Reflective Note: A Learning Experience
By Copérnico Fernando Pereyra Centella*
[*Teacher of English and Culture at the Language Faculty and the Department of Educación Continua of the Universidad Veracruzana, and at the Universidad Metropolitana Xalapa]
What I intend to do here is just to express an opinion about what I understood from the text Research as a Learning Experience: A Phenomenological Explication and the importance that it has in our field: the second language teaching. This article talks about several terms, but the one that caught my attention was learning because we more often than not think about it as it were just a mere term within the terminology of educational researchers. Even so, I am totally convinced that the understanding and practice of that aspect pays great dividends.
My way of thinking does not come from nowhere, it is based on my experience as a teacher-learner. To explain this, I want to refer to the old saying “Give me a fish and I eat today. Teach me how to fish and I will eat for a lifetime.” This is true in our context if we consider that what we saw in class and what the institution gives us is not enough to reach the whole corpus of knowledge around us. A Master Degree Course is a good example (as the text says) to show that old saying because this is not the same to learn about research in our texts than to do research in the real world. The reason is that doing research is a learning life experience that makes you change the conception you have about the world, since you are before other dimension that you cannot notice inside the classroom.
But what about the importance of theory? I thought this at any stage of this text but after a while I understood that theory does not exclude the practice or vice versa. And here is where we have to make a balance by combining theory with practice. This is what we do when we work on an assignment. But, in my own opinion, it is more important to take the research practice to our classrooms and cultivate this practice in our learners.
This is possible if we provide learners with enough tools to carry out this activity, for example, theory, instruments, human and material resources. But, above all, by sharing our own experience in researching and putting into practice inside the classroom all the findings from a phenomenological point of view, that is, in such a way that learners notice that research is a means to change and improve our context and a way to experience personal growth. If we are able to do that, we will also be able to know more about ourselves and the others around us.
Pietersen, Charlotte. Research as a Learning Experience: A Phenomenological Explication. In The Qualitative Report, Volume 7, Number 2 June, 2002. (http://www.nova.edu/sss/QR/QR7-2/pietersen.html)
Copérnico Fernando Pereyra Centella teaches English and Culture at the Language Faculty and the Department of Educación Continua of the Universidad Veracruzana, and at the Universidad Metropolitana Xalapa. He has also been member of the Committee of Standardized English Exams since 2003. His research interests are the affective domain and the effectiveness of the standardized English exams. Contact him if comments at firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com