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Life is the adaptation of a living subject to its environment in its interactions with the latter. Adaptation is in itself an activity that produces so-called “adapted” states. However, just as any activity of a “subject,” whether vegetable or animal, develops structures, it is by adapting that the subject exercises those structures and provides itself with those that are necessary for a more optimal adaptation. It is this activity, which comprises phenomena of assimilation and accommodation, that constitutes learning. Learning, which takes place through the “subject-object” or, more generally, “subject-environment” interaction, can be attributed as much to the environment as to the “objects” it contains. The teaching environment, by extension, contains the adaptations whereby the child and then the young adult “learns” the pedagogical contents and, in certain cases, professional contents and conducts, by ceaselessly constructing and reconstructing them. In this process, the learner builds and rebuilds the structures that enable her to learn. If interaction is thus the hallmark of all learning, what can be said of teaching methods that, relying mainly on memory, disseminate “knowledge” by requiring its repetition or simple mechanical reproduction? Do such methods, relying as they do only on the “states” of reality and knowledge, and ignoring the transformations that produce them, not contribute to the death of thought?

  • adaptation
  • interaction
  • figurative-operative
  • learning
  • structures
  • operation
  • knowledge
  • auto-construction
  • stimulus-response
Jean-Marie Dolle
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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