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*Monday, November 07, 2005*

Outline of Work to be done on

Learning Theory and the Core Liberal Arts Curriculum

Part Five

**Open
access to future academic disciplines**

Part one is given at { hyperlink }.

The foundational notion to this learning theory is one based on self-discovery.

Using a discovery pedagogy, the individual is allowed to engage his or her self rather completely in learning new ways of thinking. The effect of the pedagogy may be more universal than merely related to mathematics education. A system of mathematics is only one example of a “way of thinking”. The rules of standard English grammar is a second example. In both case, there may be some resistance to learning. The resistance is seen to arise from an individual’s image of self.

A specific model of self-discipline is used so that the student can become aware of his or her own perceptions in regards to arithmetic and some introductory materials. Writing about one’s feeling in regards to mathematics courses is part of this self-discipline. The result of the learning process may be that the student becomes aware of an ability to reason about and learn within a system of abstraction. Access to more advanced systems of logic and mathematics is opened.

Other examples of a “system of thinking” include the major discipline that one has chosen; such as geography or history. These major academic disciplines require a “gearing into” taking several years of study and hard work.

This “gearing into” process is an object of scientific study by those who have developed the learning theory. So the learning theory itself is an academic discipline. The study of learning does in fact focus on the known relationships between awareness and cognition; and on the relationships between thought and the mental events we experience. As part of this discipline, we see that mental events arise from an entanglement of memory elements, perception and anticipation.

The learning of an arithmetic system of reasoning, other than base 10, can be a personal laboratory within which the student can learn to learn. This laboratory can be extended into various scientific disciplines. This access to higher learning is opened based on a participation in a new core to liberal education.

Core concepts related to the learning theory come from various disciplines, including the following:

1) evolutionary psychology

2) linguistics

3) behavioral neuroscience

4) quantum-cognitive neuroscience

5) social-biology

6) mathematical models of brain and immune system function

7) history and foundations of logic and mathematics

These disciplines are being linked together to form what a group of scholars are calling the knowledge sciences.