TOWARDS THE BIOCHEMICAL NATURE OF LEARNING AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT:
A STUDY THROUGH LITERATURE AND EXPERIENCES OF LEARNERS AND EDUCATORS
Abstract of PhD Submission to Durban University of Technology, 2012
In this study I have explored scientific insights towards establishing how the biochemistry of the human being could have a significant impact on human learning in a number of different ways. I have discovered that the biochemistry within the whole human being is triggered by the molecules of emotion occurring in a psychosomatic network active throughout the whole being. The molecules of emotion are neuropeptides such as endorphins, linked to their receptors, such as opiate receptors. This triggering of the molecules of emotion constitutes the pleasure principle which enables and encourages learning.
In addition, the growth of myelin ensheathing all the neurons, through a process of myelination, also informs human learning biochemically. These biochemical processes make human learning 'active'. These biochemical processes also constitute a network of subtle energies operating in the viscera of all human beings, and so account for the anthropology of learning, viz. what is common to all human learning, regardless of ethnic group, language, economic circumstances, religious belief system, level of education, social class, age, gender, rural or urban location, inter alia.
I have then drawn on my own learning experiences - my autobiography - and the experiences of others - an autoethnography - for evidence of the operation of the biochemistry in my and their learning.
I have presented evidence of the emotions of joy, love and fun activating whole-being-learning that occurs in all of personal, spiritual and educational human learning.
I have described my living spiritual and living educational theory as one where human learning happens when there is joy-filled love and love-filled joy within a safe community of practice. Within this safe community of practice, at least three aspects are argued to be features of whole-being-learning:
* the relationships between the learners, their teachers and the subject are characterised by joy-filled love and love filled joy.
* the talents and gifts of both the learners and the teachers are explored, celebrated, and used for inclusive benefit.
* the knowledges of, about, and between, learners and teachers become integrated and coherent.
My original contributions to the body of scholarly knowledge evidenced by my study include the following :
* I have established the link between human learning as a biochemical process and the efficiency of games as a learning tool, thereby showing the link between learning and fun.
* I have explored the holistic, organic intrinsic connections between personal, spiritual and educational human learning.
* I have contributed to a growing understanding of the study of self as a subject and object in terms of my ways of human knowing (my epistemology), my ways of being human (my ontology) and my values (my axiology) which (in)form my attitudes of joy-filled love and love filled joy in all that I do.
You can download the PhD in the following parts in PDF format
Frontpage; Declaration (i); Dedication (ii); Acknowledgements (iii); Contents (iv-x); List of Figures (xi); List of Tables (xiii) pagesi-xiii
Abstract and Prologue pages 1-5
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction pages 6-13
CHAPTER TWO: What methodologogical approach did I use? pages 14-42
CHAPTER THREE: How does learning happen? Deep within my whole biochemical being? pages 43-77
CHAPTER FOUR: How does learning happen? My personal learning story pages 78-114
CHAPTER FIVE: How does learning happen? My Spiritual learning story.
CHAPTER SIX: How does learning happen? My Educational learning story pages 154-182
CHAPTER SEVEN: How does learning happen? Evidence in the lived experiences of educators and learners pages 183-223
CHAPTER EIGHT: How have I shared my study of my understanding of learning as a biochemical process in the public space? pages 224-240
CHAPTER Nine: What do I see as future explorations following on my study? What are my final reflections? pages 241-244
BIBLIOGRAPHY pages 245-274
APPENDICES A-N pages 275-327
You can download all of the contents of the PhD in PDF format by clicking here. It is a large file over 13 Mb file and will take some time to download with broadband