We construct who we are by constructing who we are when we learn.

one bird walking on seashells.
one bird walking on seashells.

Our experience of constructing meaning or constructing knowledge is our experience of using experience as that which constructs meaning or knowledge. We construct meaning by constructing mental representations of that which has or is meaning to us. We are the sum interpretation of our experiences. This is not saying that nature plays no part in our intellectual development because nature does play a part, but this part as pertains to nature is more about the statistical frequency of certain outcomes increasing in probability of occurrence the more so that the environment predisposes that nature to come to the forefront to influence nurture or experiences. Learning as an experience through knowledge construction implies an active participation on the part of the learner as the object of self-directed learning experiences. We construct who we are by constructing who we are when we learn.

Learning through response-strengthening is more suited to behavioral modification rather than as a kind of semantic modification where one learns by the strength or weaknesses of the associations between what one learns as to the strength or weakness of what one knows. An example of this is that a child can learn and use 50 times the wrong word as the linguistic approximation of a certain kind of meaning, but it only takes one time of learning the right word to undo the 50 times of reinforcing the use of the wrong word. Learning such as through information-acquisition presents a rigid cookie-cutter kind of view as to how we cognitively process information. It suggests that our cognitive architecture is so fixed that if we just find the right way of presenting information in a preconfigured way conducive to learning, the discrete and quantized information will almost cause us to learn. This suggests that we can learn and apply information without any context of background learning and without any prior associations in memory to guide future associations of meaning between what we have already learned and what we are learning. This is learning without taking into account what has the learner already learned? An example perhaps might be the foreign exchange student as an Eskimo from Greenland who is learning about deserts in the Middle East but has never seen, experienced, or learned about sand prior to this learning about deserts.

Birds sitting on the ends of wood posts.
Birds sitting on the ends of wood posts.

The learner-centered approach structures the experience of our learning as we as learners are central to that which we learn. This is the difference between learner-centered approaches and technology-centered approaches. Technology-centered approaches are the presentations of meaning using technology made less effective in that the presentation of meaning is mediated by our need to adapt our experience of learning to the vehicle of technology presenting the learning we experience. Our experience of our learning is the same as the learning we experience. The technology-centered approach structures the experience of our learning as a technology-centered experience we learn. There is nothing wrong with using technology to learn, but the nuance of meaning here is about moving our consciousness from our distracted awareness of the medium being used to deliver learning to another kind of awareness wherein we are consciously absorbed by the experience of learning. The first method is much less effective as it teaches us more about experiencing technology than it teaches us about how we experience learning. We experience learning when we experience how we learn. The most effective learner-centered approaches are multimedia presentations of meaning using physical objects or their representations in concert with our linguistic perceptions, that our perceptions of their attributes might be modeled by our neurons connecting together memories of each sense modality associated with our experience of the objects in the multimedia presentations. Experiences that engage more of our senses in learning and learning that engages more of our consciousness in experiencing the construction of learning through our senses, is the experience of learning centered on the learner. This empiricist construction of meaning is the original construction of meaning whereby we learn reality. The multimedia presentation of life.

For more in-depth reading on the implications of constructing meaning through our experiences of learning, one may click the portfolio link below to access a larger paper written concerning this subject.

Bias is the Belief We Already Know all the Information We Need to Know