The Brain-Mind Cycle of Reflection
by Ashgar Iran-Nejad & Madeleine Gregg - 2001
Educational researchers and practitioners agree that schooling must push beyond memorization into the realm of critical reflection. A model that facilitates instruction beyond the didactic approach, the input-elaboration-output model of constructive memory, has been used by many to describe the process of critical reflection. However, the current hegemony of this model has dampened the exploration, slowed the development, and limited the adoption (or even the consideration) of other perspectives. This paper discusses a theory of thinking, learning, and schooling based on recent developments in biofunctional cognition. At the heart of the theory is the notion that the brain-awareness-mind cycle, not the input-elaboration-output sequence, directly represents the natural course of human reflection. It is argued that what makes this brain-mind cycle of reflection possible is intuitive self-awareness. According to this theory, learning is best viewed not as the internalization of external knowledge but as wholetheme reorganization of the learner's own intuitive knowledge base. The application of the theory is illustrated with data from an experimental teacher education program.
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