Publication 6417

Murray J. (2006) Cybernetic circularity in teaching and learning. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 18(3): 215–221. Fulltext at
This article presents an investigation into the meaning of ‘learning’ It uses cybernetics as a framework to look at the fundamental questions of: What is learning and why do people learn? Why do they learn this (and not something else)? How does learning happen? The article first describes the origin of cybernetics and its central tenets of circularity, feedback and communication, which suggest that learning is fundamentally about living. The living system learns as it fits with the environment in an integrated brain/body/environment learning system. This leads to a discussion of teaching and learning as building relationships with self and others in communication, with self and others, with or without the intention of changing and being changed in the encounter. Teacher and learner inevitably change (learn) as they interact whatever the context. The article suggests that what is happening in the encounter between teacher and learner, that which we call ‘learning’, happens to each of us in the same way all of the time. Learning is change; change learning. ‘Teacher’ and ‘Learner’ change (learn) together in a constant feedback network of communication.


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