Yen Yang of education: First Attempt

The Chinese believe that polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and that they give rise to each other in turn (from Wikipedia). In my recent doctoral researchers and exposures, I have discovered some dichotomous situations and concepts that might require the Yen Yang philosophy to explain. In this post, I will list some of my finding hoping to elaborate further in the future.

Natural and Artificial Learning: When reviewing Vygotsky, Gardner, Lavit and Wenger’s work, I discovered that they advocate that learning happens naturally when an individual is placed in the right social environment, like Community of Practice. Deeper reflections and further investigation in cognitive neurosciences, made me discover that there is a good possibility that individuals can learn naturally on their own merit. This made me wonder: is traditional education an artificial learning environment? If Yen Yan premesis are correct, it is worth investigating this topic under that light!

(P.S.: I used “traditional education” because I have witnessed many educators who deviated from traditional education methods and actually created a natural learning environment in their classes.)

Copycat and Creative: Interacting with Sir Ken Robinson’s ideas about dismissal of creativity in preliminary school, and few other readings about Clifton positive approaches made me think if the learning processes that individuals go through since birth would yield one personality out of two: either a copycat personality or a creative personality. The copycat get his (or her) creativity from borrowing ideas from others, while a creative personality can imagine and visualize unrealistic images.

This idea was enforced again when I was watching a video of Pauolo Coelheo describing two types of authors: one who write based on experiences they go through themselves, and those who create new realities that they have never experienced. Watch the video: (P.S., I am wondering if I an a copycat or creative person. what do you think?)
Watch Coelho video: