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Critical Thinking: Learner And Learning Add in library

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What do you see as the key similarities and differences between the views of learning and learners taken in the two articles? Can you account for these in any way?




Understanding of articles

Gao talks about the importance of having bilingual teaching assistants in a school. Few of the words were difficult to understand. Linguistically was one such word which was not understood when the article was initially read. While reading the article for the second time, the reader gets an understanding that linguistically means the basic language that is used by the bilingual assistant. “Pedagogical” was one word which again created a confusion for the reader to understand. Understanding of the word was gained with the help of a dictionary. The understanding about the research participants was also difficult while reading the article for the first time. The details of the participant are very vast and hence, it seemed to be very confusing. Different forms of education is spoken about in the article but was well understood while reading the article for the second time.

Similarly, there were plenty of terms in the article which was written by Helsper as well. “Digital native” itself was a complicated word to understand and the reader was able to understand the word only after reading the first paragraph again. Different authors had different definition for the term digital native and hence, it was difficult to understand the overall meaning of that particular term. Lot of evidence has been shared by the authors regarding the functioning of brains and hence, it was complicated to understand the medical terms related to brains.


View on learning and learner by the author

The ethnic minority and immigrant students in Hong Kong are the learners in the article. The number of ethnic minority and immigrant students in Hong Kong is increasing continuously. It is the responsibility of the schools to look for ways by which these students can also learn and speak Chinese. To overcome the barrier that these kids are facing, schools decided to appoint bilingual assistant who can help the learners to bridge the communication gap. Hiring bilingual language assistant was a strategy used in the UK so that the students can learn the target language, English. Hiring bilingual language assistant from the minority group will be very helpful to the students. The learning process will be explained by the bilingual language assistant to the learner, in the language in which the learner will be comfortable. This article talks about the learning process that is undertaken by immigrants who are new to Chinese and English language. This process is spoken about as the learning process of immigrants is different than that of the students who are born and bought up in China itself. (Brodie 2014).

Gao and Shum states that it is very important for the learner to be comfortable in the learning environment so that they can grasp the things that are being taught to them. Bilingual language assistants help the students to be comfortable in the environment as they will be interacting with someone who shares the same cultural background. The language assistant will be aware of the knowledge that the student already holds and hence, it will be easy for the trainer to help the student to gain more knowledge. The learning process can only be completed when the learner has the confident in them to learn new things and this can be achieved with the help of trainer who shares the same background as that of the learner. This article talks about the learning process in corporate environment. Different people may work in a different style and this can be best understood by their respective manager. This article clearly states that giving work to an employee is one of the best ways by which their learning curve can be enhanced.

Teaching and learning article states about learning at a further stage in life. This article will talk about learning in an organizational environment. There are different types of organization so that the research of this article was taken in 12 different types of organization so that the researcher can understand the expectations of the learners and also the learning process in different organizations. In this research, work is considered as a learning process wherein the learners can learn only when they are given the responsibility to undertake more work. The learning environment is very different in each organization and hence, one cannot judge the person’s knowledge based on designations that they hold. (Najeeb 2013).


According to Helsper and Eynon (2009), technology can never replace a teacher. Recently many schools have introduced a lot of technologies to improve the learning experience that students are having. These technologies will not be able to teach the students in the absence of technology. In the absence of teacher, technology will not be able to achieve the goal of teaching the learners but that’s not the case with teacher; in the absence of technology, the teacher can continue with the teaching process. Internet doesn’t mean studying only because there are plenty of other things which can be done while an individual is on the internet. Many people just browse to understand a product and browsing doesn’t mean studying. Similarly, there are people who use internet for the purpose of accumulating knowledge and this is irrespective of knowledge, experience and age that one holds. This article proves more about learning from technological point of view. It states that anyone can learn with the help of technology but it doesn’t mean that anyone who is using technology is learning (McCulloch 2010).

Difference between all the three articles

All three articles are different than that of each other and hence, the reader cannot expect any connectivity between the articles. Gao and Shum explores the educational environment wherein the students are learners and acquiring education is the learning process. In this environment, the students are willing to learn and the teachers just help the student in getting the resources that they require.

“Improving working as learning” is a well researched work but the professional environment is taken into consideration. Gao and Shum states that the students can be taught with the help of proper learning process but that is not the case with people in the organizational environment. This research states that the people in the professional environment can only be taught when they are assigned work. Apart from that, many professionals may not be willing to work as they may be happy with what their current position (Oblinger 2005).


“Digital natives: where is the evidence?” just considers the learning environment. It also states about the perception that each one holds with regards to usage of technology. This article clearly states that technology can never be used to replace teachers. Technology can only be used for the purpose of bridging the gap between the teacher and the student.

Paradigm positions

Shum and Gao (2010) states a lot about the bilingual assistants in school. They believe that hiring bilingual assistants in Hong Kong schools is one of the best things that schools can do to help the non-chinese learners. There are plenty of advantages associated with hiring Bilingual assistants. This article also states that the bilingual assistants should belong to the minority background so that they can connect with the other minority students in the group. These minority students are very reserved and hence, they take their time in opening up with the trainers. If the trainers and the learners are from the same community then the trainers can be rest assured that the learners will express their problem and this will help them to learn more and in the right direction. This article also states about the lack of availability of bilingual assistants from the minority group. Due to this reason, all the schools aren’t able to hire bilingual assistants to help the learners (Burge 2000).

“Improving working as learning” (2008) states about the ways by which the work environment can be improved by way of enhancing the learning opportunities. This article should have spoken if working is a way by which people in the organization learn but this article is based on the assumption that people learn when they are given more responsibility to handle. Plenty of ways have been introduced in the article so that the people in the organization can learn and grow. It also states that the responsibilities of the managers in the organization should be increased. Increasing the managers’ responsibilities would mean that the manager will pass on more work to his team members and hence, more and more employees in the organization get a chance to learn the things that are being undertaken in the organization. This article also states that the work productivity environment and the learning environment in the organization are different than that of each other. It is the responsibility of the management to identify the employees who needs to learn and then accordingly, the employees will have to be placed in the learning environment. (Anderson 2000).


Helsper and Eynon (2009) states that technology is not really helping to improve the learning process because technology is increasing the gap between the teacher and student relationship. Technology should be used to bridge the gap between the teacher and student rather than that of the student trying to replace a teacher with the help of technology. Technology can be used to fix the gap rather than trying to replace the teacher. Many theories may state that the teachers can be replaced with the technology but that’s not true because there are very less people who learn while they are surfing on the internet.

One paradigm position

It is highly recommended for the organizations to plan the learning process in advance. The management always needs to remember that all the employees in the organization may not be willing to learn. It is the responsibility of the management to understand the employees who are willing learn so that they can be appointed for the training program. If random employees are chosen for the training program then it will be a loss to the organization. On the job training is one of the ways by which the employees can be motivated to take up more responsibility. It is always better to train the employees before they are given the responsibility. If the organization thinks that the employees will handle the responsibility once they are given then they are wrong. Apart from that, in organization as well as in colleges and schools, technology should be used appropriately. In schools, technology cannot replace a teacher and at the same time, technology cannot replace a manager in office. Teachers will put in efforts to go out of the way and teach the weak student. Similarly, manager will also have better understanding of the process due to their hands-on experience.


Gao, F, 2010, Investigating the role of bilingual teaching assistants in Hong Kong: an exploratory study, Educational research, Vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 445-456

Teaching and Learning, 2008, Improving working as learning, no. 55

Anderson, L, 2000, Integrating learner and learning concerns: prospective elementary science teachers’ paths and progress, Teaching and Teacher education, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 547-574

Burge, E, 2000, Synthesis: Learners and Learning Are the Issues, New directions for Adult and continuing education, no. 88, pp. 89-95

Oblinger, D, 2005, Learners, Learning & Technology, Educase Review, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 66


McCulloch, G, 2010, Learners and Learning in the History of Education, Access: Critical Perspectives on communication, cultural and policy studies, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 49-59

Najeeb, S, 2013, Learner Autonomy in Language Learning, Procedia – Social and behavioral sciences, vol. 70, pp. 1238-1242

Brodie, K, 2014, Learning about learner errors in professional learning communities, Educational studies in Mathematics, vol. 85, no. 2, pp. 221-239

Helpser, E, 2009, Digital natives: where is the evidence?, British educational research journal, pp. 37-41











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