Learning Philosophy: Week 3

My learning philosophy consists of all of my experiences as a student and undergraduate.  I also find that it is shaped by the type of learning style that I personally have.  Unfortunately for my students, that happens to be auditory learning. I learn best, and feel that learning occurs, when the teacher is driving the instruction in the classroom.  I thought it was interesting that at the beginning of the interview in New Culture of Learning, they discussed how difficult it is for teachers to let go of their classrooms.  Having the student’s take control makes me cringe!  However, I’ve learned that we have to do a better of teaching them HOW to take control.

One of the most important things we can teach our students these days is to question where their information is coming from.  In a world where Google provides thousands of answers in a split second, learning can only occur with factual information when students are aware of what information is reliable and what is not.  By testing these inquiry skills, we can tell that learning takes place.  With 21st century learners, we must teach them how to get information before they can begin to use the correct information.

Teachers, especially in traditional classrooms, must learn to evolve with the learning process.  In 2025, we will need to facilitators. (I know, I know, that world is cliché too!) But it’s true. By continually changing learning modalities, engaging students as twenty-first century learners, and using a variety of methods and mediums to communicate with students, we will attempt to set the stage for a dynamic and engaging classroom. One full of participatory learning, where students are the creators but the teachers have taught them the best ways of sharing knowledge, piecing through poor information, and using each other as resources to make them better learners.  Here we will see learning occur not when a student can reiterate all of the information that has been drilled into their head, but when they can create based on their knowledge.

Learning in 2025 will truly occur when you don’t just hand the student a computer with a program and asked them to create.  It will occur when students are seeking their own forms of knowledge and choosing the correct modes of doing so. Learning will be seen when students ask each other for help before seeking the teacher, because in a 21st century world, this is what happens more often than not.  I love the idea of bringing the audience to light as students comment on text as they read. Diigo is a tool that I will start using in my online course!

Like it was said in the Davidson and Goldberg article, learning philosophies for teachers and institutions must change with the ever adapting world of knowledge.  I’m trying to change my learning philosophy but it’s not any easy task.  I’ve gone from using IT tools that are somewhat under my control to creation tools, such as Wikispaces, Glogster, Google Docs and BlackBoard Collaboration, to allow students more freedom to share and collaborate on their own, at their leisure.  Now, more than ever, learning is “lifelong.”  We have access to instant information all of the time.  We must change our modalities to teach our students the ways to access good information and use it collaboratively to their advantage; then, we have become successful teachers with students who are truly “learning.”


3 thoughts on “Learning Philosophy: Week 3

  1. cnb135 Post author

    It takes a lot of work to lose control. No joke. When I have the opportunity to teach traditionally, I already have the knowledge, I just have to spit it out at them and find creative ways of coming up with examples. When I relinquish control of the classroom, mass chaos could ensue. I could have students choosing not to do the work. But most of all, I have to really prepare ahead of time.
    I do one 3 week long project in American Government. The students have to run a campaign for a presidential candidate complete with Marketing roles, Public Relations and so forth. It takes so much prep time! The easier way for me to do it would be to teach it to them standing in front of the room. The more difficult way is to have them go it alone with only assistance. I have weekly goal sheets, audits on the progress and grades that are continuous. I put a lot of work into something that I’m not physically doing.

    Changing this mentality is hard for a 5th year teacher like me. Think about someone in their 15th or 20th year of teaching. This is going to be a process.

  2. Karen Yarbrough

    Yay for thinking about information literacy! I think the question now is ok, what are you going to do to make sure that your students know how to make good decisions about information? I don’t know your school’s media specialist situation at all, but assuming that they’ve had any kind of instruction is probably a bad idea in my experience. I’ve had teachers lament their students using Google or Wikipedia, but then act like it’s in no way their responsibility. Hearing it once isn’t enough! Every teacher should be incorporating information literacy. That’s the only way to change the school’s research culture.

  3. Hannah Inzko

    I think it is so honest of you to say that relinquishing control to your students “makes you cringe” and I am sure more folks feel that way than are saying.
    My question to you is why? What is it about relinquishing control that makes you uncomfortable?
    I’m not asking these questions in order to call you out, I’m asking honestly because I’m not a teacher in the “traditional” sense and haven’t had much experience in a classroom setting.
    I agree with you that students could use a lesson on finding reliable resources. They seem to go for what is easiest and most readily available without stopping to question its validity.

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