Going Around in Circles

February 03, 2015  •  1 Comment

 

About a decade ago while I was teaching piano, a friend introduced me to the concept of circular learning. Prior to this, I had a more linear understanding of both teaching and learning.

The linear concept, for the theory of learning, is that once you have learned something you move onto the next step or level and continue to do so until you have mastered your art or skill.

When we look at circular learning, we realize that while we do learn a core set of skills, we often circle back and learn them again in a different light.

In math, I might learn the one apple plus one apple equals two apples. But then I get an orange and may have to relearn that the concept that applied to the apples applies to the orange, so one orange plus one orange equals two oranges.

Once I have generalized this knowledge, I can move onto applying this to two of any object until someone hands me one orange and one apple. I don’t have two apples. I don’t have two oranges, but I do still have two. So I learn that one apple and one orange equals two fruit.

 And for years, I apply the one plus one principal and am happy doing so. I feel very confident I have mastered the skill, till the day I walk into a classroom and my math teacher puts up a problem that looks like this: x + 1 = 2. What is the value of x?

Nothing has actually changed in this situation, except how I see the concept of one plus one equaling two.

This understanding of circular learning has helped me accept that no matter how well I know a subject, going back to the basics may bring me to a new and better understanding.

You can apply this to reading a book. If you read any book when you are in middle school and again when you are in college and yet again when you are an adult, your understanding of the book will significantly shift. The same is true for viewing a movie. Life experience and other knowledge will significantly change the perspective and the nuances of the story.

Embracing this concept has opened a whole new attitude in learning from me.  I now accept that even though the material hasn’t changed, I may have changed and with it my understanding. This has made me a far better student. I am now able to take a second look at something I think I know and both confirm the knowledge I have while often seeing it from a new perspective.

Like many photographers, I have been taking photos for a long time. I got my first Kodak instamatic camera sometime in the 1960’s. And like many older photographers, almost everything I knew about taking photos changed suddenly when digital cameras made their appearance.

I bought my first DSLR in January 2011 and it was one plus one equals two all over again.

In the past few years, several friends have encouraged me to share my journey with the intent of taking their photography skills to the next level. Then one friend asked if I would consider a blog - a blog in which I would share the techniques and the stories behind my photographs.

So here it is.

Welcome to my blog. My only advice is be prepared to do a little laughing and little crying and a lot of singing and dancing as we are going around in circles.

 

Sheila White Guevin

3 February 2015

 

 

Will it go round in circles?

Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

Will it go round in circles?

Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

 

Billy Preston – from the album “Music is My Life” - 1972


Comments

Jackie(non-registered)
I'm so glad you've started this blog. Thank that friend that suggested it for me. :)
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