April 17, 2008
Baraka: An example of sociocultural learning approach
I recently brushed up on the learning theories through the video series at https://masielearning.pbwiki.com/theory . As a followup to my own adult learning experience, I wanted to encourage my own higher level functions of assimilation, observation and integration to play with the concepts under the three theories: Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Socioculturism as laid out by Stanton Wortham of UPenn.
Tonight we had a family over for dinner and we watched the silent movie Baraka. If you dont know Baraka, you wont need to do much searching before finding more about this thought provoking, visual treat spanning 24 countries. It has no dialog, no narration, no captions or subtitles. Just rousing music and moving images.
As the camera showed up scenes from Brazilian slums, Indian scavenging grounds and Grand Central station, all the four adults engaged each other in a learning experience where everyone came out richer.
Two of us had lightly better general information about the context in which the scenes were shown. In a silent documentary, all four of us became narrators and educators. The scenes ranged from common sterotypes to rare nooks of earth which tested our knowledge. The air was thick with interpretation and the experience more interactive than any other before.
At the end, I strongly felt that this experience qualifies as a top notch sociocultural learning experience marked by the following characteristics:
1. Contextual interpretation
2. Richness of symbolism through noises, patters and color
3. Body of knowledge depending on the sum of the mings of us four viewers, the sum being greater than anything we could accomplish in isolation.
4. Guiding each other through blond spots and working like a team of sailors who are collectively responsible for positioning a battleship on the waters (to use Wortham's metaphor).
I could clearly see that the most efficient adult learning can happen under the flag of sociocultural active learning.
Posted by rdivecha at April 17, 2008 11:55 PM