Aristotle and Learning as Engagement in Particulars
Most formal learning environments focus on transmitting disembodied ideas, abstracted from the contextual particulars that give them value. As educators work to communicate the “platonic ideal” of the construct (e.g., scientific method, mathematical formula, grammatical rule) independent of any potential context, they are stripping the value and meaning of that which is being taught. By operating under a bias that separates person, content, and context, they end up creating understandings that are free of any meaningful context with the misguided assumption that by not attaching them to any one context they will be more easily viewed as relevant to numerous future contexts. By creating a formal divide between content and context, person and context, and context and person, we undermine the very motivations for why the content being taught could have value or that the learner could apply what they are learning to create such value.
The irony is that educators then wonder...
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