Whenever a person thinks or speaks about learning he or she over and over again resorts to metaphor. A metaphor puts forward a correspondence particular aspect amid two extremely dissimilar kinds of things (Nonaka, 1991). However, it is worth making a note of that although the metaphor focuses at least one feature in which the two dissimilar things are similar though many feature will be dissimilar. Participation metaphor of learning looks at learning as a progression of contributing in a range of cultural practices and shared learning. Considering the learning and the learners in connection with organizations such as bees in the beehive, fireflies that flies in synchronicity, and a flock of birds as my learning metaphor, I tend to think collective and individual learning as same as this.
As they bees work in their beehives learning happens as they participate on what others are doing. When a bee initiate in cleaning the beehive the other bees use their common sense and they follow the first bee. As a result the bees who did not know how to clean the beehive will learn how to clean in the process of participating. However this get refereed to as situated learning as points learning as being exceedingly appropriate, making it indissoluble from its social –cultural environment (Piaget, 1997). The individual bees that learn through participation get subsumed in the social construction of the bees that have made the bee to learn. In the context of bees in the hive, learning is a social construction, a position of complicated practices, which experience incessant alteration. In the beehive the bee is regarded as learning when it vigorously involve itself in, and slowly included into this set of complicated social practices.
The learning bees in the hive continuously improve their learned skills from inconsequentiality in practice to superior distinction as they increase their involvement on the activities done in the hive (Nonaka, 1991). Increased involvement makes the learning bee to move from rightful tangential involvement to full involvement in a preexisting practice.
The relation of the individual bee and the entire group is mutual. Whatever the individual bee learns gets shared to the entire group through introduction in their daily activities. However, the larger group on the other side benefits the individual bee through training it the new concepts that have been acquired. The group provide the individual bee with conducive environment for learning because through their in interactions as they do their work in beehive. Moreover, all the bees are learning collectively from their real world which at most time is in the beehive.
As the bees interact and from each other in the beehive they acquire the some same feature and characteristics that make them behave likely as they apply the skills acquired. The bees will practice cleaning of the beehive in the same way and in the same precision. Additionally, the bees will have beehive in same way when moving from one beehive to another. Since the entire beehive will have acquired the same skills from one another, all the social bees in that hive will have the same social and cultural behaviors in their lives unless they are trained otherwise.
Though the bees are different from human being their individual learning and collective learning have some similarity. Although human learning of physical skill is mostly controlled by the common sense they still have some similarity with learning in the beehive. In a human social group individual learning is more or less like that of bees in the beehive. Individual acquires knowledge intrinsically or through learning from other members of the group. The skills acquired are shared by the individual to the other members of the group through involvement to the activities involved in that skill. For instance, if a group of people involves a group of people who don’t have knowledge on how to make television, and one of the members acquire the skill else where, the acquired skills can be learned by the other members by involve themselves in making of television with the person with the skill. Though individual learning may be intrinsically developed, the learner may utilize common sense to acquire some skills.
On the other hand, the individual may learn from the group. The individual may become a learner by participating on the activities that group gets involved on. The learner acquires the social and cultural practice of the group. Since learning is incessant, construction is potentially an ever rising development (Nonaka, 1991). Therefore though the metaphor may indicate that bees in the beehive and individuals in a group or class acquire skills in the same way, the diverse is that constructivism points the learning circumstance as an external container, of trivial importance for the learning. As a result, constructivism emphasizes on contexts remaining same as the individual changes. It also states that the content of learning differ from individual to individual since every person constructs his or her own meticulous only one of its kind comprehending.
In the classroom learning can be taken same as learning taking place in the beehive particularly on the collective learning. Collective learning being the learning acquired using the real world thing can get acquired by the participation of the activities that are being done by other individuals in class (Nonaka, 1991). However, individuals can not acquire same level skills as they have different understanding level. Collective learning in the classroom can be more same like that of the bees in the beehive as both of them acquire the skills through their surrounding. However, the individual learning differs a lot as every individual has a different level of understanding.
It is clear that thinking about learner and learning as a metaphor of bees in the beehive or a flock of fling bees have some similarities. However it is clear that similarities are less compared to their different. Although, there cannot be similarity of learning of bees in the beehive and learners in the classroom, the context is same in one way or another. The learning theories involved in collective learning contradicts with those of individual learning. The learners utilize both intrinsic and intrinsic skills and common sense in their learning making them to construct a unique context from every individual. Therefore, though the metaphor can be used in teaching it can deceive those who think that the beehive and classroom are same and bees and learners are similar.
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