Supporting Humanistic Learning Experiences through Learning with Technology

By Li Zhou.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Learning as a highly complex human productivity has been defined differently by various learning theories, such as behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, and humanism. Most learning theories focus their descriptions of learning on the questions of what learning is and how learning takes place and treat learners as the instrument of their learning: as the receiver, the processor, or the builder of knowledge. While these theories provide valid descriptions and explanations of learning, only humanistic theories attend to the most essential issues of learning: the reciprocal relationships between learning and learners and the reciprocal relationship between individual actualization and social transformation.

In the past two decades, learning with computer technology has brought seemingly unlimited potential for a learning revolution and new learning environments. Many traditional practices are facing serious challenges as whether they lead to meaningful learning. Although advancement in technology and research on learning has led to increased emphasis on the learners’ individual experiences and social reality as the foundation of learning, these learning-centered approaches still fail to provide learners with holistic learning experiences beyond merely academic and professional success: that such success as part of the process of their personal actualization and the transformation of the society. In readdressing the significance of learning as an empowering experience of the learners and as the foundation of social transformation, we argue for a pedagogy that supports the humanistic learning experience through holistic learning and learning with technology. Through curriculum and pedagogical adaptations, we believe significant changes can be made in students’ learning experiences at both individual and social levels. In this paper we revisit humanistic learning theories and share our limited but focused experiences of supporting our students’ humanistic learning experiences through learning with technology.

Keywords: Learning, Learning Theories, Humanistic Learning, Holistic Learning, Technology

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 13, Issue 11, pp.131-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 870.791KB).

Dr. Li Zhou

Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Department of Early Childhood Education, Ohio University_Zanesville, USA

Dr. Li Zhou is assistant professor of early childhood education at Ohio University_Zanesville. She received her B.A. in English from Sichuan Foreign Languages Institutes in 1982, M.A. in TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1994, and Ed.D. in elementary education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Dr. Zhou worked as an English instructor at Sichuan Teachers University from 1987 to 1992; as an instructor in the Department of Professional Studies of Elementary Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 1999 to 2001. She is currently teaching at Ohio University-Zanesville. Dr. Zhou also worked briefly as an elementary teacher in China and as computer lab instructor at the University School of Indiana University of Pennsylvania when she was working at her doctor's degree. Dr. Zhou's research interests include learning and learning theories, and impact of computer technology in education.

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