Affective vs Effective Education

I’ve been wondering if we should be directing the discussion around education – and what it is, what is good about it and what is valuable – to be framed as affective rather than effective.

If effect has a meaning of “a result,” it deems it to be finite, that there is an end, a measure, a point of completion.

If affect means “to influence,” doesn’t that reflect the true purpose of education as an ongoing and lifelong activity?

Perhaps this comes from a perspective and understanding of education as best represented by an ecosystem – an environment in which we interact – rather than as a task or defined structure. It is a network in its own right, but more importantly it links, binds and connects with other networks, across spaces and scales – mono, micro, meso, macro and mondo.

Perhaps individual nodes in the network can be “effective” but education as a whole should be focussed on being “affective”.

Note: I’ve previously mentioned these levels of scale – mono, micro, meso, macro and mondo – it’s from a little scrap of paper I tore from an article some time ago but it gave these basic definitions. I’ve always liked it as a way of  understanding the complexity of zoom – which I’ve blogged about before – where indicators, measurements, ideas and concepts only work at the corresponding level of zoom.

  • mono – one, alone, singluar
  • micro – small
  • meso – middle
  • macro – large-scale, overall
  • mondo – worldly

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