I must admit, I’m uncertain as to what learning is. For me, learning has always seemed too complex to try and describe in simplistic terms and/or with highly reductive measurements–and I would say the same about teaching. To attempt to define learning solely in these ways not only does a sizable disservice to this thing we call learning, but also to those–namely teachers and students–we expect to routinely engage in it. Another way of saying this is that I’m less interested in what learning is and much more enthusiastic about what learners do. Toward these ends, I am drawn to accounts of what one might call ‘learning in action.’ In other words, I’m particularly drawn to so-called rich or thick descriptions of learners–whether they be scientists, mathematicians, historians, or students of these different disciplines–engaged in the complex, multifaceted, and often messy process of learning.
Among some of the more interesting accounts of learning I’ve been reading lately include: