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3.2 The constructivist model of learning

This model of learning concentrates on what happens during the process of learning. It identifies the central role of concepts and understandings that learners bring to new learning and the way in which new and old ideas interact. Its starting point is that learners use their existing frameworks of understanding to interpret what is being taught, and that these existing ideas influence the speed and effectiveness with which new ideas are learned. Learners are actively involved in processing w
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3 The acquisitive model of learning

(Please refer to Reading 3: Models of the learning process, by Mary Thorpe) What happens when we learn? I shall explore three explanations, or models, of learning which attempt to answer this question. These three models have particular strengths and weaknesses. The point is not to choose between them, but to consider which one has the ‘best fit’ for different kinds of learning.

The three models are introduced in turn, and each is followed by an activity that invites you to apply th
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1.1 Effective course study

Research into how people study effectively suggests that it is important to pay attention not only to the content of what we are trying to learn but also to the process of our learning. Time spent on the process of how you are learning need not be a distraction from achieving your learning goals. It should support your efforts to achieve them.

However, thinking about the process of your own learning is not something which typically forms part of most formal courses of study. Most people
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1 Learning to learn

(Please refer to Reading 1, Learning and reflection, by Mary Thorpe)This unit is about developing your effectiveness as a learner. For example, there are activities which invite you to apply theories to practice and also to criticise theories in the light of practical experience. In these and other ways you will be encouraged to bring your own experience into the study of the unit. The idea of asking you to use ideas, not just to remember them, and to bring your own experience into studying,
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Learning outcomes

After completing this unit you should be able to:

  • assess your learning styles and capabilities, using a learning file in which to record your progress;

  • describe the main definitions of learning as a process, and the role played by memorising, understanding and doing;

  • explain the three main categories of theories about learning, namely the acquisitive, constructivist and experiential models of learning;

  • discuss the main conceptions of
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3.6 Failure sequence

Following the discovery of the broken eye bar near the top of the northern suspension chain on the Ohio side of the bridge (Figure 36), it was possible to reconstruct the sequence of events during the collapse.

When the side chain separated, the entire structure was destabilised, simply b
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2.4 Corrosion processes: galvanic corrosion

When two dissimilar metals are in contact, or in close proximity with a conducting fluid in between, an electrochemical cell can be formed that leads to the more reactive metal becoming an anode and the less reactive metal a cathode.

This kind of corrosion is known as galvanic corrosion. It is not uncommon, since metals are often coated with others of different E0, and different metals are often in close contact with a common electrolyte.

One of the earlie
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3.4 A note on suspense

By raising various expectations in the reader's mind, a writer can create an atmosphere of suspense – the desire to turn the page and find out what happens next. How much will the story follow the reader's expectations, how much will it confound them? In this way, sus
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1.5 Tips on character creation

  • Use a journal to build ideas for character.

  • Consider all the influences that go into the making of your character: age, gender, race, nationality, marital status, religion, profession.

  • Know about your character's inner life: what s/he wants, thinks, remembers, resents, fears, dreams, denies.

  • Know about your character's behaviour, what s/he wears, buys, eats, says, works at and plays at.

  • Kno
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1.4 Portraying a character

Activity 7

Click on 'View document' below to read ‘Portraying a character’, which outlines the main methods of revealing character in fiction.

1.2 Round and flat characters

What about minor or peripheral characters? How deeply do they have to be imagined?

Activity 2

Click on 'View document' below to read the section called ‘Round and flat characters’. Showing the contradictions in charac
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1.1 Creating characters

Activity 1

Click on 'View document' below to read the first few paragraphs from Novakovich's chapter on ‘Character’.

Glossary

Open glossary now...


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8.7 The festival of Durga Puja in Calcutta

Although Hindus are not required to attend temples on set days in the week, the Hindu year is punctuated by days dictated by the lunar calendar during which puja (worship) should be offered to a particular deity or deities. Hindu festivals often combine the marking of the changing of the seasons
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8.5 Looking for Hinduism in Calcutta

8.4 Hinduism in eastern India: religion in Calcutta

The Hinduism of Bengal, as in other regions of India with their own languages and distinctive historical traditions, has absorbed and retained many local elements which make it peculiarly the Hinduism of Bengal. The city of Calcutta has exerted its own considerable influence upon the surrounding region. Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal, was founded in 1690 originally as a British trading post on the Hugli, a stretch of the Ganges (or Ganga), a river sacred to Hindus (see Author(s): The Open University

6.3 Setting things apart

The tendency within religious behaviour to set things apart from the everyday does not just apply to time and place but also to ideas of authority (leaders and texts), to beliefs more generally, to institutions and to aspects of behaviour as, for example, in dress and diet. In fact, the concept of ‘religion/religious’ is often set over and against the concept of the ‘temporal’ and the ‘secular’, which both suggest an outlook that is concerned solely with this world, the here and n
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5.1 ‘Religion’ and ‘the religions’: two new notions

I want to begin our closer discussion of the question ‘what is religion?’ by looking briefly at the history of the use and meaning of the term. You may be surprised to find how recently the word ‘religion’ has taken on the meanings attached to it today.

Contemporary scholars of religion emphasise not merely the cultural breadth but also the antiquity of religious activity. Yet, the term ‘religion’ as we understand it today is very much a Western concept.

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Learning outcomes

When you have completed this unit you should:

  • be able to discuss some of the ways in which the concept of ‘religion’ has been and is used in the study of religion;

  • have gained some practical experience in the study of religion through exploring examples of religious activity in Britain and India on ‘special days’;

  • be able to identify and to evaluate critically the motives, concerns and methods that typically distinguish the academic study of
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