Non-Learning

Authored by: Peter Jarvis

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415571302
eBook ISBN: 9780203357385
Adobe ISBN: 9781136598562

10.4324/9780203357385.ch10

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Abstract

A common exclamation when a teacher has had a ‘bad’ lesson is – ‘They have not learned anything!’ but, in reality, the students might have learned a lot, but not always what the teacher intended. The teacher's aims and objects were not fulfilled and this was the way that non-learning was perceived – it was a form of what Illeris (2007: pp.158–59) called mis-learning, but it was only non-learning in relation to intended learning, as we will show below. It was regarded as non-learning because the focus was always on teaching and the teacher's aims and objectives, rather than on the students' learning. However, in recent years a great deal more attention has been paid to individuals' learning both within and beyond the educational milieu and it has been clearly distinguished from teaching, so that learning and non-learning are now recognised as having as much to do with living as with education. Learning is a personal process; it is both an existential and an experiential process, and non-learning may be conceptualised within this much broader framework.

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