences this year. I have also been able to relate my experiences as a ‘learner’ to these theories in order to get a well-rounded appreciation of their practical implications.

The two areas to be covered are:
• The Role of Language and Learning
• Surface and Deep Learning

The Role of Language and Learning
Walklin (1990:165) defines language as:

‘The characteristic feature of communication and is the means by which thought processes are manifested. Languages are sets of rules, and the application of these rules makes possible the formation and understanding of sentences. If the rules are known and the appropriate vocabulary available to listeners, then they will be able to interpret sentences that they have never heard before. Similarly, they will be able to assemble words in a form that will be readily understood by others with access to the same language’.

During my time studying at both comprehensive school and university I was subjected to lessons taught in a manner which generally began with a fairly simple introduction to the subject, followed by an explanation of the more technical aspects as the lesson progressed. During this progressive stage I often found that I was unable to follow the concept to its conclusion because the vocabulary being used eventually progressed beyond my level of understanding. This was a definite barrier to my learning; even a couple of words that I could not comprehend would off-set my understanding, leaving me frustrated and confused.

Looking at this issue from the other side in my current role as a teacher, I have taken on board my experiences and tried to alter my language accordingly. It is tempting, especially as a new teacher who...