Building a Theoretical Background is an Action Process:
The current onset of occidental culture has become somehow chaotic and confuse. While we go through our screens every day, we find an enormous amount of information and data and no matter how focused we think we are, that data stays with us in our perception system and makes us somewhat distracted.
Don’t get us wrong here…we love the Internet, and we believe this is a time of revolutionary opportunities, especially in the field of Education and Science. Everything is available at the same time. We get unlimited access to courses, conferences, seminars (now webinars) and programs that would have taken years of investing and travelling and mailing to make possible.
The question that rules this article is “How do we get to navigate such a wide data ocean without sinking, or getting distracted with every ‘temptation island’ we find in our ways?”
Here at eMindSet, we believe the navigation instruments depend purely on you, your values, your goals and your specific needs.
Whether you are looking for a 2LT (Second Language Training) or trying to improve your #CommunicationSkills, or give your work life an extra lift by educating yourself in the new technologies and #Networking…It is you the Captain and Sailor, it is your own GPS we need to adjust to, and it is your quest the one we encourage.
#MetacognitiveActivities are performed at eMindSet in daily basis, to ensure every one of us are sailing in the direction of our dreams, goals, and milestones.
We will cover the issue following, explaining how a good strong theoretical scaffold gave us the foundation for building eMindSet #LearningPrograms and why is it so important to invest time in developing your own, in spite of what the production system seems to preach (“keep doing, keep going, only philosophers dedicate time to think about these things”). We do believe the best choice we have is reflecting on the road, learning our roots while we walk, and having a permanent theory+practice dialogue.
Theories and the Fallacy of Philosophy as a Waste of Time
Let’s imagine for a moment that, instead of a 2LT, what we want to perform together is building the house of our dreams. We have the land, the budget is clear, and the workers are ready and waiting in line. We have the plans and we start working accordingly to it. It starts to look amazing, the outside colors match the landscape, and suddenly…an earthquake shakes the ground.
We don’t need tons of imagination to know what happened to our dreamhouse, right?
Because the earth is a living thing, architects and engineers know very well about the importance of building both a good foundation on bottom, and a solid scaffold around the work-in-progress. Now, languages are living things too. What makes us think otherwise?
Culture. Culture makes us think otherwise. We have such an influence from the Industrial Revolution, that we have ended up associating the figure of the “Philosopher” with a Greek marble man sitting in contemplation, speculating about life.
Here at eMindSet, we have discovered that, on the contrary of popular beliefs, reflecting and thinking thoroughly about our theoretical scaffold and foundations, give us the opportunity to work better, faster, and in a more efficient way. In our theoretical structures, we find excellent solutions for everyday challenges, we get a smooth ground in which we “walk the talk”, and we also know our walking enriches and deepens the theories that sustain our activities. Because it is nothing but a permanent Theory+Practice interchange!
We have based our foundations in Behaviorism and Cognitive Neuroscience since the beginning of eMindSet Learning Programs, and we have gone further in the discovering and adopting of every improvement that allows us to get closer to our main goal: Helping others develop their best potential and learning skills, whether in a Second Language Training process, a Job Finding quest, or a Cognitive+Behavioral Modifying program that would allow individuals a better outcome in their personal, interpersonal, and social areas.
So no, we say. Theories are never a waste of time…Except when they don’t meet action. When this happens, and everything becomes just words and speculation, we go off the track that leads us to #mindsetters goals.
If we considered the first metaphor about navigation system, we could conclude that “there is nothing more annoying than the voice of GPS in a car that is not moving!”
Introduction to eMindSet Theoretical Scaffold
What about us? What is our theoretical framework, the scaffold in which we rely in order to help you develop your learning process?
We would like to change this question. We would like to experiment in the same way we experiment and learn together.
Since “this” is our style, we will only name the theories on which we have based our practices, so you get the opportunity to learn more about them on the Internet or any other resources available. We have previously developed some points about RFT (Relational Frame Theory, S.C.Hayes et al, 2001); and we’ll soon discuss the beautiful derivations of SLT (Social Learning Theory, A.Bandura, 1977). But there are many other previous and further developments that have helped us build knowledge on solid and reliable foundation.
As we’ve stated, our concepts of Learning lie on Skinner’s studies on Operant Conditioning, specifically regarding Verbal Behavior (1957), but we have found great richness in the dialogue between this author and Noam Chomsky (1965) with his LAD (Language Acquisition Device). Some consider these points of view as divergent, we think they are beautifully complementary.
The concept of “Affordances” proposed by Gibson in the field of Ecological Psychology (1979) has allowed us to overcome the Theory of the Mind towards a (perhaps more humble, but nonetheless effective) concept of Language Development that holds a strong Social component in every side of the phenomenon. The following developments, regarding human+computer interaction, and firstly proposed by Gaver‘s seminal articles on technology affordance in 1991, and then Bradner‘s notion of social affordance, have been of enormous help.
As natural in this dynamic, open framework, we have included some new contributions from DST (Dialogical Self Theory, H.Hermans, 1992), from Teun Van Dijk’s incredible article on Context, Cognition and Knowledge Frames (1977); and a brilliant brand-new article by authors J.Decety and J.M.Cowell (2016) in the Neuroscience of Empathy and Morals is being taken into account.
These are only some samples, from our own experience, that aim to set an example on how a theoretical structure (consisting of concepts, theories, values and collective core beliefs) can help us unfold better practices in this complex, ultra-wired, hyper-connected new world.
Here at eMindSet we are aware that science has not all the answers for human existence, but it offers a great chance called “stay humble, test our hypothesis, remain open for more, trust the process”. Because it is never dogmatic, because it is always open to change, because it questions and tests the limits of understanding, and because we must rely on what others have done before us to keep moving forward in the quest for learning.
We do not believe in panaceas nor do we offer the ultimate solution for your needs.
But definitely, we are in favor of learning together.
Veronica Rebora & Christer Edman – April 2016