Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher, introduced the concept of ‘schema’. It is the internal model that we use to interpret the world around us – how we make sense of our perceptions.
We are standing at a street corner, the light turns red and the walk sign ahead is illuminated. We step out into the street although a car coming down the street is still moving. We are, based on a calculation made with our internal schema, deciding that the car will stop and it is safe to cross the street. Every moment we are stepping out into the world based on perceptions interpreted through our internal schema.
Every day, every moment, we are stepping out into the world based on perceptions interpreted through our internal schema.
One way to think of schema is as our personal pattern language of meaning - a Meaning Matrix. It is how we make sense of our personal experiences to shape our understanding of the world.
What the great learning theorist Jean Piaget came to understand, is that there are two types of learning: one which deepens the understanding of our current schema and one that actually reconfigures our schema.
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