I'm glad you bring that up, Gretchen, because without talking a bit about
our terms we can easily get welll along in the discussion before
realizing that our basic premises were not located in the same realm.
Learning is a tough one to pin down. It's like 'rhetoric' or 'religion'
in that it means about a million different things, sometimes all at once.
Or maybe it's like Quality in Pirsig's book: undefineable. Or maybe
outside the realm of defineability. Or something.
What I mean by learning refers to the first case above: creative
negotiation of situations. If learning occurs by fulfilling assignments,
it's not of the same order or quality. Learning, it seems to me, is best
when pursued rather complied with, when the pursuit is fueled by
curiosity rather than obedience.
For instance: There are no 'assignments' in my classes any more. I don't
give grades and I don't make assignments.
And I never overstate my case ;)