1. On pg. 4 Mezirow outlines Bruner’s 4 modes of meaning making and adds a 5th for Transformation Theory. Discuss what you understand about these 5 modes of learning.
Even if those 4 modes of meaning making may sound abstract they are probably the keys of a good understanding and learning. The first mode consist on the interpretation in the process of making a meaning, we have to shape the meaning by interpretating it, but while we are doing it we have to take into account the context or the taking actions as the second mode says “ the relating events,utterances and behaviour…”. After contextualizing and interpretating the meaning we should make propositions taking into account the normative context named in the 4th mode. The 5th mode of learning talks about our expectations and assumptions, basically what we expect to obtain with the learning process.
The learning proccess is most of the times seen as a very simple thing, that we already know , therefore we do not pay much attention to it. But the true is that most of us do not know how to learn properly, understanding learning as a proccess of obtaining new information but also as the proccess of creating it. Sometimes we are not able to interpretate some specific meanings or to create our own coherent ideas, we are just content with generalized beliefs.
2. On pg. 8 (final two paragraphs) Mezirow discusses the focus of Transformation Theory. Discuss what you understand by this.
The Transformation Theory is a tool to the good way of decision making as a cohenrent and self-suficient adult. It consist of a clear thinking activity in which we rule out the general beliefs, meanings, feelings, etc. to create our owns in a ritical way.
This transfomative learning consists of two dimensions, the individual one and the social one. It distinguhes the general social and cultural canons , for our own knowledge.
3. Define in your own words instrumental and communicative
learning (see pgs. 8 -10).
Instrumental learning is the practical skills we have to solves problems and to handle and specific situation. While the communicative learning, is to understand what the others are saying but not just in a literally way but also taking into account their feelings, metaphorical meanings, the context, etc.
4. What do you understand by Reflective Discourse? What is needed for effective participation in such discourse? (see pgs. 10-16).
The Reflective Discourse it’s a dialogue to attain an agreement between the participants od the Discourse. Each participant expresses his opinion freely always respecting and tolerating others beliefs. The aim of this Discourse is not winning but finding an agreement, trying to understand other participnts points of view.
To participate in such a discourse the members must have accurate information of the topic, opennes to alternative points of view, ability to weight the arguments presented and willingness to obtain an agreement.
5. What do you understand by ‘frame of reference’ and how does this relate to transformations and critical reflection? (pgs. 16-24).
By “ frame of reference” I understand the way we perceive the reality, the way we understand it. In the frame of reference our own experience plays a big role, because when we try to interpretate something we always compare it with previous situations, so as to understand it. The frame of reference is compond by two different dimensions, the habits of mine, the assumptions and the points of view, which are the way to expressed the habits of mine.
Transformation is closelly related to the “frame of reference”, since we transform frames of references by our own experience, assumptions, habits of mine or points of view that may be ethical, cultural, psychological, etc. We also transform the “frame of reference” by the critical reflection, we may become critical at some point and hange our mind, but for that we will need to justify our new perspective through a contended discourse. Critical reflection consist of making critical question to ourself, so as to improve.
6. What are your opinions towards Mezirow’s views on autonomy? (see pgs. 26-31).
My opinion is that autonomous thinking is a very important skill, since it allows us to keep away from the general beliefs and to think and learn critically, to take important decisions, etc.
Therefore I agree with Mezirow`s in his explanation of the autonomy.
7. What, for you, are the main issues in this article, and how can you apply these to this module?
From my point of view, the main issues in this article are the critical thinking and the Transformation Theory. We can apply those issuis to this modules in different ways, for example , when looking for tools to our independent language learning we need to be autonomous and critical with the material we use, we also have to learn how to take important decisions. On the other hand, we are supposed to argument properly while discussing different issues in class or while writting for our blogs.