First Reflection

Well now that I am in, my password reset (again), and my design picked (even though I will most likely change it because I am indecisive like that) I can reflect.  Well, before I reflect I must say that I am not as good at this blogging thing as I thought I would be because I just noticed I gave it the wrong name.  I will work on fixing that.  Back to the topic at hand, it is not very often that I allow myself time for reflection so this should be fun…In class we began to discuss some of the various theories of adult learning and I must say, I think I am liking the cognitive learning theory but I have lots of questions.  I love the idea that your mind is active, not passive in learning (or it should be anyway).  Love schema theory, the idea that we create scripts or schemas for ourselves that help us make sense of things.  I understand how someone that is an “expert” has developed the ability to organize their knowledge in a way that is easy to retrieve based on the patterns or schema they have created in their mind and the way they can retrieve that information in a way that uses as little effort as possible.  My big question is can anyone become an expert at something or do some posses some sort of predilection based on their IQ or genetics or something else?  I am trying to think of something I am expert at and I just can’t…does this mean that I do not have the ability to become expert or have I just not worked hard enough at something?  I will keep working on that I guess.  Having a broad set of schemas and having them organized a certain way makes an “expert” but is this always such a good thing?  Does it close ourselves off from coming up with new solutions or thinking of new ideas, or a better way to organize our knowledge?  I am reading a book right now, How Doctor’s think” by Dr. Jerome Groopman.  The book discusses some of the cognitive errors Doctors make in treating and diagnosing their patients.  One of the common cognitive errors that can occur come from the schemas doctors create.  They have seen this or that before so they sometime are quick to make the diagnosis and move on.  The good doctors, Dr. Goopman says, are aware of these types of cognitive errors and work to avoid them.  But have they just made a new schema for that thus becoming even more expert?  I don’t know??  Anyway, I think the book is a great read and fits in quite naturally.  Looks at learning in a very specific field but a lot of the same themes seem to be there!   

A must read: