ABSTRACT

Marton and Booth (1997) expounded the qualitatively different ways in which learning can be experienced: The learner may focus largely on the situation in which the phenomenon is embedded, or on the phenomenon as it is revealed in the situation (see p. 83). They observed that the aspects of the phenomenon and the relationships between them that are discerned and held in awareness simultaneously determine the way the phenomenon is experienced by the individual. Therefore the same phenomenon may be experienced in qualitatively different ways by individuals because the aspects and the relationships that they discern may be different, and what is held in awareness simultaneously may also be different. When this happens, the lived object of learning w i l l be different from the enacted object of learning. To bring about successful learning, it is necessary that the teacher and the learner share a large common ground in relation to the object of learning. The task before the teacher, therefore, is threefold. First, the teacher should ensure that the conditions are there for the learner to be able to discern and simultaneously hold in awareness the critical aspects of the object of learning, and the relationships between these aspects. Secondly, the teacher should be aware of the learner's experience of the object of learning (see also Alexandersson, 1994), and be vigilant of signals from learners indicating a lack of common ground. Thirdly, the teacher should try to widen the shared common ground. These three tasks cannot be achieved independently of each other; they are intertwined.