Students vs Learners, Dept.

traditional math

I’ve always been irritated by the term “learner” when the word “student” , in my opinion, would do just fine. I brought this up on Twitter once and received a sharp retort from someone who said “learner” is used in psychology. And knowing that I was firmly in the camp of Kirschner, the Dutch education professor who holds that minimally guided discovery learning does not work, said “Kirschner uses the term”.

So I checked with Kirschner, and indeed he does use the term and told me the following:

“I use “learner” as I do work in formal, informal and nonformal areas. A student is – by definition – a learner in a formal setting. There is a curriculum, there is an intention to learn (we hope) and it is closed with a recognized diploma. In informal settings, the first two are often the case, but the third is not the…

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