Learning Philosophy

My learning philosophy is based largely on my experiences as a student and as an assistant in the classroom. Perhaps, the most important aspect of my philosophy is that students learn best in an environment where they feel they are respected, shown kindness and care. They learn best in an environment where they feel its ok take risks and make mistakes. It is my job as a teacher to create this environment.  My relationship with each student is the most important tool I have in the classroom.

I believe in fair learning opportunities. We all know that students learn at different paces and to provide a fair education, I must meet them where they are. Students learn best when provided with high quality, authentic learning experiences that allow them to make connections. Students must have a reason to want to learn what they are learning, and apply it to their life. I believe that there must be a passion to want to learn something to achieve this type of learning. If we observe our students and see where their aspirations and passions lie, we can use that to tap into some very strong learning.

As a teacher, this allows me to have flexibility in filling in gaps in learning and stretching those who already have some knowledge.  To achieve this, it is important for me to act as a facilitator of content rather than the expert. In doing this, I hope for my students to explore the content and what they are passionate about, as well as create connections to their own experiences. I feel that this is another of my top focuses as a teacher because I know that I learn best when I can make sense of things in my own way. Everyone learns and takes in information differently; therefore, I must provide the opportunities for students to make sense of things in their own way.

In addition to passion and application, I believe that constraint needs to be implemented to help unlock potential. Authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown write about constraint as a key component in authentic learning (Douglas and Thomas2011.) The constraint in a situation sparks creativity and gives our minds a place to start working.

Dan Pink speaks about what motivates us in the video above (Pink2010.) Motivation is a powerful learning tool; it explains why many of us will spend hours on end working on our classroom lessons, environment, etc., knowing we probably won’t ever be compensated for our time. Pink explains that mastery, autonomy, and purpose are the three factors that impact motivation the most. This makes sense, as many of us constantly seek to better ourselves and make an impact on the world. When I think of myself I see me as a learner and would love to the opportunity to make an impact on the world while I am learning.

All the above Ideas pretty much sums up what I believe is the key to learning. We all want to have a purpose for learning that meets our personal passions and inspirations and align those inspirations in a way that let us make a difference. Most importantly, learning is meant to be natural, and we love to learn when it happens naturally. Now that I have defined my learning philosophy, I can link it to how I teach to inspire my students. I need to link learning to each of my student’s goals and aspirations to produce passion. I need to bring learning back to that level of natural exploration and communication among peers. I want to inspire my students to have an attitude that “failure” is not an option.  I want to inspire my students to love learning and to understand what it is in the most authentic sense. It is important to make these considerations as I plan and create my learning environment for my students.

Annotated Bibliography

Thomas, D., Brown, J. S. (2011, January 4) A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change

In this book the authors describe authentic learning and compare authentic learning to traditional learning taking place in schools. The authors argue that creating a learning environment that supports authentic learning will increase student success and passion to learn. The Authors encourage utilizing play, collaboration, and imagination to create a learning environment. 

The authors successfully argue their point by offering real life examples of authentic learning occurring. These examples let us look in on the lives of individuals who are learning at such a deep level. The examples provided by the authors, as well as the research provided in the text create a convincing and inspiring point of what we can do to inspire the next generation of learners. 

Pink, D. (2010, April 1) RSA Animate: Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc.

In his video, Dan Pink describes how the current carrot and stick model of motivation is ineffective when mental effort is involved. Pink showcases research studies that help him to make his point. Pink then describes what research has found to be successful in motivating people when mental effort is involved.

Dan Pink effectively utilizes the research effectively in this video. The research not only helps him to make his point that the current method of motivation is ineffective, but Pink also uses the research to offer a solution to motivate people. Pink takes the data and makes it accessible for others in an engaging way. 

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