Learning, then, is a process which requires action on the part of the learner to transform new information into understanding. One of the most valuable kinds of activity that supports the construction of meaning is social interaction; indeed some commentators identify discussion and dialogue as essential to learning. Mayes (1997), for example, points out that while learning is most effectively achieved through giving students tasks to perform, this itself is not sufficient. He argues that 'the missing ingredient is dialogue. The learner's developing understanding must be put to the test of other people's judgement through the medium of discussion.'
doesn't always just happen, however, and the role of the educator should involve
planning experiences which will provide the learner with opportunities
for dialogue, both with their tutor, colleagues and other practitioners, and
with fellow learners.
Last updated: Wed Aug 28 2002
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