"If the purpose of teaching is to promote learning, then we need to askwhat we mean by that term. Here I become passionate. I want to talk aboutlearning. But not the lifeless, sterile, futile, quickly forgotten stuff that iscrammed into the mind of the poor helpless individual tied into his or her seatby ironclad bonds of conformity!" - Carl Rogers
Rogers (1983) views learning as an insatiable curiosity that can be dividedinto two general types, along a continuum of meaning. These two types oflearning are NONSENSE SYLLABLE LEARNING and MEANINGFUL, EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING.
1. Nonsense syllable learning: This type of learning simply entails rotememorization of facts and information. Rogers sees this as a difficult task, aslearners are not truly learning, they are merely memorizing "stuff"for a test. Therefore, stuff learned from this type of learning is oftenforgotten quickly. Furthermore, students often fail to see the larger picturewhen they are required to simply learn facts. Subsequently, the information isperceived as meaningless. "Thus, education becomes a futile attempt tolearn material that has no personal meaning. Such learning involves mind only.It is learning that takes place from the neck up. It does not involve feelingsor personal meanings; it has no relevance for the whole person" (Rogers,1983).
2. Meaningful, experiential learning: Although this may be a ratheregregious example, Rogers (1983) uses the example of a toddler touching a warmradiator to illustrate the essence of this learning type. That is, when thetoddler touches the warm radiator, he or she learns for him or herself the truemeaning of the word "hot." As a result, he or she has learned a futurecaution in regard to all similar radiators; and has absorbed these learnings ina meaningful and experiential manner such that they will not be forgotten anytime soon.
In short, Rogers (1983) emphasized that learning required this experientialcomponent. Rogers argued that in order to truly learn, an individual must engagein whole-person learning. Traditionally, learning has only focused on thecognitive dimension of learning, or left-brain learning. Thus, Rogers believedthat in order to really learn, a person must utilize the right-rain as well. Inthe words of Carl Rogers (1983), "Significant learning combines the logical[left-brain activity, LBA] and the intuitive [right-brain activity, RBA], theintellect [LBA] and the feelings [RBA], the concept [LBA] and the experience[RBA], the idea [LBA] and the meaning [RBA]. When we learn in that way, we arewhole, utilizing all our masculine and feminine capacities."
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