From the week’s readings, I have learnt some new terms associated with learning, which have made me realise that I have been facing a long term dilemma between my theory of action and theory in use and consequently preventing my optimal level of learning. Argyris (2002) describes that an individual’s behaviour is often inconsistent with the way they think they act, otherwise known as their theory of action. Their theory in use (actual behaviour) usually contradicts their perceived behaviour and thus when confronted or asked to reflect on how to improve their behaviour, they naturally become defensive and point blame elsewhere.
We can apply this very concept to our weekly reflective journals. As we know, Daudelin’s framework begins with problem articulation and each week, we all have identified an issue we faced. From my personal experience, I can truthfully say that I too have pointed blame elsewhere when asked to reflect on my own behaviour. Take for example my first learning journal; the problem I recognized was Peter being upset with class due to the lack of participation (correlated to the fact no one had done the readings including me). Here is a prime example of how I shifted the blame rather than analysing how my own behaviour contributed to the issue. Instead, I should have acknowledged that my own actions (inability to complete the readings on time) were the root cause of the problem and reflected on how I could have better performed.
Thinking about all this, I have come to the realisation that in order to achieve a high level of learning (consistent with Argyris’ theory), we must reflect first within ourselves and the actions we take, as they are the likely causes of external problems we face. Therefore, in future we should constantly think about how problems can be resolved or significantly improved through simple behavioural changes.
Argyris, C. (2002). Teaching Smart People How to Learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4-15. doi:10.1162/152417302762251291