Writing Prompt: In the Benander article, the author contends that “experts negotiate the learning space differently from novices.’ Reflect on your own experiences with that. Compose a reflective essay to describe the differences you’ve observed between novices and experts in your field.
While I was in high school, I was privileged to hear a speech by the then CEO of the largest bank in India (ICICI Bank). He was being given an award for his outstanding achievements in the field of banking and in his acceptance speech, he highlighted the fact that he was a “deliberate life-long learner’.
Back in high school, his choice of wording didn’t seem very telling to me. But as I moved through more years of formal and informal education and actually began understanding the learning process, it became evident to me that one is always learning through every experience in life. The human mind continually accepts new information and stores it away and learning is a life-long process.
But the word that really stands out from that speech is ‘deliberate’. Being a deliberate life-long learner implies that one is making a conscious effort to teach themselves or to make the effort to learn or re-learn something. By consciously making an effort to learn something new or to re-visit the novice learning process, as was discussed by the Benander (2009) article, one is then able to analyze and understand the process in ways that would otherwise go unnoticed.
I have had formal schooling in two different fields. I have a bachelors degree in journalism and I am now working on my masters degree in education. Professionally, I am the managing editor of the student newspaper at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. I find that when I revisit tenets and basics of journalism with my staff as I try to guide them (many of them being freshman in the journalism department) I am able to consider my own experiences as a novice in the field, not too long ago, and I try to empathize with them more. However, when I myself attend journalism conference by journalists of greater caliber and years more worth of experience, I am floored with how much I want to absorb from them in order to bring back to my own staff.
The author of the article, Benander (2009), highlights that revisiting the novice experience in a different field will give the expert a renewed sense of understanding for the novice experience. I would have to agree with the premise and conclusions of this article (Benander, 2009) due to the two extremely different perspectives of an expert and a novice. However, I believe that if an expert, revisiting the novice experience in a different field, wishes to achieve a greater understanding of their learning process, they must be “deliberate’ in their efforts and must analyze the process during and after the fact. This I believe is the key to an expert making the most use of experiential learning.
Benander, R. (2009). Experiential learning in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(2), 36—41