Re: ME:Lave article: Teaching is not necessary for learning

From: Eugene Matusov
Submit: Post Message
Date: 11 Oct 1996
Time: 23:14:00


Hi Annie--

You wrote, "A particular quote from the Lave article fascinated me. "Teaching is neither necessary nor sufficient to produce learning..." I didn't read the article myself and was wondering if someone who did could expand on that for me and offer your thoughts. "

This is a very important point that Lave developed over years. Lave makes interesting analysis to show that learning is not a special activity itself. The idea is that learning is an ASPECTof any activity and always occurs.

Students may learn not what the teachers want them to learn but the students always learn. For example, during a boring lesson, a student may learn how to spend time or entertain him or herself, or how to "smuggle" illegitimate activity, or how to pretend to be listening, or how to communicate with friends so the teacher can't see.

Lave argues that researchers should shift their attention from the question of whether students learn or not to the question what they learn and why this specific learning content occurs and relevant for the students. Lave distinguish between teaching curriculum (what the teacher tries to teach) and learning curriculum (what student learns).

Let me know if you (or other students) want me expand or have further questions.