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My Learning Philosophy

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

Concept of Learning

As I began to consider the concept of learning that I live by, I tend to think back to a quote from a famous philosopher:

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
-Aristotle

This path towards excellence begins with the concept of learning. If learning is the acquisition of knowledge and skills, then the continual practice and consistent application of this learning would lead towards true excellence. I believe that for anyone from adolescence to adulthood, the concept of learning comes in 2 stages. The first stage of learning is in its natural form which is a means towards acquiring wants, needs, and experiences. A child will learn to climb to the top of the refrigerator to steal a snack of cookies. A child will learn how to talk so that they can communicate when they are ready. Experience then becomes the teacher as fails and triumphs create real applicable learning experiences. The next stage of learning comes from passion, creativity, and engagement. People learn because they love and enjoy what they are doing. Passion becomes the driving force in this stage of learning.


My philosophy of learning is based on this notion. It is in my pursuit of excellence and belief in my purpose that I indulge in becoming a life-long learner. It is my belief that the path of teaching can only route through learning. I view myself as a facilitator of learning as I have heavily leaned towards a culture of being student-centered. I do not believe that the teacher has to always be the “expert” in the room. In fact, the expert can normally be found in a Youtube video. It is important that learning is reciprocated between the facilitator and the students. The relationship between teaching and learning should serve as a marriage or cycle where both are a part of the maintenance and success of the classroom. An effective teacher should model what a learner should look like. A teacher should be nothing more than a master learner.


My philosophy on teaching and learning is much the same. I consider myself leaning more towards a Cognitivist as a learner. I am of the belief that I can learn what I want when I want. Intrinsic motivation is a big factor in what I am mentally ready to receive and I definitely excel with learning at my own pace in segments. However, my teaching philosophy would lean more towards Constructivism. I do not believe I can learn for students. Students should learn through discovery. I believe that learning should be personalized and we shouldn’t fit all students into a box. That is why discovery is important with support. Through networking and peer-to-peer feedback routinely implemented in the classroom, students can have an optimal learning experience much like Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development in social relationships. I see many similarities in the Cognitivist and Constructivist theories. However, my learning philosophy is obviously predicated on my abilities where in contrast my teaching philosophy has to consider other's perspectives.


My learning philosophy has a major impact on my innovation plan. It is the very essence of what my innovation plan "The Tomorrow Teacher' is based on. My belief is that at the end of the day, all learning theories have a place in the learning process. All learning theories provide a crucial component in the process. The Behaviorist theory can offer modeling, reinforcement, repetition, and intrinsic motivation. This can help one manage the classroom in a way that provides a high-quality learning environment. I like to use gamification to implement this practice. The Cognitivist theory offers discovery, process, goal setting, and scaffolding. This is where student choice comes into play where students can develop an e-portfolio to culminate their accomplishments. The Constructivist theory offers relevancy, social processes, acceptance of multiple outcomes and intelligences, self-actualization, and organic development. The design thinking process culminates in many of these factors. Please take a look at my literature review for more information.


It is important to remember that learning is a process that flows on a spectrum. Every learner can receive information differently. For me, it is important to let passion and engagement drive the vehicle of the learning process. That is what allows the learning to take place.



References

Author, D. J. (2021, June 23). Learning theories: EdApp. Retrieved from https://www.edapp.com/blog/learning-theories/


Hall, L. (n.d.). What is Learning? Retrieved from https://teaching.berkeley.edu/resources/learn/what-learning







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