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Re: Re: would appreciate a rejoinder

Posted By: Angus Mcmurtry on August 24, 2015
Dear Dr. Chew,

Thank you for your considered response. I can’t claim to understand all of it, not having a background in neuroscience. But the phrase “every behaviour of the student can be mapped as biochemical or physiological activity of a fairly specific sort” caught my attention. I certainly agree that learning and behaviour involves measurable physiological changes. I just disagree with the idea that this should necessarily be described as acquiring and processing information — as if our heads are cabinets or computers into which files from the outside world are placed, processed and represented.

When we learn a sport, for example, our muscles, brain and other parts of our nervous systems no doubt reorganize themselves to be able to cope with that activity. But that does not mean that our muscles and nervous system are primarily acquiring, processing or representing information about the ball, racket or dumbbell that we are interacting with. I believe that the same could be said about learning to speak, write or do math. No ‘information particles’ or other things are transmitted from the outside world and then stored or processed in our head. Rather, we reorganize ourselves including our thinking to be able to cope with that activity.

I therefore prefer more metaphors like construction/construal, adaptation and evolution to the mechanical metaphors used in behaviourism and information processing.

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 would appreciate a rejoinder by Angus Mcmurtry on August 18, 2015
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