Johnathan Wilson Lewis – another thinker.

Fourier approaches to the theory of volume holography.

Anyone who takes a doctorate with the above subject title has to have a well-functioning brain.  I know John.  He does.

John Lewis, as I have always known him until reading his Blog, and I met a good many years ago when we both were members of a private flying group that operated a Socata (French) TB20, G BPAS.


It was based at Exeter in Devon, SW England.  Both of us were/are private pilots.

We flew together on many an occasion and it was clear from the start that John approached everything in life from, well in his own words, “…. motivated by an interest in what things are, how they work and how they are used.”  Say no more!

Well, as luck would have it, the joys of social networking brought us back in touch recently and we had a jolly good chin-wag.  With a bonus.

Out of that chat came some fascinating insights into learning.  I hope to encourage John to contribute some guest Posts on this Blog.

But John did point me to an essay on his own Blog, entitled Novel approaches to sequences of learning.  It’s much more than intellectual curiosity. This may contain important ideas about improving learning.

We tend to think of imparting knowledge as teaching.  But, of course, teaching is one end of the ‘system’.  The learner is the other end.  Fluent teaching doesn’t automatically mean fluent learning.  Learning is the point of teaching!

Here’s an extract from that essay:

Let’s deal with some of the common assumptions.

Learning repetitively

Firstly, let’s consider the repetition aspect. Have you ever watched a child learning to play a video game? Do they need to be self-motivated or is the game motivating them? Are they watching the clock to see when they can walk away or are they losing track of time as they are drawn into the game? And are they required to hope or believe that there will be some pay-off for playing it or are they are being challenged and satisfied all the time? In each case, it is the latter. Is it repetitive? Extremely. So is the repetition boring and demotivating? It seems not. If you still think so, then you might like to take up playing golf; it is challenging, frustrating, sometimes very satisfying, almost never boring … and (you guessed it) very repetitive!

Repetition is necessary for simple tasks to become automatic so that they can be relied on when used for more complex tasks.

This is a Blog worth keeping an eye on and to make that easy, there’s a link from my Blog.

Well done, John. And just to remind you of earlier days …..

G BPAS cockpit
G BPAS cockpit

By Paul Handover


2 thoughts on “Johnathan Wilson Lewis – another thinker.

  1. Paul,

    It is very kind of you to write such a positive description which pulls together strands from various things that I have been involved in.

    Thanks also for the great photo of the Trinidad instrument panel; like you, I have spent many a happy hour looking at it. Perhaps we should put together some descriptions of memorable Trinidad flights.

    But most interesting of all, I think, is that you posted your other piece on “precision engineering” on the same day; so I have commented separately on that.

    Thanks very much,


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