My philosophy of education is from a whole learner perspective – addressing their learning in developmentally appropriate ways that factor in their learning differences and needs to create the optimal learning environment and create autonomous learning who take responsibility and ownership of their learning.
I’m a big believer of giving students voice and choice in the classroom, which ends up making them more responsible learners. “When students understand their role as agent (the one in charge) over their own feeling, thinking and learning behaviors, they are more likely to take responsibility for their learning. To be autonomous learners, however, students need to have some actual choice and control” (McCombs). By letting students take ownership over their education experience, each one of those becomes more meaningful.
Technology provides an exciting expansion for the idea of voice and choice in the classroom. “Combining more individualized and technology-supported options can provide a way to engage students beyond what is possible in traditional classrooms” (McCombs). We are now in a time where we can personalize learning to meet every student where they are.
Learning activities should be meaningful, not just busy work. Activities should be a balance of information gathering, experiences (both doing and observing), and reflecting on the process (Fink). These activities are involving all students and not allowing anyone to be a passive bystander as they might in a traditional lecture. Teachers should be engaging students by letting them take a more active role in the learning process.
I like to remind myself that “a teacher should never work harder than [her] students.” It’s not my goal to be an awesome teacher….it’s my goal to be an awesome facilitator.
Fink, L. D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences an integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey Bass – Wiley.
McCombs, Barbara. Developing Responsible and Autonomous Learners: A Key to Motivating Students (Links to an external site.). University of Denver.