ART and ORGANISM
- CONNECTIONS CREATE, CONNECTIONS CHANGE (Phenomena have MEANING to the extent they are CONNECTED; they can alter the way in which cognitive processes (such as those in ART and SCIENCE) are coordinated)
- TEACHABLE MOMENTS, at ther most extreme are EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES engendered by a PERFECT STORM: a SYNERGY of CIRCUMSTANCES
- CHANGE (all change involves connections and all changes in connection involve STRESS; the balance between disintegration and renewal) These have meaning to the extent they are COMMUNICATED.
- COMMUNICATION (…involves CREATING CONNECTIONS within and between individuals) information must be transmitted. When information is communicated within or between levels of organization (as in within or between individuals) and coordinated with change, learning occurs. Communication involves transmitting and receiving information. Sounds like “teaching” and “learning.”
- TEACHING/LEARNING (learning involves coping with STRESS; resolving cognitive dissonance; error detection and correction))
- TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING (some learning experiences are deeply affecting and we move from KNOWING to REALIZING)
All moments are teachable–opportunities for experiences that change subsequent behavior. But learning experiences are quite variable and range from the establishing of a trivial connection through a deeply affecting change. New information can reinforce established connections (Piaget’s “assimilation”) or trigger quite new ones (“accomodation”). the deepest experiences have a conspicuous emotional element. The “infovore’s feast” (we are more or less passionate infovores). It is the AHA! or EUREKA! moment in which loose ends you might not have been aware of become woven together. Beyond a mundane learning experience–it is TRANSFORMATIVE.
As teachers (and we all teach each other) can we hope to create TEACHABLE MOMENTS during which TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING is possible? [Phenomenologically-informed, We argue “yes!”] [more about this at the A&O webpage on The Transformative Learning Experience]
In many respects the teachable moment occurs when one is in THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME (to use a more familiar and intuitive term ) This is reflected in the abundant discussions of innate/acquired (instinct/learning) amongst ethologists
Of course, the windows of opportunity—sensitive periods, in ethology—for a learning experience—even a very rapid learning experience—vary with age (brain maturation) and experience such that a profound influence at one age may be impotent at another. A good ethological model for neuro/behavioral plasticity might be the changes in sensitivity of some nestling birds to shadows of overflying birds in evoking an alarm response—the hawk/goose effect. –what is innate may be the possibility of making a connection, but that can only be provided by experience.