Synthesized Knowledge: Episteme and Phronesis...are the intertwined faculties...
I’ve been thinking for a few days (subconsciously) about what to write about for my first blog post for our TEDU 681 class. Mostly, I’ve been thinking about our first assignment, the DG on episteme and phronetic ways of learning. Wondering if I got it right in my answers and then wondering: Why am I wondering? I believe I understand the terms and I believe that how we learn as students (adult learners) and the steps in how we teach, as educators have been illustrated in the article provided by Dr. M (a.k.a “Bill”).
If I understood what I read, then episteme describes the study of learning (research methods) for better understanding and phronetic is the application of that gained insight, understanding, or knowledge to facilitate the lesson or learning.
(I agree with Lisa – my spell- checker, does not like these terms – “phronetic” especially - and causes me to wonder, if I am using it correctly. If I am not, then does that mean I don’t understand the term and what it represents? It’s a vicious circle of doubt every time that red line appears. It’s almost as though Word knows, that I am not 100% in my argument, before I even begin.)
In our class, I feel that we are about to begin a journey of learning, guided with a slight hand by Dr. M on the best way to create a study of understanding (episteme) so that we can implement a plan of phronetic study to arrive at a finished body of work with our projects. *See I’ve used the termsand I think I got it right, yet they are so unfamiliar that I am uncomfortable and immediately begin to use mental examples of what I mean to reassure myself. I do feel that these two practices of achieving increased proficiency in adult literacy with language learners are interconnected. Can one exist without the other? I feel that an argument can be made for yes they can. But why is it necessary to have one system of belief or practice that takes precedence over the other? Why not embrace the duality of the two when used together to achieve higher reading/literacy proficiency with your learner?
An example of this can be found in John Strucker’s article, What Silent Reading Tests Alone Can’t Tell You. In Strucker’s article, the utilization of diagnostic assessments to improve how instructors taught and how students learned was a composite of episteme study and phronetic practice to facilitate the end result.
For the adult learner that wants to improve their literacy, how they get there is as important as achieving their goals. For the instructor the methodology used to bring their student(s) along, should showcase the same commitment and care to facilitate their learner(s) needs. How they get there with their learner(s), should be, by any means necessary.