Growth and Maturing

My decision for what I would post on from this large selection of material in the reading is based on me not fully coming to terms with what he is saying. So I am going to try to “work it out” in this post and come to some sort of conclusion. When Haswell discussed ‘‘pure learning’’ and ‘‘pure maturation’’ at the beginning of chapter 3, I thought “ok, I can see this.” Pure learning is very much an outer-personal experience that is developed based on outside forces. Pure maturation is “inner human change” that relies on age: “cultural based” change vs. “biological based” change (66). So this makes sense to me, but I still have questions about maturity being based on cultural influences (a child who learns bad behavior from an older sibling, a parent, or a tv show will not learn any other way until he/she is influenced by a good example, so wouldn’t he/she never mature if he/she never learns any better?). But my real problem lies in chapter 5.

Haswell gives us two definitions right away: “Growth is a one-dimensional interpretive frame defining human change relative to its own past,” and “maturing is a two-dimensional frame that interprets ‘‘growth’’ in terms of a fixed standard for the future” (117). This took me so very long to process and finally wrap my fried brain around! So growth is based on changes compared to their earlier conditions. And maturing translates growth into a benchmark for future achievement. We grow from our past and mature towards expectations of our future. (see to me this falls back into my belief that maturity is also cultural based). In an attempt to make some sort of conclusion here, I am going to move on to the discussion of Habermas and Gadamer: Gadamer claims that change comes by moving through tradition, and Habermas claims it comes by breaking tradition (119). When Haswell begins to describe four points of visible development, I was able to see the connection back to ‘‘learning’’ and ‘‘maturing’’ in ch. 3, and I think I even see the links to growth and maturing form ch. 5. 1) Self-contradiction falls in both the learning and maturing from ch. 3 because there are signs of both internal and external “clashes” that occur in the growth (from ch. 5). This is characterized as growth because it uses “concrete structures of previously formed frames” (131). These connections can be made with each of the 4 elements discussed, but what Haswell is ultimately trying to convey in this discussion is that development can only occur with the combination of all of these forces (inner, outer, past, and future).

This definitely helped clear up the difference in the terms, but they are still so new to me I’m not quite sure how I can relate them to my experience teaching so far without missing the mark or just confusing myself again. I will say I never saw a difference in learning, growth, and maturity in the same way that Haswell is describing. It has definitely opened my eyes, and I’ll keep a look out for way I see this unfolding in a classroom.