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PSA notes that learning is a complex, if innate, human undertaking. As we strive to tearn how best to make tools that enable learning using cloud applications, and social learning constructs etc, there’s a sort of virtuous circle of assembling the necessary parts. One supports the next, as we move around the structure…in a circle, or perhaps a spiral? So it’s not really smart to “privilege” one of the 7 core elements, as all are necessary, but Narrative and story telling, identity formation and assessment, and  cognition is a big chunk.

Here’s an Atlantic article on this topic:

In the realm of narrative psychology, a person’s life story is not a Wikipedia biography of the facts and events of a life, but rather the way a person integrates those facts and events internally—picks them apart and weaves them back together to make meaning. This narrative becomes a form of identity, in which the things someone chooses to include in the story, and the way she tells it, can both reflect and shape who she is.  A life story doesn’t just say what happened, it says why it was important, what it means for who the person is, for who they’ll become, and for what happens next.


Almost all healthy adults are able to construct a narrative of their past—it seems to be one of humanity’s innate skills. “The default mode of human cognition is a narrative mode,” Jonathan Adler, an assistant professor of psychology at Olin College of Engineering told me when I interviewed him about this.

One ponders whether “Formative Assessment”…the just in time curation of how a learner is doing with the material, is also a form of narrative? It certainly has something to do with the individual’s identity…those with a confident identity for learning, will take setbacks working with learning programs in stride, and gain from just in time assessment, while others will give up without immediate success.

Unless there’s a good narrative in place, where the turtle eventually wins the race.


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