Aldous Huxley: The student experience #1


I believe that a student’s experience is important for their holistic sense of well-being attainment and progression. A sense of place, value is important. Ian experience that can challenge strengthen and broaden the mind. These would be set or series of events activities and engagements with others. In less vague and basic terms, I consider a student experience of trying things new, forming and developing good relationships with a wide range of people from peers, tutors and staff that form the community of the university environment to outside agencies and networks. New collaboration and new discoveries are important. A sense of value for a student is important. For a sense of self within their identity and personal investment towards their future.  Experience good or bad is character building. In terms of education the bad should be the mistakes that we make through the learning process of trial and error rather than a negative experience of an injustice or inequality that results in negative impact on a student experience.  ‘The  room of silence’ is an example of lack of inclusive intellect I had commented on in a previous blog. There are many great people who have taken their experience to make a change, share and inspire others.

Aldous Huxley (1932) said that experience is what you do with what happens to you. Do you agree? What does this mean for the student experience? You might want to think about the following, either from your perspective or your students’:

  1. What role does our personal history play in our experience of learning?
    Each person’s personal history is different obviously. Some maybe from a position of privilege, power or poverty. It all depends on the encounters we have with others and personal viewpoints of what we have been shown, influenced by, taught and drawn upon our own conclusions. History of our own upbringing, cultural and political has an impact on our experience and informs how we learn. Previous educational experiences in the primary and secondary school classroom had determined my outlook of where I had wanted go.  Our own educational and work experiences allows provides both armoury and tools for learning. being reflective we can assess look at how we learn and also be aware of and consider that we all learn in different ways.
  2. What do we do with what we learn?
    Hopefully what we learn to good use; to improve our lives an those of others. Naturally I believe peoples dialogic nature to share what they learn with others either in conversation or premeditated teaching. As an artist and educator my role is to share or put what I have learnt into positive action. Sharing skills of what and techniques of my practice and information of things that I have learned and experienced along the way.
  3. What are the risks in encountering new ways of thinking, being and making?
    The risks are is the new way of thinking being the right approach. Who’s new ways of thinking would we be adopting? The question to ask here is that could a new way of thinking do any potential harm or damage? Could it therefore marginalise or exclude others  Then, there is a new way of thinking to prevent such harm. New ways of thinking in education can be adopted for improvements and some would argue for social conditioning. The timeline of learning theories video  of educational practices examples many theories that I have recognise on the political merry go round

    of education reforms and restructure.Philosophical methods of teaching employed into revised new ideals from Socratic seminars (something I do like to use), blooms taxonomy to Social Economical Aspects of learning. The politics surrounding new ideas then can be harmful if not dealt with properly thinking of my reading of Nixon referring to………
    Reading bell hooks, Freire and Vygotsky as well as reference the likes of Ken Robinson informs ideas towards new practices. Encountering new ways of thinking is however necessary in order to keep up with an ever-changing merging world of ideas. Technology lends heavily to how we approach new ways of thinking alongside inclusive practice for learning and teaching.
  4. How does learning change the way we experience ourselves?
    I find I am learning when I start to question more. So how we experience ourselves can depend on how we deal with things that we not only didn’t know but challenged by the things that we thought we knew. Learning through the action of experience is what can bind our knowledge. Students are to be encouraged to question,  research and not to simply believe what is told.

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